Pronouncing the Word Blessed

We sometimes receive inquiries from readers regarding the proper way to pronounce blessed. The word blessed can be pronounced in two different ways according to its part of speech in the sentence.

Rule 1. When blessed is used as a verb, it is pronounced with one syllable (blest).
Example: Before we ate, our uncle Tony blessed [blest] the meal.

Rule 2. When the word blessed is used as part of an adverb (blessedly) or a noun (blessedness), it is pronounced with two syllables (bles-id).
She hugged him blessedly [bles-id-lee, adverb] upon learning he had quit his bad habit.
The Eucharist is revered for its blessedness [bles-id-nes, noun] within the Christian faith.

Rule 3. When blessed is used as an adjective, it is typically pronounced with two syllables (bles-id). However, in certain cases, it may be pronounced with only one syllable (blest) as an isolated instance of inflection developed through familiarity with American English.
Examples: Annie’s baptism was a blessed [bles-id] moment, particularly for her devoted grandparents.
Blessed [bles-id] are the poor. But The poor are blessed [blest, adjective].


Pop Quiz

1. The priest blessed (pronounced blest or bles-id) the candles at the ceremony.

2. The couple was blessed (pronounced blest or bles-id) with a healthy baby girl.

3. I don’t have a blessed (pronounced blest or bles-id) dime to my name.


Pop Quiz Answers:

1. The priest blessed (pronounced blest) the candles at the ceremony.

2. The couple was blessed (pronounced blest) with a healthy baby girl.

3. I don’t have a blessed (pronounced bles-id) dime to my name.


Posted on Saturday, August 11, 2012, at 2:28 pm

40 Comments on Pronouncing the Word Blessed

40 responses to “Pronouncing the Word Blessed

  1. Carol R. says:

    Can you give me the words “blessed” and “blest” in a sentence? I know one is a verb and one is an adjective. If one were to say “I have been blest,” would that be correct? Can you use “blest” without the “have been” (such as “I was blest”)?

    • Pronouncing the word blessed was the topic of our weekly e-newsletter on August 14, 2012 (shown above), which should answer your questions. Here is the link for your reference: Pronouncing the Word Blessed. Although we didn’t cover it in the newsletter, when the word is used as a verb (as in Rule 1), it may also be spelled blest.

  2. Jenn H. says:

    So is the spelling “blest” grammatically correct?

  3. Lee Anne Bean says:

    Excellent and quick information

  4. Jeanie says:

    My mother and I both write poems. We need to know how to spell Bless’ed, so that people will pronounce it that way and not blest.
    Can you tell me how to spell Bless’ed or Bless’id in poems and prayers, etc?
    And is it ok to put the ‘ in the word like I did above?
    Thank you for your help,

    • Writing the word blessed with an apostrophe and a capital letter is not what we consider grammatically correct. As we imply in the blog, readers need to recognize that when used as an adjective, adverb, or noun, the word should be pronounced bles-id, while the verb is pronounced blest.
      Creative writing and poetry do not always follow strict rules of grammar. Even if you spell the word bless’ed, it is possible that readers still might pronounce it blest. Writing bless’id looks like a misspelled word.

  5. Matt says:

    I’ve often seen poetry in which words are split out using a hyphen to indicate a new syllable. In your example, this might mean writing “blessed” like this: “bless – ed”.

    It might stand out and disrupt the flow of the rest of the verses if you didn’t apply this rule to other words, too.

  6. Cari Apostol says:

    So it is a noun, adjective or verb when used in Matthew 5:3-11? I’ve heard it both ways. I want to say Blest…but I know most would say Blessed.

  7. IWANGER TITUS says:

    In this prayer that says “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you, blessed are you amongs’t women and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus”.
    How can the first and second blessed be pronounced? pls, i need your assistance.

  8. Jane says:

    Has the word blessed ever been used as a noun, meaning “blessed one”? As in, “She was his blessed” (bless-id pronunciation).

    • The only reference we could find for blessed as a noun is the term “the Blessed.” According to Collins Dictionary it is a Christian term meaning “the dead who are already enjoying heavenly bliss.” Oxford Dictionary defines the term as “those who live with God in heaven.”

  9. Claudia Iuele says:

    I’m one of the readers at the 8am Mass. I’ve noticed that on the responsorial 3rd paragraph of the Fourth Sunday of Easter, it starts with Blessed in the name of the Lord, I am a bit confused whether the word is pronounced Ble sse d or one word Blessed please help. Thank you

  10. Barbara Bartels says:

    I have moved from New England to the South where I am often told “Have a blessed day.” It is pronounced 1 syllable “blest.” Is there a regional exception here? A colloquialism? I have not heard this phrase with blessed as 2 syllables.

  11. Lauren says:

    How would you pronounce blessed in the following verses: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” and “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.” Luke 1:42,45

  12. Mackenzie says:

    Why is “blessed” in “blessed are the poor” necessarily an adjective? Is it just that we know based on the original Greek word having been an adjective? It could also be a passive-voice verb. “Blessed are the poor (by God), for they will…”

  13. Judy in Ocala says:

    In hymnals, the two-syllable pronunciation is rendered as “blessèd” (with a grave accent over the second e). Ex: “Blessèd Assurance, Jesus is mine.” You could use that in your poetry.

  14. Barbara says:

    Thank you. I have been befuddled at times. You have clarified for me. I am blessed. Have a blessed day!

  15. Kim Moyer says:

    I have a Hispanic co-worker whose email signature contains the sentence:

    Have a bless day.

    I want to advise him but wanted to clarify that it should in fact be blessed or blest, right? I think that his translation may be incorrect but would like to confirm this.

  16. Grace says:

    For the prayer “Magnificat” there is a part that goes, ” From now on, all generations will call me blessed.”
    I pronounce it in 2 syllables (bless-id). Am I right?

    • According to the book The Sacramental Church: The Story of Anglo-Catholocism by John F. Nash, pronunciation and associated understanding of “blessed” in that prayer is left to individual preference.

  17. Toni Garrett says:

    In Matthew 5:3-7 it seems to me that blessed is an active verb. As in blessed are the poor. They are being blessed by the Lord which seems to me to be a verb. Is there anyone else who agrees with this?

  18. Stacy says:

    If I were to write. I have been…. Would it be blessed or blest?

  19. charmaine alam says:

    when you post and state “feeling blessed…how this one could be read (blest or bless ed) need your reply please

  20. pat walker says:

    Thank you for explaining this to me..people say that I am crazy for using the word blest,that I was making that word up

  21. Aries says:

    A bit confusd on the pronunciation of the 3 words blessed below, how to pronounce them correctly?
    You are blessed, O God of our fathers; blessed too, is your name forever and ever. Let the heaven blessed you and all things you have made for evermore…

    Thanks a lot.

    • You are blessed (blest), O God of our fathers; blessed (bles-id) too is your name forever and ever. The last sentence should read, “Let the heaven bless you and all things you have made for evermore … “

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