Flubbed: The 13 Most Mispronounced Words of 2021

Mispronunciations can strike at anytime.
Mispronunciations can strike at anytime. / mrPliskin/iStock via Getty Images

If you’ve ever heard someone order a latte at a Starbucks and pronounce it “lat,” you know that mispronunciations run rampant. Recently, the linguistic experts at Babbel partnered with the U.S. Captioning Company to assess which words were the most commonly butchered by talking heads on television in 2021. Here's the list, in alphabetical order.

1. Cheugy

How It's Pronounced: "CHOO-ghee"

Used to denote tragically unhip Millennial trends, cheugy got reporters tongue-tied—which only reinforced their cheugy-ness.

2. Chipotle

How It's Pronounced: "chih-POHT-lay"

The fast food chain challenged broadcasters for being slightly harder to pronounce than McDonald’s.

3. Dalgona

How It's Pronounced: "tal-goh-NAH"

Following the success of Squid Game on Netflix, mentions of this popular Korean snack treat went up. According to a press release from Babbel, "Some speakers seem to produce a K instead of the G in the middle syllable."

4. Dogecoin

How It's Pronounced: "DOHJ-coin"

This cryptocurrency entered the public discourse when Elon Musk started tweeting about it.

5. Eilish

How It's Pronounced: "EYE-lish"

Billie Eilish’s name caused a lot of confusion.

6. Ethereum

How It's Pronounced: "ih-THEE-ree-um"

Another form of cryptocurrency that’s as hard for some to pronounce as it is to understand.

7. Ever Given

How It's Pronounced: "EV-er GIV-en"

The infamous ship that blocked the Suez Canal was often misinterpreted as “Evergreen”—understandable, as that was also on the vessel's hull. But Evergreen is actually the name of the company that operates the ship.

8. Glasgow

How It's Pronounced: "GLAHZ-go"

Presidents Joe Biden and Barack Obama both mangled the name of the Scottish city that hosted the United Nations Climate Conference.

9. Kelce

How It's Pronounced: "KEL-ss"

Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce gets “KEL-see” a lot, but that’s not quite right.

10. Omicron

How It's Pronounced: "AH-muh-kraan"

Plenty of people covering the latest coronavirus variant struggle with the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet. You can also say “OH-mee-kraan.”

11. Shein

How It's Pronounced: "SHEE-in"

The fashion brand from China got a social media boost this year.

12. Stefanos Tsitsipas

How It's Pronounced: "STEH-fuh-nohs TSEE-tsee-pas"

The name of this highly ranked tennis pro was regularly mutilated. His highest-profile opponent, Novak Djokovic, probably didn’t fare much better.

13. Yassify

How It's Pronounced: YEAH-sih-fie

To yassify is to use photo filters on familiar images to exaggerate them for comic effect. To try and pronounce "yassify" has apparently also resulted in comedy.

[h/t Babbel]