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.
How It's Pronounced: "CHOO-ghee"
Used to denote tragically unhip Millennial trends, cheugy got reporters tongue-tied—which only reinforced their cheugy-ness.
How It's Pronounced: "chih-POHT-lay"
The fast food chain challenged broadcasters for being slightly harder to pronounce than McDonald’s.
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."
How It's Pronounced: "DOHJ-coin"
This cryptocurrency entered the public discourse when Elon Musk started tweeting about it.
How It's Pronounced: "EYE-lish"
Billie Eilish’s name caused a lot of confusion.
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.
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.
How It's Pronounced: "KEL-ss"
Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce gets “KEL-see” a lot, but that’s not quite right.
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.”
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.
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.