Hopefully by now most people have been made aware about the pronunciation of certain difficult words. For example, Açai is pronounced Ah-Sigh-Eee and Bruschetta is Broo-Skeh-Tuh. There are still many words that we as people commonly mispronounce.
Açai berries come from the Açai palm tree, which are primarily found in Central and South America, more specifically Brazil and Peru. The word Açai (Ah-Sigh-Ee) originates from the Tupian word "ïwaca'i," which means "fruit that cries water," because of how juicy it is. It resembles a grape, is full of antioxidants and has become incredibly popular in the health and wellness industries over the past few years.
According to Merriam-Webster, bruschetta is defined as, “thick slices of bread grilled, rubbed with garlic, drizzled with olive oil, often topped with tomatoes and herb and usually served as an appetizer” The word bruschetta comes from the Tuscan Italian word bruscare, which means “to toast or burn.” Bruschetta is indeed pronounced Brew-Skeh-Tuh, bonus points for rolling the R.
Whether you pronounce this smoked hot chili pepper (often found in Mexican cuisine) like Chee-Poht-lay or Shee-Poh-Lay, it is definitely not Chip-Pot-Uhl.
I personally enjoy the way chef Aarón Sánchez pronounces it (See video). Any feedback from native speakers is appreciated!
It is confusing as to why people mispronounce this one, since the word is said exactly how it looks. Ess-Press-Oh, not ex-presso, even if it is the expressway to energy. The word espresso means "pressed out," in Italian, which references the steam pressure that the coffee beans undergo. It comes from the Latin word exprimere, which means "to press out or squeeze," which is also the route of "express," so it’s not too far-fetched to call it, Ex-Press-So, but it’s still wrong!
Cappuccino is also a commonly mispronounced word, some people actually say the word as "cup of chino." According to Etymology Online, the word comes from Capuchin, in reference to the beverage's color and its supposed resemblance to that of the brown hoods of the Friars Minor Capuchins.
These filling, delicious, magical potato pasta dumplings are not called Guh-No-Chee, Nocky or Gockey. The word is pronounced Nee-Yoh-Keeh. According to Saveur, "The word gnocchi is thought to come from nocca, which means "knuckles," or from the Lombard word knohha, which means "knot or walnut" — all words that imply the small, tight, rounded shape of gnocchi that we know today.
Let’s move west to France, shall we?
Probably one of the most butchered (pun intended!) meat dishes in America is gyro. The gyro (with a silent G) is a sandwich made with slices of spiced meat cooked on a spit, served with salad in pita bread. It is not, however, called a Guy-Ro or a Ji-Roh. The traditional word is meant to be pronounced "Yee-roh," which is the common way of saying it in Greece.
What other foods have you heard be outrageously mispronounced? Does your country have the same diction issues? Share them here.
Cover credit: Fluentu.com