These Are The Most Commonly Mispronounced Food Words

By Mike Pomranz |

© Claudia Totir/Getty Images

Last week, OpenTable and Harris Poll decided to embarrass us all by releasing a list of the “top misunderstood menu terms.” This week, it’s the Co-Op and the Oxford English Dictionary offering to make us feel like idiots by releasing their own list of “food words that are most commonly mispronounced.”

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Similar to the misunderstood menu terms list, the words that are most likely to get botched coming out of English speakers’ mouth are often from a foreign origin. The Greek sauce “tzatziki” – properly spoken as “tsat-si-key” – tops the list, followed by “bouillabaisse,” “ceviche,” “parmigiano reggiano” and “edamame.” The full 20 term list is below.

“When a new food or drink becomes popular, we keep an eye on how its name gets adapted into English,” Catherine Sangster, head of pronunciation at the OED, told the Independent. “Some speakers will want to say the name in a completely authentic manner, matching the original language, and other speakers will be influenced by the spelling or prefer to anglicise the sounds. In the dictionary, we give pronunciations that are accurate and also reflect the reality of how the word is being spoken.”

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That said, I’m not sure I trust any pronunciation advice coming from someone in the United Kingdom. Have you ever heard the way they say food words like “tomato” and “banana”?!

1. Tzatziki - tsat-si-key
2. Bouillabaisse - boo-yah-behss
3. Ceviche - seh-bee-tche
4. Parmigiano Reggiano - par-mee-djah-no rehd-djah-no
5. Edamame - ed-a-mar-mei
6. Acai - ah-sigh-ee
7. Nicoise - ni-swaz
8. Chipotle - chi-poat-lay
9. Manchego - man-chay-go
10. Prosciutto - pro-shoot-tow
11. Crudites - krew-dee-tay
12. Gnocchi - nyohk-kee
13. Quinoa - keen-wah
14. Habanero - habe-a-ne-reu
15. Maraschino - ma-ra-skeeno
16. Bouillon - bo-yon
17. Rioja - ree-o-ha
18. Halloumi - ha-lu-mi
19. Anise - an-is
20. Guacamole - gwah-kah-moh-leh

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