By Gavia Baker-Whitelaw
June 23, 2017

This piece originally appeared on

You know that particular flavor of embarrassment when you find out you’ve been mispronouncing a word for years? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Which is why it’s okay to laugh at this video of an elderly Italian chef trying, and repeatedly failing, to pronounce “Worcestershire sauce.”

To be fair, even most people who speak English as their first language would have difficulty parsing “Worcestershire” if they’ve only ever seen it written down. Here’s a hint: the pronunciation isn’t remotely phonetic. 

These heroic attempts to pronounce Worcestershire are so impressively garbled that they remind us of the Pronunciation Manual YouTube channel, which posts nothing but hilariously inaccurate advice. Here’s their interpretation of what Worcestershire should sound like.

For future reference—and I’m speaking as a U.K. native here—Worcestershire is pronounced like “woostersher.” Similarly, the English place names Gloucester and Leicester are pronounced “Glosster” and “Lester.” We’ll give you those ones for free, but the rest you’ll have to work out for yourselves. The list of English place names with “counterintuitive pronunciations” is so long that Wikipedia had to split it into two separate pages.

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