Babbel has released the most mispronounced words of the year and Omicron is a doozy.
A lot of new words have been thrown at us, and we should feel better about tripping over some words, because even broadcasters are messing them up. Here are the most mispronounced words of 2021:
- Cheugy (CHOO-gee): A trendy term popularized by Gen Z and used to mock an outdated and unfashionable aesthetic typically associated with millennials, such as “Live, Laugh, Love” signs.
- Chipotle (chih-POHT-lay): The American fast food chain became the center of a viral trend this year challenging Baby Boomers to pronounce the name.
- Dalgona (tal-goh-NAH): A Korean treat made with melted sugar and baking soda, popularized in Netflix’s “Squid Game.” (Touma notes that some speakers seem to produce a ”K” instead of the ”G” in the middle syllable.)
- Dogecoin (DOHJ-coin): A divisive cryptocurrency that began somewhat ironically before being popularized by Elon Musk, causing its value to dramatically increase.
- Eilish (EYE-lish): The singer Billie Eilish, whose album “Happier Than Ever” was released this year to critical acclaim and nominated for the Grammy Awards' Album of the Year.
- Ethereum (ih-THEE-ree-um): Another cryptocurrency that skyrocketed in value this year amid the decentralized-currency boom.
- Ever Given (EV-er GIV-en): The name of the ship that blocked the Suez Canal in March, costing billions of dollars in lost trade. Many newscasters mistook the name of the ship as "Evergreen," the name of the company that owns the vessel, which was printed on its hull.
- Glasgow (GLAHZ-go): The host city of November’s United Nations Climate Conference was mispronounced by both President Joe Biden and former president Barack Obama.
- Kelce (KELs): The Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce revealed on radio this year that his teammates and the media had been mispronouncing his name for years.
- Omicron (AH-muh-kraan / OH-mee-kraan): A new variant of COVID-19 first identified in November, named in keeping with the World Health Organization's system of identifying variants with Greek letters. (Touma notes it's pronounced differently in the U.S. and the U.K.)
- Shein (SHEE-in): The Chinese fast fashion company at the center of the “Shein haul” trend, in which participants record themselves trying on numerous different outfits from the company.
- Stefanos Tsitsipas (STEH-fuh-nohs TSEE-tsee-pas): Currently ranked as the world's No. 4 tennis player, the Greek athlete rose to international prominence when he lost to Novak Djokovic in the final of the French Open in June.
- Yassify (YEAH-sih-fai): A popular trend in which multiple beauty filters are applied to well-known pictures or portraits for comic effect.