10 trending words you’re saying incorrectly

2 min read

Have you ever been in a conversation and just stumbled-mumbled over a word you’re not entirely sure how to pronounce? You’re not alone. Here are 10 of the most commonly mispronounced words, and how to say them properly, so you can speak like a boss.

Acaí

Health lovers know the superfood benefits of this Amazonian fruit – but how many of them know how to say it properly? The actual answer is ah-sigh-EE, although many folks have been tripped up pronouncing it as ah-KAI or ah-SIGH.

Meme

Believe it or not, memes have been around since the 1970s, designed to reflect “a unit of cultural transmission.” If you’ve ever said mee-mee, may-may, or mem, to borrow a meme catchphrase: “You’re doing it wrong.” The proper way is simply meem.

Cache

It’s easy to get confused with this one: a lot of people say cash-AY because it’s so similar to cachet, which actually does have that two-syllable sound. But in actuality, say cash and you’re saying it right.

Valet

Blame Cher Horowitz from the ’90s film Clueless. Ever since she declared there was no point in practicing parking for her driver’s test because “everywhere you go has valet,” a generation has adopted this Frenchified take on the word. Follow Cher’s lead and pronounce it val-AY.

GIF

This one’s a little controversial: The inventor of Graphic Interchange Format files declared the pronunciation of a soft “g.” In fact, jokes were made that “choosey developers choose GIF,” riffing on Jif peanut butter’s famous catchphrase. But since then, the internet has somewhat gravitated toward a hard “g” sound, basically gift without the t. While some dictionaries list both versions as correct, the file type’s creator is determined to have the last word. Just remember the peanut butter when you share your next GIF.

Electoral

If you’re into debating politics, the words electoral college likely entered your vocabulary back in 2016. If you lose whatever argument you’re having, rest assured you’ll have the pronunciation down – if you’re saying e-LEK-tor-al, and not e-lek-TOR-al.

Gyro

Delicious Greek gyros aren’t exactly a new food trend, but they are a yummy one. Get it right by asking for a YEE-roh or ZHIHR-oh. And don’t forget the tzatziki, or tsah-see-key!

Mauve

This pretty purple hue never gets its due, at least when it comes to pronouncing it correctly. Hint: It doesn’t rhyme with stove. Instead, say mawv.

Rooibos

The next time you’re ordering a tea latte, do it with confidence! This caffeine-free tea, which means red bush, is often mislabelled as roo-BE-ohs, rooh-IH-boos, and ROY-bus. That last one is at least close: The proper pronunciation is actually roy-boss.

Status

This word has jumped in popularity since the rise of status updates, yet most people still say it wrong, as in STAH-tus. Show your grammar chops and pronounce it as STAY-tus, as it was intended.

You Might Also Like:

Chat bubbles backgroundDaily QuestionWhich adjective would not describe a person with dynamism?

Start defining your knowledge

Get daily words and quizzes sent straight to your inbox!

By subscribing to Word Genius you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.