Begin typing your search...

Cheugy, Omicron among 2021′s most mispronounced words

“Cheugy” is apparently a lot to chew on. Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Billie Eilish and Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce have something in common — broadcasters butcher their names

Cheugy, Omicron among 2021′s most mispronounced words
Jason Kelce and Billie Eilish


“Cheugy” is apparently a lot to chew on. GrammyAward-winning singer-songwriter Billie Eilish and Philadelphia Eagles centerJason Kelce have something in common — broadcasters butcher their names.

And virtually everyone is having trouble with “omicron.”

All four made it onto this year’s list of most mispronouncedwords as compiled by the US Captioning Company, which captions and subtitlesreal-time events on TV and in courtrooms. The list released Tuesday identifiesthe words that proved most challenging for newsreaders and people on televisionto pronounce this year. The caption company said it surveyed its members togenerate the list, which is now in its sixth year and was commissioned byBabbel, a language-learning platform with headquarters in Berlin and New York.

“Newscasters in the US have struggled with 2021′s new wordsand names while reporting on key sporting events, viral internet trends andemerging celebrities,” said Esteban Touma, a standup comedian and teacher forBabbel Live.

“As a language teacher, it’s always interesting to see thatsome of these terms are usually new colloquialisms, or are rooted or borrowedfrom another language,” he said. “As a non-native speaker, I must confess it’sfun to see English speakers stumbling a bit for a change.”

Here’s how Touma breaks down the proper pronunciations forthe most commonly misspoken words:

— Cheugy (CHOO-gee): A trendy term popularized by Gen Z andused to mock an outdated and unfashionable aesthetic typically associated withmillennials, such as “Live, Laugh, Love” signs.

— Chipotle (chih-POHT-lay): The American fast food chainbecame the center of a viral trend this year challenging Baby Boomers topronounce the name.

— Dalgona (tal-goh-NAH): A Korean treat made with meltedsugar and baking soda, popularized in Netflix’s “Squid Game.” (Toumanotes that some speakers seem to produce a ”K” instead of the ”G” in the middlesyllable.)

— Dogecoin (DOHJ-coin): A divisive cryptocurrency that begansomewhat ironically before being popularized by Elon Musk, causing itsvalue to dramatically increase.

— Eilish (EYE-lish): The singer Billie Eilish, whose album“Happier Than Ever” was released this year to critical acclaim andnominated for the Grammy Awards’ Album of the Year.

— Ethereum (ih-THEE-ree-um): Another cryptocurrency thatskyrocketed in value this year amid the decentralized-currency boom.

— Ever Given (EV-er GIV-en): The name of the ship that blockedthe Suez Canal in March, costing billions of dollars in lost trade. Manynewscasters mistook the name of the ship as “Evergreen,” the name of thecompany that owns the vessel, which was printed on its hull.

— Glasgow (GLAHZ-go): The host city of November’sUnited Nations Climate Conference was mispronounced by both President JoeBiden and former president Barack Obama.

— Kelce (KELs): The Philadelphia Eagles center JasonKelce revealed on radio this year that his teammates and the media hadbeen mispronouncing his name for years.

— Omicron (AH-muh-kraan / OH-mee-kraan): A new variantof COVID-19 first identified in November, named in keeping with the WorldHealth Organization’s system of identifying variants with Greek letters. (Toumanotes it’s pronounced differently in the U.S. and the U.K.)

— Shein (SHEE-in): The Chinese fast fashion company at thecenter of the “Shein haul” trend, in which participants record themselvestrying 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 athleterose to international prominence when he lost to Novak Djokovic in thefinal of the French Open in June.

— Yassify (YEAH-sih-fai): A popular trend in which multiplebeauty filters are applied to well-known pictures or portraits for comiceffect.

Visit to explore our interactive epaper!

Download the DT Next app for more exciting features!

Click here for iOS

Click here for Android

Next Story