10 Words And Names You've (Probably) Been Mispronouncing In 2021

The trickiest words of the year have been revealed, but are you too cheugy to recognise them?
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You might have learned the meaning of “cheugy” this year, but do you know how to say it?

The term – which can be used to mock out of touch fashions and people – is among a list of words most frequently mispronounced in the UK this year.

The research was conducted by language-learning app Babbel and the British Institute of Verbatim Reporters (BIVR), based on words and names that were continually mispronounced by British news presenters, television personalities, and across social media in 2021. BIVR professionals are trained to process and caption real-time speech and events.

Perhaps surprisingly, the new Covid variant, Omicron, didn’t make the UK list, but was among the words most frequently mispronounced on American TV.

Instead, Brits struggled with pop culture moments this year, from Squid Game’s honeycomb cookie (“Dalgona”) to the “Wellerman” sea shanty trend.

Have you been slipping up? Here’s a list of the most commonly mispronounced words, with pronunciations supplied by senior linguist Todd Ehresmann:

Cheugy (CHOO-gee)
A term popularised by Gen Z, used to mock an outdated and unfashionable aesthetic typically associated with millennials (sorry, Live Laugh Love fans).

Dalgona (tal-goh-NAH)
A Korean treat made with melted sugar and baking soda, popularised following the September release of Netflix’s Squid Game. Pronunciation note: Some speakers seem to produce a “K” instead of the “G” in the middle syllable.

Dogecoin (DOHJ-coin)
Divisive cryptocurrency first started ironically before being popularised by Elon Musk, causing its value to dramatically increase.

Gina Coladangelo [JEE-nah co-lah-DAN-gelo]
In June, the businesswoman was caught in a clinch with the then-health secretary, Matt Hancock. The fallout from the affair led to the health secretary’s resignation amid national outcry.

Giorgio Chiellini [JYOR-jyo kyi-LEE-nee]
Italy’s captain for the 2021 European Football Championship, where Italy beat England on penalties in the final on July 11. Chiellini was involved in a contentious foul late in the game, resulting in a yellow card and causing outrage across the UK.

Nusr-Et [nus-RET]
London’s hottest new restaurant which opened in October, owned by Nusret Gökçe – a.k.a ‘Salt Bae’ – and widely panned for its high prices.

Shein [SHEE-in]
The Chinese fast fashion company at the centre of the viral ‘Shein haul’ trend, which sees participants record themselves trying on numerous different outfits from the company.

Wellerman [WELL-er-man]
The name of a sea shanty which went viral on TikTok in January this year. Many videos detailed performers mispronouncing the ship as “weatherman”.

Keirin [KAY-reen]
A track cycling discipline that confounded newscasters when staged at the Tokyo Olympics during July and August this year. Pronunciation note: KAY-rin is feasible as well.

Måneskin [MOH-ne-skin]
The Italian representatives and eventual winners of Eurovision 2021, staged in May. Their name is the Danish word for ’moonlight’. Pronunciation note: The first syllable is an approximation – the ”å” sounds similar to the “or” in “morning”.

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