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These are the most mispronounced words of 2021, including Omicron, Chipotle, dogecoin, dalgona from 'Squid Game'

Business Insider US
Zhang Jingang/VCG via Getty Images
Zhang Jingang/VCG via Getty Images
  • Language-learning app Babbel released a list of the US and UK's most butchered words of 2021.
  • They include entries like Chipotle, dogecoin, ethereum, Shein, and container ship Ever Given.
  • See the full list of the most mispronounced words of the year - and the right way to say them.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

If you hadn't noticed before, it's become clear now that pretty much no one agrees on how to pronounce "Omicron," the new coronavirus variant.

But that's not the only word that has confounded newscasters lately. On Tuesday, the language-learning app Babbel released a list of the most mispronounced words of the year, based on words that have stumped newscasters and other people on TV. It was compiled by the US Captioning Company and the British Institute of Verbatim Reporters.

Babbel had language expert Todd Ehresmann weigh in on the right way to say these words.

Here's the list for the US, complete with their correct pronunciations:

  • Cheugy [CHOO-gee] - Cheugy refers to an outdated aesthetic, similar to a "basic" one, whose hallmarks can include things like "Live, Laugh, Love" signs and Ugg slippers.
  • Chipotle [chih-POHT-lay] - Asking baby boomers to pronounce the name of the fast-casual chain became a viral trend this year.
  • Dalgona [tal-goh-NAH] - Dalgona candy, a Korean sweet made with melted sugar and baking soda, was the basis for one of the games in the Netflix hit "Squid Game."
  • Dogecoin [DOHJ-coin] - Dogecoin spiked in value after Elon Musksaid he supported the cryptocurrency.
  • Eilish [EYE-lish] - People have struggled saying the last name of singer Billie Eilish, who released album "Happier Than Ever" this year.
  • Ethereum [ih-THEE-ree-um] - Ethereum, the blockchain technology behind cryptocurrency ether, had a buzzy year.
  • Ever Given [EV-er GIV-en] - The container ship blocked the Suez Canal in March, disrupting global trade for several days. Babbel notes that newscasters mispronounced it by mistaking the ship's name for that of the company that owns it, Evergreen, which was printed on the ship in letters much larger than the vessel's name.
  • Glasgow [GLAHZ-go] - The city in Scotland was the host city for COP26, the United Nations' climate summit this year.
  • Kelce [KEL-ss] - Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce said in a radio interview that his last name has been mispronounced for years.
  • Omicron [AH-muh-kraan or OH-mee-kraan] - Two pronunciations seem to have risen to the top as the most popular ways to refer to the Omicron coronavirus variant.
  • Shein [SHEE-in] - Showing off hauls of clothing from the Chinese fast fashion company has become a popular TikTok trend.
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas [STEH-fuh-nohs TSEE-tsee-pas] - The Greek tennis player competed against World No 1 Novak Djokovic in the final of the French Open in June. 
  • Yassify [YEAH-sih-fai] - Figures from history pop culture are yassified by applying beauty filters to their pictures using photo editing apps.

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