Top 25 commonly mispronounced words – including Prescription and February

today23 January 2023 164

share close

Top 25 commonly mispronounced words

Top 25 commonly mispronounced words – including quinoa and espresso

Nearly half of adults have been corrected on their pronunciation of a word – including ‘probably’, ‘cache’, and ‘library’

“Quinoa”, “probably”, and “espresso” have topped a list of words that are most commonly mispronounced by Brits – which also includes the word “pronunciation” itself.

More than one in six adults (17%) wrongly say “kin-oh-ah” when talking about the superfood, rather than the correct pronunciation, “keen-wah”.

And 12% of the 2,000 adults polled have mistakenly called the coffee beverage espresso an “ex-press-oh”.

Other common mistakes on the top 25 list include saying “JIF” for GIF, “tenderhooks” instead of tenterhooks, and pronouncing cache as “cash-ay”.

Almost half of adults (44%) have had someone tell them they were getting a word wrong when saying it out loud – with a quarter corrected at least once a week.

Espresso is one of the top mispronounced words
Espresso is one of the top mispronounced words

The research was commissioned by leading car manufacturer Hyundai, who has teamed up with Seong-Jae, a.k.a. Korean Billy, to embrace a change to the pronunciation of the brand name in the UK – from the anglicised “Hy-un-dai” to the global articulation “Hyun-day”.

The research also revealed 38% sometimes use words and phrases they don’t properly understand.

But half of Brits admit every word they think about sounds right in their minds initially until it is said out loud.

And a quarter says it can be challenging to understand every word or phrase.

In addition, 47% will research the correct pronunciation online via a search engine like Google, and 29% say they often pick up the English Dictionary to see if the phrasing is correct.

Almonds is one of the top mispronounced words
Almonds is another of the most common mispronounced words

But according to OnePoll data, 42% will sometimes mispronounce words if it means making others laugh or enabling them to stick to what they know.

Tech brands, location spots, and people’s names are among the things people are not fussed about mispronouncing out loud.

Ashley Andrew, managing director at Hyundai Motor UK, said: “Having updated our brand’s pronunciation locally, we wanted to explore pronunciation as a topic more broadly and get people talking about those words that we can potentially struggle with in everyday life – such as quinoa and espresso.

“Teaming up with Seong-Jae, a.k.a Korean Billy, marks a new era for Hyundai – a young, innovative, and progressive brand that injects a little humour and personality into people’s lives. We hope everyone enjoys the partnership as much as we have.”


  1. Quinoa (ki-no-ah)
  2. Probably (prob-ly)
  3. Espresso (ex-press-oh)
  4. Affidavit (affi-david)
  5. GIF (JIF)
  6. Meme (meh-meh)
  7. Tenterhooks (tenderhooks)
  8. Cache (cash-ay)
  9. Coup de grace (coo-de-GRAH)
  10. Zoology (zu-ol-oh-gee)
  11. Parliament (par-lament)
  12. Foyer (foy-ay)
  13. Mischievous (mis-chee-vee-ous)
  14. Antarctic (ant-ar-tic)
  15. Arctic (ar-tic)
  16. Library (lie-berry)
  17. Mange tout (manj-eh-towt)
  18. February (feb-er-erry)
  19. Jewellery (joo-luh-ree)
  20. Sherbet (sher-bert)
  21. Prescription (per-scription)
  22. Almond (aal-mund)
  23. Moot (mute)
  24. Coupe (c-oo-p)
  25. Triathlon (tri-ath-a-lon)

Tune In and Listen

On Fridays at 12 pm, Tune In and Listen to Ginger and Nuts!

Late Night Live Show (Adults Only) on Saturday at 10 pm, Tune In and Listen

Contact us, request your favourite song, or syndicate the show to your radio station with a few clicks.

You can also listen to some of our latest interviews here.

Written by: Kat Y (Ginge)

Rate it

Voted #1 Best Community Radio Show