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How Do You Pronounce "Gyro?"

foodmonk Sep 21, 2007 07:18 AM

Help me out, folks ...

How do you -- or people where you live -- pronounce "gyro?" You know, the Greek sandwich thing. I imagine that, in Greece, it's pronounced something like (h)year-oh. In English? "Jai-roh?" "Jeer-oh?" Yarg.

I almost hate to order one, since everyone in the gyro line is pronouncing it differently.

Which one is right?

  1. rockandroller1 Sep 21, 2007 07:32 AM

    Nobody pronounces it right and the people at the restaurants are used to it. The most egregious sounds like "jai-roe" with the "jai" sounding like "pie." You're better off just trying "hee-roh" like "hero" but with a little longer "e." The correct pronounciation is actually a soft g, which is very hard for most Americans to get right.

    14 Replies
    1. re: rockandroller1
      Prax1134 Sep 21, 2007 08:02 AM

      yeer-oh seems to be the closest phoenetic spelling I can come up with. Although some hardcore greeks may frown upon mispronunciation - I'm pretty sure that if they have a que for their gryos they don't care how you pronounce it so long as you pay. =P

      1. re: Prax1134
        meatn3 Sep 22, 2007 08:10 PM

        I grew up in an area with a large Greek population and yeer - oh was the accepted pronunciation. But they are tasty however they are ordered!

        1. re: Prax1134
          MikeG Sep 23, 2007 04:02 AM

          "Yee-roh" is correct standard Greek (if there was ever an "h" sound, it disappeared 1500 years ago like most of the odd stuff all those accents were meant to indicate until they finally dropped them in 1982 and palatization of the sound is not that common, certainly not formally "proper" - it's Greek, not Arabic.)

          In the US, you'd probably get a blank stare from most if you asked for that - "jy-ro" would be pretty standard English pronunciation - as in gyroscope and its variants. But the bottom line (according to my half Greek side) is that Prax is right. LOL Even speaking Greek half-acceptably, I just ask for "jai-ros" myself -its quicker, saves trouble and you don't sound like a pretentious idiot...

        2. re: rockandroller1
          monkeyrotica May 19, 2011 07:07 AM

          So what do you do when you order a "hee-roh" and instead of a gyro they give you a sandwich?

          1. re: rockandroller1
            Bill Hunt Jun 23, 2011 08:37 PM

            From those, who should know, I agree, with a tiny bit of an addition. If one listens very closely, there is a not quite silent "g" at the beginning. Imagine "hero," but with just the hint of a very soft "g" at the beginning.To the English-speaking ear, it might not be picked up, but it's there - just very subtle.


            1. re: Bill Hunt
              fennelpdx Jun 23, 2011 08:51 PM

              YES! You explained it perfectly...VERY VERY subtle...I never could quite pick it up until you said it because it's been so long since I heard it, but I just would bistle at JEER OH

              1. re: fennelpdx
                Bill Hunt Jun 23, 2011 09:21 PM

                Because I am a native English-speaker, I had to listen carefully, and ask for many repeats. If the air is still, and the environment is quite, it is there.

                I liken it to the Mo-et,sound in the Dutch Moët. One needs to listen closely. Now, had Mr. Moët been French, it would have been closer to Mo-ay.

                Hunt, with the English "tin-ear."

                1. re: Bill Hunt
                  DeppityDawg Jun 24, 2011 03:59 AM

                  Um, Mr Moët _was_ French.

                  1. re: DeppityDawg
                    fennelpdx Jun 24, 2011 07:43 AM


                    But, his name was not.

                    1. re: fennelpdx
                      DeppityDawg Jun 24, 2011 01:33 PM

                      There are different hypotheses about the origin of this name. I don't have a link to a fashion magazine to prove it, but have a look at this:

                      In any case, the ‹t› is pronounced in "Moët" because final ‹t› is sometimes pronounced in French, especially in short words, and especially in names. It is not because the family may have been Dutch 600 years ago.

                      1. re: DeppityDawg
                        fennelpdx Jun 24, 2011 01:41 PM

                        I get the remark on the fashion mag--I just snagged it because was the first thing that came up and said it was the company's call. I had the info from someone in Napa Valley whose father had been with Moet for years. So, if that's how they pronounce it, to me it seems silly to argue for the French version. To me it sounds like trying to be pretentious. Of course, nowhere near as grating as hearing someone pronounce "meritage" as if it were French.

                        1. re: fennelpdx
                          DeppityDawg Jun 24, 2011 02:03 PM

                          My point is that the version with the pronounced ‹t› _is_ is the French version. No one is arguing for a silent ‹t›.

                  2. re: Bill Hunt
                    FoodFuser Jun 24, 2011 11:42 AM

                    Cmon, let's let Bill keep a trumpet in his ear
                    akin to latter day hearing aid.

                    The fleugelhorn receptor
                    turn right to the speaker
                    for each every flute of their nuances.

                    What we are talking here
                    is heft to the voice box
                    and final aspiration
                    matched lips to the guttural
                    to give final sound.
                    I'd place it a hiss
                    Somewhere between hard consonant G and softer of H.

                    More important to me is that gyro means spiral of sliced meat kissing hot flame.
                    However sliced or enunciated..

                    1. re: FoodFuser
                      Bill Hunt Jun 24, 2011 08:37 PM

                      I am glad that you are satisfied with the meaning, but the OP asked about the pronunciation - two totally different things.

                      Enjoy your happiness,


            2. Spiritchaser Sep 21, 2007 08:09 AM

              I was corrected many years ago and since then I have pronounced it - yeer oh. Along these same question lines I have gotten tired of everyone "from" any given foods orignal ethinc roots giving the definative pronuciation of a given item, e.g. proscuttio, has now been truncated down to some word that sounds like przhoot and mazzorella compressed to mzrel. I lived in Italy for 4 years and never heard the local speak these "difinative" words...

              14 Replies
              1. re: Spiritchaser
                MakingSense Sep 21, 2007 08:31 AM

                This one drives me crazy too. Especially trying to dictate the one-and-only proper definitive correct pronunciation when every country has regional and class differences just like our own.

                1. re: MakingSense
                  ekammin Sep 21, 2007 09:10 AM

                  For many years (ever since a stay in Holland), I have been used to pronouncing the round Dutch cheese "how'-da". This, though, usually gets uncomprehending stares, until I say "goo'-da".

                  1. re: ekammin
                    JungMann Sep 24, 2007 08:05 AM

                    I also pronounce gouda that abrasively Dutch way. (with the g being pronounced like the CH in the Scottish word "loch") It's far less well understood than the proper pronunciation of "gyros," although I also get blank stares from Americans when I refer to Vincent van Gogh properly.

                  2. re: MakingSense
                    coney with everything Sep 24, 2007 10:58 AM

                    yeah, wasn't there a recent discussion on one of the boards about "bruschetta"--is it "broosheta" or "broosketa"?

                    1. re: coney with everything
                      eatfood Sep 26, 2007 02:42 PM


                      1. re: eatfood
                        coney with everything Sep 28, 2007 05:40 AM


                      2. re: coney with everything
                        poposhka Oct 1, 2012 11:19 AM


                    2. re: Spiritchaser
                      mcgeary Sep 21, 2007 09:25 AM

                      oh ho ho, Spiritchaser, there is a recent Chowhound thread you must read:


                      1. re: mcgeary
                        Spiritchaser Sep 21, 2007 12:37 PM

                        THANK YOU FOR THAT LINK! That was just too similar to what I have thought for a while, man that made up for a really crappy day. Salute! (Or would that be Saloo)

                        1. re: Spiritchaser
                          fara Sep 22, 2007 09:06 PM

                          no, it would be sa-Lut. already cutting out the vowel, not saloo which cuts off the consonant too.

                      2. re: Spiritchaser
                        Amuse Bouches Sep 21, 2007 10:21 AM

                        I grew up in California, and always pronounced both prosciutto and mozzarella with all the syllables (and never had any problems ordering either item when I have visited Tuscany). However, I got to college, and my Connecticut born and raised roommate "corrected" my pronunciation to the przhoot and mootsarell versions - I think that area of the northeast was primarily settled by southern Italians and Sicilians.

                        1. re: Amuse Bouches
                          melpy Dec 21, 2010 07:19 AM

                          I would agree this is def. a Northeastern (not standard Italian) way of doing things. Being from CT, with Silician and Southern Italian roots that's the way I thought it was supposed to sound!

                          1. re: melpy
                            jumpingmonk Dec 21, 2010 03:58 PM

                            My favorite example of this pronuciation ocurred when I went to my local Italian deli to try and tried to ask if they had Bresaola (for those who have never had the stuff, think of it as being sort of the beef analog to proscuitto). The deli owner (who also dropped final syllables) said yes, and then asked if I wanted veal, pork, or chicken! After a great deal of confusuion I finally dawned on me that because of the way hew was used to pronocing it, he though I want some bracciole!

                            1. re: jumpingmonk
                              DGresh Jan 9, 2012 03:29 PM

                              I live in suburban NYC and I had *exactly* the same problem!

                      3. c
                        chazzerking Sep 21, 2007 09:47 AM

                        closest i can do in writing is yee rose with the y really being a soft gutteral and the r rolled with the second sylable slightly accented.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: chazzerking
                          melon Sep 21, 2007 09:50 AM

                          I have always been taught that it is pronounced yee-ro. But now I live in a mostly Greek neighborhood in New York and everyone pronounces it Jai-ro, I think to prevent confusion between Yee-ro and HEro, which is what they call subs/hoagies/grinders in NYC. I love it.

                          1. re: melon
                            Adrienne Sep 23, 2007 10:59 AM

                            I am from New York and grew up saying it as you describe -- and I always thought we must do that because we call long sandwiches Heros (instead of hoagies, grinders, or poboys, which they have been called in the cities I've lived in since leaving home). But I also have basically only ordered Gyros at Gyro II by Penn station for years, because I love them, and I usually just order "3 regular, with everything, to go," and have thus avoided pronouncing Gyro at all!

                        2. Chew on That Sep 21, 2007 09:49 AM

                          My understanding is that it is (h)yeer-oh. The worst is when people use the "g" sound, which I'm guilty of doing from time to time when I'm completely not thinking about it.

                          1. jfood Sep 21, 2007 10:13 AM

                            jfood has probably ordered hundreds of these things in his life, absolutely loves them (right up there with falaffel).

                            For 40 years he ordered them by the name jie-roh. And guess what every gyro maker knew what he was asking for. then the political correctness hits jfood along with a deeper appreciation of correct pronunciation due to increased worldly travel and he learned to call them hee-rohs. Whether that's correct or not, who knows but in the end jfood received the same sandwich whether he called jie-roh or hee-roh.

                            it's beginning to feel like poe-tae-toe vs poe-tah-toe and bay-zil versus bah-zil. And the emporer put his clothes back on. Whew.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: jfood
                              fara Sep 22, 2007 09:08 PM

                              and i learned recently the correct pronunciation of falafel is "faleffel." not fal-aHfel. had no idea.

                              1. re: fara
                                hrhboo Sep 23, 2007 03:08 PM

                                Actually, both are correct. Whether one prounounces falafel one way or the other depends on which region of the middle east one is from. It's purely a difference in accent, and "fal-AH-fel" is the most commonly used Arabic pronunciation.

                                1. re: hrhboo
                                  melpy Dec 21, 2010 07:22 AM

                                  I was going to say...my Palestinian friends have always said fal-AH-fel.

                                  1. re: hrhboo
                                    cresyd Oct 2, 2012 03:58 AM

                                    Is the "falaffel" pronunciation the Egyptian dialect? If so then that would explain a widespread presence of it being said that way (as most Arabic language television comes from Egypt). However, speaking with an Egyptian Arabic dialect is still seen as more lower class.

                                    Palestinian/Jordanian Arabic does pronounce it fal-Ah-fel (as does Israeli Hebrew), but with all of the different spoken Arabic dialects you can probably get away with a wide variety of pronunciations.

                              2. steve h. Sep 21, 2007 08:54 PM


                                1 Reply
                                1. re: steve h.
                                  steve h. Sep 22, 2007 06:14 PM

                                  my italian stinks, too. but i insist on giving it a go every march.

                                2. ElJeffe Sep 22, 2007 06:33 PM

                                  Kind of like 'Hero' with a silent H. Try "Irrrrr-O"

                                  1. a
                                    Ali Sep 22, 2007 11:16 PM

                                    I'll agree with [most] everyone else on "proper pronunciation" of this word, seeing as to how I've only learned it recently myself. However, I'd like to state a few things in defense of those of us who just didn't know better and pronounced it with the hard g.

                                    1. Disney's Duck Tales: the scientist's name was Gyro, hard g. What can I say other than that most people of my generation and younger trust Disney and even think that "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" was written by Disney for the Lion King?

                                    2. The word gyroscope is pronounced with a hard g, and if you're familiar with gyroscope then see gyro, you're going to think the two words start with the same sound.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Ali
                                      SweetPea Sep 23, 2007 08:18 AM

                                      I thought a hard G was like gynecology and a soft G was like gymnasium and a silent G would be like gyro (the sandwich thing). Not that the Y following the G has anything to do with it; it was just my choices. We could do groceries and George, for example. Ah, the teacher in me rises up again.

                                    2. SweetPea Sep 23, 2007 08:12 AM

                                      Great. There's a Greek festival downtown today and my mission is to have one from a street vendor for lunch. I think I'll just point and say "I'll have one of those, please". Perhaps I'll be brave and ask how to say it.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: SweetPea
                                        SweetPea Sep 23, 2007 06:44 PM

                                        OK, they said it's pronounced year-o with a kind of rolling r.

                                      2. Woodside Al Sep 24, 2007 09:45 AM

                                        What's interesting to me is that this pronunciation varies even within the U.S. Where I grew up in Detroit, with its large Greek population, it's always called "hyee-roh." And the same is true in Chicago. But here in NYC it's always pronounced "jie-ro," even, much to my surprise, in a Greek neighborhood like Astoria. Which has led me to wonder if, like with the Italian food pronunciations cited above, this may reflect an internal dialect difference in Greece, or perhaps that one or the other pronunciation is anachronistic there. But during my travels in Greece, which was only from Athens south, they were always called "hyee-roh" (or, confusingly, "souvlaki"). They were also sometimes served with mustard and catsup...

                                        The first time I ever went into a gyro shop here in NYC and ordered a "hyee-ro" the man stopped and scrutinized my light-haired green-eyed face for a moment, and then said "you're not Greek, where you learn to say this word?"

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: Woodside Al
                                          ElJeffe Sep 24, 2007 10:03 AM

                                          Interesting, also, the Gyros in the US are all lamb. In Greece, they're typically pork. Its a pretty different taste, and the pork ones are much easier to eat for volume. I had one almost every day for lunch there, and didn't get that "I'm going to die" feeling I get the day after finishing a Gyros plate in the US.

                                          1. re: ElJeffe
                                            Woodside Al Sep 24, 2007 11:51 AM

                                            I think the lamb/pork thing is relatively recent too. A lot of items that were formerly made of lamb in Greece have been converted to pork in recent years as pork became much more widely and cheaply available after Greece joined the EU. Of course the food of most Greek-Americans precedes this change, hence the prevalence of lamb - and almost complete absence of pork - in Greek-American cuisine.

                                          2. re: Woodside Al
                                            meatn3 Sep 24, 2007 01:15 PM

                                            A gyro has meat sliced from a large piece that has been cooked on an upright rotisserie skewer, souvlaki is made with kabob sized chunks of meat.

                                            1. re: meatn3
                                              Woodside Al Sep 24, 2007 02:01 PM

                                              Ahhh, that's what I would have thought as well, and that has been my experience here in the U.S.. But in parts of Greece, particularly south of Athens, what we would call gyros is often called "souvlaki" too.

                                              1. re: Woodside Al
                                                meatn3 Sep 25, 2007 12:23 AM

                                                With roots in the "show me" state, you have just given me the perfect excuse for a Greek vacation! I recently ordered a souvlaki & my BF ordered a gyro, the only difference between them at this establishment was that the souvlaki had grilled onions in it. Wasn't what I expected but it still was tasty.

                                          3. s
                                            soupkitten Sep 24, 2007 03:28 PM

                                            yee-roh (r can be rolled). in ny it is JAI-roe though and if you pronounce it the way they do in greece you must be a rube. . .

                                            1. meatn3 Sep 28, 2007 08:24 PM

                                              interesting site:

                                              1. b
                                                bgrimsle Dec 16, 2010 12:57 PM

                                                What amuses me is all this talk about the so-called "proper" pronunciation of this word, and everybody has the last part of the word completely wrong.

                                                In Greek, you don't create plurals with a final "s". The word is "gyros". As in, "I'll have a gyros sandwich". It should always end in "s". That includes the pronunciation, too. And it's not the "z" sound you make when saying English plurals. It's a real "s", like the first letter in "soft".

                                                Of course, a reasonable person would point out that when words change language, they often get altered. No kidding. If this is correct, then this word should be gyro/gyros, and pronounced in the normal English way. "Gyroscope" doesn't have some silly, "correct Greek" pronunciation. And guess what? They're from the same Greek root (referencing the turning of both). But when "gyroscope" entered English, there wasn't a silly marketing campaign to try to confuse people. That would be the marketing campaign to make this dish sound like some authentic old Greek food. That's nonsense - this sandwich was invented in the US (either Chicago or New York).

                                                It makes complete common sense to pronounce this word with correct ENGLISH pronunciation. That's the language we speak here. We don't say "Par-ee", we say "Paris" - and there's a million other examples of this. Struggling to try to say this according to some snobbish nonsense rules that no one can even agree to (while Anglicizing the ending of the word completely anyway) is beyond foolish.

                                                14 Replies
                                                1. re: bgrimsle
                                                  DeppityDawg Dec 16, 2010 05:43 PM

                                                  Come on, it shouldn't surprise you that all of these experts on Modern Greek pronunciation also know everything about Modern Greek declension. When you order a sandwich, you should use accusative case: γύρο, with no ‹ς›.

                                                  And the rest of the sentence should also be in flawless Greek, otherwise your experience is not authentic.

                                                  1. re: bgrimsle
                                                    Chowrin Dec 16, 2010 06:27 PM

                                                    and a pea does not exist. Because pease was never plural in the first place. [backformations are funny, no?]

                                                    1. re: bgrimsle
                                                      sedimental Dec 16, 2010 07:25 PM

                                                      I think it sounds ridiculous when native English speakers attempt to (obviously) pronounce a word in the foreign language and dialect. I actually have a friend that says "Par-ee" and "corrects" me if I say "Paris". The first time I heard her do that...I thought she was joking (like with an exaggerated French accent) and I laughed. She does this with most words. She really sounds like a moron to me.

                                                      1. re: sedimental
                                                        Chowrin Dec 16, 2010 07:27 PM

                                                        if you're used to talking with people in a different language, you're going to use their terminology. Munchen!

                                                        1. re: Chowrin
                                                          linguafood Dec 17, 2010 09:01 AM

                                                          München, to be exact. And non-Germans who pronounce that correctly are rare.

                                                          1. re: linguafood
                                                            Chowrin Dec 19, 2010 04:49 PM

                                                            I try for "close as I can get it", and am always willing to take pointers ;-) can't expect an American to aspirate anything properly, so I'll always fail hindi.

                                                            1. re: linguafood
                                                              coney with everything Dec 20, 2010 07:41 AM

                                                              Munchen, steht da ein Hofbrauhaus?

                                                              1. re: coney with everything
                                                                linguafood Dec 20, 2010 07:53 AM

                                                                Last I heard.

                                                              2. re: linguafood
                                                                JungMann Dec 21, 2010 06:46 AM

                                                                Not Minga?

                                                                1. re: JungMann
                                                                  linguafood Dec 21, 2010 07:59 AM

                                                                  Whoa. Hardcore Bavarian, dude!

                                                                  (Sorry, Westerner here - that dialect is evil)

                                                            2. re: sedimental
                                                              rasputina Jan 16, 2012 01:59 PM

                                                              How bizarre, especially since being a native English speaker does not mean that one isn't multilingual.

                                                            3. re: bgrimsle
                                                              Steve Dec 21, 2010 05:58 AM

                                                              There is no hard and fast 'rule' about which words get the English treatment, and which do not. Yes, everyone says Paris, not Par-ee, but nobody pronounces Lyon like lion, and Marseilles is never Mar-sales. Although the town in Indiana named after the palace is pronounced Ver-sales, it makes them sound clueless.

                                                              Personally, I think food should get the original treatment, not the English version. So I am skeptical when a restaurant claims it is making authentic Italian paninis.

                                                              1. re: Steve
                                                                linguafood Dec 21, 2010 08:00 AM

                                                                You should visit Dubois in PA (we have a Fursales, too, btw).

                                                                1. re: Steve
                                                                  chowser Dec 21, 2010 02:21 PM

                                                                  How far would you take it? Do you go to a restaurant that sells pizzas, or only pizze? What about char su baos? That's how I'd say it. Would we need to know the language and how to make it plural in that language?

                                                                  If "mispronunciations" bother you, whatever you do, just don't try to pronounce the names of stately homes/manors in Britain. I never get it right.

                                                              2. Jasz Dec 16, 2010 05:04 PM

                                                                For whatever reason, the Greek letter "γ" is most often translated into English as a "g" but it's pronunciation is basically like a "y" so, as a Greek-Canadian, I would pronounce "γυρω" as "yee-roh" with the accent on the first syllable.

                                                                Also, as a Greek, I was surprised to hear someone say "phyllo" as "fie-loh" as we say "fee-loh." How do others here say it?

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Jasz
                                                                  rockandroller1 Dec 21, 2010 06:46 AM

                                                                  OMG I hate it when people say fie-loh.

                                                                2. b
                                                                  beevod Dec 17, 2010 06:24 AM

                                                                  If the Gee-row is good, why care how it's pronounced.

                                                                  1. FoodFuser Dec 17, 2010 07:03 AM

                                                                    If Superman or others of that crime fighting clan want to order
                                                                    then heck yes: they can say "He-ro"

                                                                    If aeronautical engineers spin up and balance up at the counter
                                                                    there's a good chance they're gonna say "Jie-ro"

                                                                    The rest of us plebes
                                                                    just want some good eats
                                                                    so we say something between
                                                                    and hand over our well-earned dinero.

                                                                    1. jgg13 Dec 17, 2010 07:09 AM

                                                                      I try to take my best guess as to what they want me to say. I always guess wrong.

                                                                      Me: "Can I have a jie-roh?"
                                                                      Them: "Oh, a yee-roh!"

                                                                      Me: "Can I have a yee-roh?"
                                                                      Them: "You mean a hee-roh?"

                                                                      Me: "Can I have a hee-roh?"
                                                                      Them: "Sure, what kinda sub do you want?"

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: jgg13
                                                                        viperlush Dec 17, 2010 08:20 AM


                                                                        I always enjoy it when,

                                                                        Me: "Can I have a jie-roh/yee-roh?"
                                                                        Order taker: "Would you like anything with your yee-roh/jie-roh?"
                                                                        Cook: "One jie-roh/yee-roh coming up."

                                                                        1. re: jgg13
                                                                          Pia Dec 20, 2010 07:46 AM


                                                                          I used to see signs up behind the counters of gyro (gyros?) places that showed someone enjoying a sandwich, and the text said, "It tastes better if you say it 'YEE-RO'."

                                                                        2. Withnail42 Dec 19, 2010 04:37 PM

                                                                          I have a greek friend and he has stated unequivocally that it is 'yee-roe'. I'll go by his word.

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Withnail42
                                                                            beevod Dec 20, 2010 06:53 AM

                                                                            Ditto with my Greek -- yeeeee-roe

                                                                            1. re: Withnail42
                                                                              jgg13 Dec 21, 2010 06:35 AM

                                                                              doesn't matter what it's supposed to be, the only thing that matters is what the person behind the counter thinks it is and if they can understand what you're saying.

                                                                              1. re: jgg13
                                                                                jumpingmonk May 14, 2011 03:43 PM

                                                                                Another really funny pronociation thing that happened to me a couple of weeks ago.

                                                                                I was in line at the Cheese counter at one of the local supermakets. At this place the "nice" cheese area was next to the deli, and due to staffing issues they were being staffed by the same person.
                                                                                In front of me was a little old lady. Whne I was her turn, she turned to the deli counter and said, in thickly German accented English "Can I haff Halve ein pound of Boarkase".) The counter person, obligingly goes over to the nice cheese side and picks up the partial wheel of Boerkaas (Farmer's Gouda) preparing to cut the slice. The Woman seeing hin says "Nie nein, Boarkase". The clerk (and me by now) look confused so the woam says "Boarkase, there" and points to the deli counter, to a deli slicing block of BOAR'S HEAD American Cheese!

                                                                            2. f
                                                                              fennelpdx Jun 23, 2011 05:34 PM

                                                                              I HAVE to comment. I've read here many times and have never posted, but wound up here today after having googled this very question. I live in PDX, and there was a food cart (yeah, shocker, a food cart in Portland) and they were saying they had the best gyros in town. Eh? So, I read their sign, and it says "How do you produce gyro?" . . . and it was something like jai-roh... I was planning on ordering until I saw that. I have no Greek in me, but being born in and spending all my youthful summers in Chicago, where gyro stands were on the corners like the taco stands were when I later lived in California Bay Area...I seriously didn't trust it, because it was always something like year ohs (with the s even). And the best darn falafel I'e ever had was in San Jose at the Falafel Drive-In, so I never managed to try their gyros, but they also pronounced it the same.

                                                                              1. l
                                                                                LeoLioness Jun 24, 2011 08:15 AM

                                                                                I say "year-oh", my partner says "ji-roh". At any rate, we've always been understood by whomever we were ordering our sandwiches from.

                                                                                1. EWSflash Jul 3, 2011 08:24 AM

                                                                                  I was never so shocked in my life as when I hear Martha Stewart pronounce it "jai-roh" several times. Even my young son made fun of it.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                    LorenM Jul 3, 2011 10:14 AM

                                                                                    The last few years I have tried to pronounce it correctly (though I know most restauranteurs don't really care). The native Greek owner of my local gyros/ Greek place always gives a slight smile when I order it though I'm not sure if it is because I am pronouncing it correctly or totally butchering it.
                                                                                    I think he is amused at the attempt, anyway, which is good enough for me to keep using it.

                                                                                  2. s
                                                                                    somervilleoldtimer Jul 7, 2011 07:40 PM

                                                                                    I say "schwarma". No, seriously, I try it every possibly way, the (non-greeks) who run my local pizza place laugh politely, and then I get my sandwich.

                                                                                    1. m
                                                                                      mdellyd Jan 9, 2012 09:36 AM

                                                                                      It is pronounced yeer-oh, or hee-roh in Greece, but who cares how it is pronounced in Greece.

                                                                                      This is America, and we pronounce it Jai-Row like the Gyrocopter.

                                                                                      1. m
                                                                                        Mr Porkchop Jan 13, 2012 11:42 AM

                                                                                        Almost all Southern Californians say "year-oh." I suspect because there were a series of Jack in the Box commercials when they were introduced there ~15 years ago that made "it's pronounced year-oh" part of the marketing.

                                                                                        It seems like 99% of gyro eaten in the US is pretty much the same giant cylinder of Kronos spiced hot dog meat (talk about "huge weenie"), so I don't know why people get focused on pronouncing something authentically when they have little regard for eating it that way. It's kind of like worrying about someone's Spanish when in line at Taco Bell.

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Mr Porkchop
                                                                                          sandylc Oct 1, 2012 04:14 PM


                                                                                          1. re: sandylc
                                                                                            Tonto Oct 4, 2012 04:56 PM

                                                                                            soft g- ear-oh

                                                                                          2. re: Mr Porkchop
                                                                                            monkeyrotica Oct 2, 2012 03:50 AM

                                                                                            If you think Kronos cylinder gyro is inauthentic, you should try their "zero prep" "gyro strips." Imagine a flattened hotdog crossbred with bologna. Seems like many of the eateries that used to sell Kronos cylinder gyros are switching to this inedible abomination.


                                                                                          3. b
                                                                                            Burghfeeder Jan 16, 2012 01:50 PM

                                                                                            I went to my favorite local gyro shop on Pittsburgh's South Side this afternoon. Walked up to the counter and ordered a hee-roh. The guy yells to the cook, "another Gyro to go!"


                                                                                            1. g
                                                                                              granolanola Feb 18, 2012 10:10 PM

                                                                                              It is even closer to 'Yee -doh' than it is to 'Yeer-oh' You open your mouth with a slight smile saying 'Yee' then you close it (like somebody just pinched your butt when you didn't expect it, finishing with 'doh.' Thus, a quick 'yee-doh.' Either way is much better than how my parents pronounce it, which is, 'Jeer -oce.' There isn't even an 's' in the singular. WTF mom and dad!

                                                                                              1. f
                                                                                                FoodPopulist Feb 20, 2012 11:48 AM

                                                                                                I guess y'all need to find a place where you can order a gyro by asking for Plate #1 or Combo #3.

                                                                                                1. PotatoHouse Oct 1, 2012 01:40 PM

                                                                                                  I pronounce it with kind of a thick "y" sound in the back of my mouth.

                                                                                                  1. GraydonCarter Oct 1, 2012 08:46 PM

                                                                                                    How do you pronounce tzatziki? "Cucumber yogurt sauce"

                                                                                                    Don't you just want a Gyros sandwich now? Spicy Shawarma meat, onions, tomato, french fries, and tzatziki sauce rolled into a pita...

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: GraydonCarter
                                                                                                      PotatoHouse Oct 2, 2012 03:36 AM

                                                                                                      Cruel...you are so cruel...

                                                                                                      1. re: GraydonCarter
                                                                                                        Chowrin Oct 2, 2012 06:55 PM


                                                                                                      2. 1
                                                                                                        1thruten Dec 10, 2013 06:50 PM

                                                                                                        You're correct with the Greek pronunciation thing. In Greece, its pronounced with a sort of sound which is a mixture of "g", "y" and "h" sounds, which is a sound Americans don't use in their language, therefore they cant actually say the correct "noise".

                                                                                                        In English however, (if you can't pronunce it the Greek way) it should be pronounced "year"-oh. (This is coming from a Greek how has ordered many of these hard-to-pronounce meals in his life).

                                                                                                        1. Gastronomos Dec 11, 2013 09:10 AM

                                                                                                          In the USA it's Gyro, like Gyroscope.

                                                                                                          "You know, the Greek sandwich thing."

                                                                                                          actually, that isn't alltogether correct. The Gyro (pronounced like 'gyroscope' or 'gyrate') is the stack of meat on a vertical spit/rotisserie and is what rotisserie means in Greek, whereas the spit would be a 'souvla', diminutive, souvlaki, which can also, but not always, like the gyro, be placed in a pita with choice of accompanyments, such as, but not limited to, tomato, onion, parsley, tzatziki, cucumber. The one thing that NEVER, EVER goes into a pita sandwich that holds Gyro or Souvlaki is lettuce. Of any kind or denomination. EVER.

                                                                                                          All around the USA and UK and Germany etc we find regional variations to gyros. Doner, doner kabob, schwarma, donkey meat, etc.

                                                                                                          And we find some people insistent on the Greek pronounciation of gyro as 'yearo', 'ghee-ro', yee-rho', whatever. I see it as gyro as in gyroscope. And i say it like this, despite the fry cooks insistance on any other way of pronouncing it.

                                                                                                          If in your area you can order "a Gyros", then it REALLY makes NO difference how you say it, as we have already jumped the shark with "Can I get a Gyros" anyways.

                                                                                                          P.S. "Give me about $7 and call it whatever you like" is the usual attitude anyways...

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Gastronomos
                                                                                                            Tripeler Mar 4, 2014 05:23 PM

                                                                                                            So if I order a Doner Kebab made with offal, would it be an Organ Doner Kebab?

                                                                                                            1. re: Tripeler
                                                                                                              Gastronomos Mar 4, 2014 06:00 PM

                                                                                                              LOL ! Yeah !

                                                                                                          2. Disneyfreak Dec 11, 2013 09:12 AM

                                                                                                            ghee-row never gy (like gyrate) ro.

                                                                                                            1. l
                                                                                                              labellemichelle Feb 17, 2014 02:43 PM

                                                                                                              It's pronounced doh-NAIR.

                                                                                                              (Recently learned that this term is a Canadianism. Hehe)

                                                                                                              1. e
                                                                                                                ElizabethT Feb 28, 2014 02:27 PM

                                                                                                                I know this is old, but I have to weigh in! Even in the US - the G is silent. The correct pronunciation is the Greek pronunciation - which is closer to Yeer-oh. (I learned from a real Greek who ran a Greek restaurant, specializing in Gyro sandwiches. I'll consider him the ultimate authority!)

                                                                                                                Just watched an episode of Chopped, and everyone is pronouncing it wrong! So annoying!

                                                                                                                I know - Foodie issues! :D

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: ElizabethT
                                                                                                                  Gastronomos Feb 28, 2014 03:34 PM

                                                                                                                  As a reek, I'm sorry

                                                                                                                  1. re: ElizabethT
                                                                                                                    pedalfaster Feb 28, 2014 04:13 PM

                                                                                                                    I always thought it was pronounced like an old dude clearing his throat with an -O- at the end.

                                                                                                                  2. c
                                                                                                                    Candi123cavanaugh Apr 5, 2014 04:35 PM

                                                                                                                    Yeeros is the right pronunciation!

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: Candi123cavanaugh
                                                                                                                      Gastronomos Apr 5, 2014 05:32 PM


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