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What The Heck Is Up With All This "Chipolte" BS?????

WHAT is the deal with all these chefs and cooks I have seen on various TV shows mispronouncing chipotle as "chipolte"??? Any cook or chef that can't pronounce such a simple word should immediately be fired or have their restaurant taken away, as the case may be.

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  1. I noticed this recently myself, on a few cooking shows, and it annoys me no end. mrbushy and I just had a lengthy discussion as to whether it's easier for a native English speaker's tongue or brain to say/hear chipolte rather than chipotle.

    We are both English speaking, but mrbushy started life speaking Spanish, although you wouldn't know it now. We came to no conclusion. I hope this doesn't become a trend.

    1. And don't even get me started on "marscapone".....

      2 Replies
      1. re: acgold7

        I hear that all the time.

        And "tumeric".

      2. oh, FFS. I haven't heard that on Tv but agree that's pretty bad.

        1. Do you pronounce it as a native Spanish speaker or as a Nahuatl would? You seem to be focusing on, or hearing, an inversion of the final tl. But what about the vowels? How do you pronounce the first syllable?


          16 Replies
          1. re: paulj

            Well, my wife is fluent in Spanish so I tend to pronounce it that way, "Cheepohtlay".

            1. re: paulj

              Great article, and great point, paulj. If we are going to be meticulous about chipotle, then maybe we should call chocolate xocolatl, too.

              1. re: luckyfatima

                Isn't the last l silent there? Like in 'quetzalcoatl?'

                1. re: gilintx

                  Let me consult wikipedia-

                  The -l- is not silent. For speakers of Nahuatl -tl- is considered one sound, but it isn't one sound for linguists. (Perhaps just like our English j is actually a combo of two sounds /dʒ/ but native English speakers think of it as one.) I have read before that the final -tl should be pronounced something like the -tle in our English word little, but for sure this is an approximation since the actual sound doesn't exist in our English phonemic inventory.

                  Here is how Quezalcoatl is written according to its phonemic context in IPA: [ketsaɬˈko.aːtɬ]

                  According to wikipedia, the /ɬ/ is how the final l sound is written in IPA. It's not silent. It is a voiceless alveolar lateral fricative.


                  1. re: luckyfatima

                    I'm tracing that final 'tl' or 'tle' in chilpoktle to :


                    which indicates that it is sounds like 'ch' in beach

                    So the Nahuatl for smoked pepper might be more like

                    cheel POK che

                    if that's the case 'chipotle' isn't much closer than 'chipolte'

                1. re: linguafood

                  Speaker of a dialect of Aztecan/Nahuatl dialect or a Nahuan language. A Nahua person...? I just looked at wikipedia and it seems that the various indigenous groups that speak Nahuatl dialects also have a variety of ethnonyms. Anyway, I got what paulj meant, how uber-correct must we be? Shouldn't we go to the indigenous pronunciation if we are going to be sticklers?

                  1. re: luckyfatima

                    Oh. I read it that he meant to be uber-correct and being a stickler.

                    My bad.

                2. re: paulj

                  Say cheeepotlay, cheepotle, chipotlay, whatever but at least keep the letters in order of pronunciation or you could argue that potchilay is just as accurate. Unless of course, you're Brett Favre.

                  1. re: chowser

                    There are degrees of accuracy. One measure is how likely it is that your listeners or readers will understand. We are quite used to taking clues from the context to compensate for errors in transmission, regardless of whether those errors are produced by the speaker, wind noise, or radio static.

                    I can type 'chipolte' and Google will respond 'Showing results for chipotle" (it is a simple 2 letter transpose)

                    But if I type 'potchilay' I get 'Did you mean: patchily, pytchley, poto chile, potchelli'

                    Because of the context I interpret that as an anagram of 'chipotle'. Without the context I would not have any idea of what you are talking about.

                    In typing 2 letter transposes are quite common, so common that editors like Emacs have simple commands for correcting them. They aren't as common in the spoken language, but still not unheard of.

                    1. re: paulj

                      "There are degrees of accuracy."

                      There is accuracy and there are degrees of inaccuracy. There is abiding by the law and then there are degrees of breaking it. It has nothing to do w/ understanding it in context because I could come up w/ a bunch of letters and people might understand in context ("I love the oinking animal oiysngtos that bacon comes from").

                      Google expects typos/mispellings but that doesn't make it correct. I type in merignue pie and it gives me meringue pie. Without context you know what it means. But, it wouldn't be correct to say merignue pie even if everyone understood my intention. Maybe one day, it will be chipolte (and then we could argue about whether it's pronounced chipolt, chipoltee, kipolt, keepoltay, keepoolt), just irregardless is. However, I'm getting bright red underlines from CH on chipolte... not a word.

                  2. re: paulj

                    Well, how about just pronouncing the letters in the order in which they appear?
                    That doesn't really seem like such a "sticklerish" thing to ask.

                    1. re: chowyadoin99

                      Like 'acre'? Or 'battle'? Or 'cattle'?
                      (I could probably do the whole alphabet, but I'll stop at C)

                      1. re: cowboyardee

                        I'll finish out C for you: comfortable. Everyone I know (me included) says comf-ter-bull, as if the T preceded the R.

                        1. re: small h

                          I say comfor-table just for shits n giggles.

                          1. re: linguafood

                            It's a good way to sound like an old-school vampire.

                  3. i think Bobby Flay has finally stopped pronouncing it chipotalay. So odd that someone who is a heat and pepper expert can not say the word correctly. It seems he's heard enough criticism to change it.

                    3 Replies
                      1. re: monavano

                        I wouldn't be so sure. I'm almost positive I've heard chipotalay on his brunch show at least once.

                        1. re: BigE

                          I heard it out of him just this past week. Good grief!

                      2. I prefer authentic pronunciation but as someone with a background in linguistics I realize that it is unreasonable to expect correct articulation of foreign words with phonemes or phonemic combinations that aren't found in English. I speak Spanish and always say chipotle correctly but there may be many other dishes from other places that I say wrong but am not aware, or which are widely anglicized in pronunciation by native English speakers so we are all saying them wrong in one sense but in another sense the terms have become adopted in English and the foreign pronunciation has been nativized/anglicized. Sometimes using the original pronunciation marks you as someone in the know, a culinary insider of a cuisine, while in other contexts it just sounds pretentious. Has chipotle been established long enough in US English to mark someone saying it differently as 'wrong' or is it still a very new word for us? I think it is still new. I wonder how many average Americans say banh mi remotely correctly, though the sandwich has become so popular. I recently saw on the CH regional boards a banh mi place named Bunn Mi, probably to promote a pronunciation that is nearer to the correct one (without the tonality, of course) instead of 'incorrect' but widely said baahn mi.

                        You guys should hear how people in many countries say fajitas. Due to global dominance of US popular culture, there are Tex-Mex joints in all corners of the globe. I know from personal experience that you will get blank stares in Karachi if you order fajitas and say it in an American anglicized pronunciation, keeping the j as jota, and not faahjTaaas (stress on final syllable, j as j, T is hard retroflex T). I can only imagine how I would hear chipotle there. On the other hand, I don't expect everyone in the US to realize that the tikka in chicken tikka is a short /i/ (and also the initial dental /t/ doesn't exist in US English, either) and it is not chicken teeka, one of many many "mispronunciations."

                          1. re: E Eto

                            LOL. That's a good one. ¡Chipótlete!

                            1. re: E Eto

                              Funny commercial! Now I want that sauce...

                              1. re: E Eto

                                The commercial claims the chipotle gives it an 'authentic southwest flavor'. But this pepper is Mexican, not New Mexican.

                                1. re: E Eto

                                  I forgot how much I loved that commercial when it came out...

                                2. I know, when I hear it mispronounced I just want to go nucular on them!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: grant.cook

                                    LOL. Perhaps we can add some chipolte to some swisshard with mascarpon.

                                  2. While that kind of thing also grates on me a little, I've learned that brilliance comes in many ways and shapes, and that oftentimes, it is compartmentalized. I've worked with people who are brilliant with economics and science and then manage to botch the simplest of unfamiliar words to hell.

                                    Some of us have language and culinary talents that intersect, but while it's hard to understand how Bobby Flay has been adding an extra syllable to chipotle for about 10 years now without correcting it (I just read upstream that he has been lately), it doesn't discredit his cooking ability or authority to me in the least.

                                    1. I think "mispronunciation" of words from other languages/cultures/disciplines tend to grate those familiar with the given language or term. Chipoatlatay, nookyalur, tohkeeyoh - oh my... But I guess this is all a part of the evolutionary process of languages. I'm guessing those who spoke "proper" Latin were severely disgusted at those who contorted "their" language...

                                      1. Please, after a lifetime of listening to people who flat refuse to pronounce "hal-a-pain-yo," chipOLtay barely even registers to me. (And don't get me started on pee-cans.)

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: shanagain

                                          True. You have to pick your battles. When chefs, tv "chefs" mispronounce words, it's grating.

                                          1. re: monavano

                                            This sort of thing does get on my nerves too but I try to ignore it, despite my OCD tendencies
                                            :-). The tipping point for me came a dozen or so years ago when my parents came back from Indonesia and told me that Java is actually pronounced closer to Jawa. I realized that if I was going to get too picky, I'd hafta start calling the caffeinated stuff by a name I associate with very short, hairy Star Wars characters. Just couldn't go there, even to be "right."

                                        2. I have room for forgiveness for mispronunciation
                                          for words like "chipotles"
                                          as long as they pull their tongues off their soft palates
                                          and pick up the peppers and just cook with them.

                                          But it's hard to take slurred speech
                                          when they're working with slurry
                                          of the gift of chipotle mayonnaise.

                                          1. I'm forgiving of mispronunciations with food terms when it just is from ignorance and unfamiliarity with the ingredient. My brother was intrigued by a salad with shitake mushrooms and told our server he wanted the shit-takes. It was funny.

                                            1. If everyone you speak to, work with, and serve calls it "chipoltay," then the correct pronunciation for you is, in fact, "chipoltay."

                                              Just like 'jairoh,' 'marscapone' and the bulk of the English language.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                Late to this party but it's nice to hear from the linguistics department, as opposed to the English department. Languages function through speakers who hear and yes, mis-hear. Only dead languages can maintain consistent rules.

                                              2. I swear I'm going to hell for picking on Daphne Oz (The Chew) again, but today Carla was making beignets and said it (correctly) several times when Daphne asked her about the "begnets" she was making.

                                                1. Just remember that, in the Tidewater, bam has three syllables.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Karl S

                                                    Funny! I remember some time ago seeing Emma Thompson on TV doing Shakespeare and we had to laugh because it sounded as though she put every vowel into the word "no"!

                                                  2. Mispronunciations aside, I'm sick of the term period. Aren't you?

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: CharlieTheCook

                                                      Are you sick of the word or the ingredient?

                                                      If the ingredient, I think I can relate, as I tire of the flavor of it easily.

                                                      1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                        It's a nice ingredient for occasional use, not as a regular fallback. I have a few recipes that really benefit from it.

                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                          Agreed. I use it, but I'll just say I prefer not to have it two days in a row.

                                                    2. I'd like to be able to listen to such a mispronounciation - repeatedly via a video clip. Who does this most often? I may have heard it, but I probably ignored the order of the consonants due to mishandling of the vowels.

                                                      By the way, Google gives me 10 links for the 'lt' version, but tries its darnest to redirect me to the 'tl' form. Even Freedictionary redirects me.

                                                      1. I couldn't agree more, and that goes for the people who pronounce mascarpone as marscapone. Line them up and give them an electrical shock, let the correction come to them en masse.

                                                        1. Agree with the mispronunciation. As for the peppers, I've been eating them over 40yrs. Nothing new by me

                                                          18 Replies
                                                          1. re: scubadoo97

                                                            The worst is when people (such as waiters) correct you with the wrong pronunciation. I once ordered bruschetta----pronouncing it using the Italian pronunciation "brusketta"---and the waiter said, "oh you mean the 'brushetta'?"

                                                            My other pet peeve is "so-MAH-lee-ay" for sommelier.

                                                            Sure, we don't all have to pronounce things exactly as in the original language, but some attempt to actually look at how the thing is spelled and come close would be appreciated. Then again, these words are often misspelled, even on the menus of high-end restaurants ("proscuitto" is a big one; along with the by-now-called-out "marscapone"; and there are infinitely many incorrect spellings of cappuccino.)

                                                            1. re: bella_sarda

                                                              My favorite one is how menus mess with "au jus". For example: "with au jus".

                                                              1. re: bella_sarda

                                                                LOL. Sommelier. It's not just a mispronounced country in Africa, :P

                                                                1. re: bella_sarda

                                                                  Which is closer to the spelling of 'bruschetta':
                                                                  I used the 'sh' form until I saw it discussed on this form. Yes 'sch' is closer to 'sk' in 'school'; but is there a midword example?

                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                    In Italian, ch- is pronounced "k-". So the s- before it makes it sound like "sk-". It's "brusketta." What do you mean by a "midword example"?

                                                                    1. re: Kitchen Imp

                                                                      but I'm responding to " some attempt to actually look at how the thing is spelled and come close would be appreciated." - as an English speaker without any knowledge of Italian.

                                                                      When I look at 'bruschetta' my English speaking reflexes want to to say 'sh'. I asking for a common English word that might point me in correct Italian direction. I guess the pronunciation of an unfamiliar word based similarity to words that I do know. I suspect Bella_sarda's waiter did the same.

                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                        Good point, paulj. The reason many of us come up with "sh-" for "sch-" is because we're more accustomed to German-borrowed words in English than Italian. (Think of all those familiar last names that start with "sch-", like Schneider.) It's interesting that either way, it's from an foreign-language source.

                                                                        As for familiar English words - how about "schedule"?

                                                                        *edited to add* - Ah, I see what you mean about a midword example. Now you've set a challenge! Will ponder this.

                                                                    2. re: paulj

                                                                      Aeschylus, eschar, eschatology, ischemia, maraschino, moschiferous, paschal. Not counting things like "reschedule", "unschooled", "mischristen", and, of course, "autoschediastic".

                                                                      But I think there are more examples where medial ‹sch› is pronounced like "sh" (groschen) or "s-ch" (eschew). This explains why lots of people say "brew-SHET-a", but why doesn't anyone think it's "bruce-CHET-a"?

                                                                      1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                        I give 'schedule' the same hard sound I give 'school'. But isn't there an alternative (Bristish?) pronunciation with the soft sound?

                                                                        The ones like paschaland escatology have Greek roots, probably 'chi'.

                                                                        'maraschino' appears to be Italian (with the final o), but I give the sch the soft sound. Is that 'wrong'?

                                                                        'mischristen' splits the s and ch, and the ch is again the Greek 'chi'.
                                                                        'unschooled' of course derives from 'school'

                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                          Yes. Maraschino, being yet another word of Italian origin, has the same s-k pronunciation as bruschetta.

                                                                          I've heard Brits use only the soft sch in schedule.

                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                            I don't think I've ever heard the 'skee' form, at least not when referring to the cheeries
                                                                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maraschi... lists both forms. But these cherries are as Americanized as the name.
                                                                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maraschino the liqueur only lists 'skee', but that's unfamiliar territory for me.

                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                              Well, not having grown up in the US, but in a small country fairly close to Italy, I grew up pronouncing it the Italian way.

                                                                              Tho, frankly, I wouldn't be surprised to hear Germans say brushetta. I'm just smarter than they are '-)

                                                                    3. re: bella_sarda

                                                                      Because bruSHetta follows the somewhat rules of English pronunciation, I can understand why people say it that way (though it is a personal peeve of mine), but it's the correction that really grates...

                                                                      1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                        "oh you mean the 'brushetta'?" could interpreted as a correction, or it could have been an attempt to make sure he heard right. I could picture myself asking a similar question if I heard someone talk about 'mariskino cherries' yesterday.

                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                          Good way to look at it, paulj.

                                                                          I'm just projecting because I've had people adamantly and vehemently correct me when I say brusKetta. (Not servers, mind you.) :)

                                                                      2. re: bella_sarda

                                                                        The bruschetta one bugs the shit out of me.

                                                                        1. re: bella_sarda

                                                                          I am 100% with you using the spelling to sound the word out. People can't be expected to accurately pronounce every language, but if they are going to mispronounce something, the guess should at least be based on spelling. In the case of "chipotle", people pronounce the "o" correctly, but can't manage to recognize the order of the consonants. Goodness.

                                                                      3. For a while I talked about 'cojita cheese', until my 12yr old son corrected me. I don't think I'm dyslexic, but I do have a tendency to read words quickly and without detailed attention to spelling. Likewise it is possible that the individuals who use 'chipolte' started with a quick reading of the printed word. Either that or they learned it from some else who had made that mistake.

                                                                        1. On West Wing, President Bartlet referred to a bottle of "WILL-uh-met" wine.

                                                                          I assume he meant Willamette . (It's will-AM-et, for you East Coasters).

                                                                          1. When I first saw "trattoria" in print, I had no idea which was the accented syllable.
                                                                            Also, when I try to act cool and order bourbon the way Humphrey Bogart pronounces it in Cacablanca....bore-bon, rather than burr-bon...barkeeps look at me like I must have been hit in the mouth with a hockey puck recently.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Veggo

                                                                              I also was at a loss as how to say trattoria, until I saw a clue from someone. Make it sound sorta like "Mamma Mia".

                                                                            2. Another good one: expresso.

                                                                              I've actually had baristas "correct" me on this one. Aggravating.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Josh

                                                                                Some times when espresso is misspelled on a forum it might be that the S and X are adjacent on the keyboard. I've hit the x by mistake a few times

                                                                                1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                  I suspect 'x' more often comes from a belief that the word or process has something to do with 'express', either in the sense of 'squeeze out' or 'rapid'.

                                                                                2. re: Josh

                                                                                  Yet another one I've been adamantly and vehemently argued with about.

                                                                                3. You are one tough critic. But I can't fault you because I have a similar pet peeve. Mine is the destruction of the beautiful Italian language. It starts with the word 'panini' that is used as if it indicates a single sandwich. Panini is the plural of panino. A panino is a roll. A panino imbottito is a filled roll or sandwich.

                                                                                  Living in the vicinity of one of the larger cities where there is a large number of people of Italian descent, it bothers me when they add an 's' to Italian words that are already plural. Cases in point are paninis, raviolis, spaghettis, and cannolis just to name a few.

                                                                                  Also if I'm in the neighborhood in which Americans of Italian heritage live during Easter time, which happens when we dine at our daughter's mother-in-laws home on Easter Sunday, and I wish the locals 'Buona Pasqua', they look at me like I'm from another planet.

                                                                                  I guess I am making a mountain outta a mole hill since 'i miei antenati non erano italiani' (My ancestors were not Italian).

                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: ChiliDude

                                                                                    Guy Fieri makes lots of money on television talking about and cooking food, and he says "BASALMIC." Every. Time.

                                                                                    It's astonishing, I agree. Other favorites are "marshcapone" (or any number of other butcherings), al danti (I heard a very good chef say this once. I think he was drunk though) and so many more.

                                                                                    1. re: nihongojoe

                                                                                      No surprise, since he doesn't even pronounce his own surname properly. If your tongue can't manage to roll the "r", just pronounce it straight, don't turn it into "dd".

                                                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                                                        [Quote] "The best approximation for a rolled "r" by Americans and the English is to use a "d-" or soft "t-," as in Fieddi or Fietti." [/Quote] http://guyfieri.blogspot.com/2009/01/...

                                                                                        1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                          Wonder if he refers to the pastry flavoring as "fiodde di sicilia"......if it's even a term with which he is familiar. I was not aware he'd changed his name. Changing your surname to one you can't pronounce is almost as odd as Prince's adopting a pronunciation-less glyph, or Sean Combs' revolving names. IMO, it all smacks of self-absorption, probably as overcompensation for lack of self-esteem.

                                                                                          1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                            I wish the soy sauce/shoyu maker Kikkoman would read this thread. I caught one of their "sponsor" commercials while watching a cooking program on the CREATE channel, and not only did the voiceover mispronounce keek-ko-mahn as keekohmahn, they also pronounced Japanese-style fried chicken, karaage, without rolling the "r" as well. Can't expect anyone to pronounce anything correctly if the home team gets it wrong as well...

                                                                                    2. Ok, while it all bugs me intensely, I can always allow that someone is unfamiliar with pronunciation and/or hears everyone else say it that way, or they can't wrap their tongue around certain combinations (the old Wendy's commercial where Dave never could get the hang of saying 'chipotle' was pretty funny).

                                                                                      That said, I'm starting a world wide movement to poke with a fork anyone who says 'vinegarette'.

                                                                                      Bruschetta might be the very worst of all, if only for this dilemma; when everyone at your table is saying 'brushetta' do you say 'brusketta' and risk either being thought you're saying it wrong or trying to correct the whole table, or do you just start saying 'brushetta' and order an extra glass of wine to get you through it?

                                                                                      19 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: mlou72

                                                                                        It's easiest to say bruschetta, drink the wine, and get slosked.

                                                                                        1. re: mlou72

                                                                                          Why use the Italian word in the first place? Just call it toast or toast with a tomato relish (or Italianish salsa). Your friends probably think 'brusheta' means the topping, not the toast.

                                                                                            1. re: E Eto

                                                                                              Would a Spanish speaker get a dressing down for using pan con tomate? :)

                                                                                              It's somewhat interesting that the Spanish Wiki page for this pan, mentions the similar Italian item using the fuller ' bruschetta al pomodoro' name.

                                                                                            2. re: paulj

                                                                                              My kids don't like to pronounce it so they ask me to make "that thing with the bread and tomatoes and green stuff." I'm ok with that :)

                                                                                            3. re: mlou72

                                                                                              I always pronounce it brusketta. I don't care what people think.

                                                                                              1. re: mlou72

                                                                                                I pronounce these words properly, and if anyone tries to "correct" me with their defective pronunciation, I give their metaphorical choke collars a sharp jerk, followed by a pedantic lecture.
                                                                                                I am no fun at all.

                                                                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                        Okay. Me four. Methinks sometimes I'll get an ulcer from controlling myself from correcting folks' butchering of "vinaigrette" and "mascarpone" and "paprika." No fun am I. No fun at all, I tell you.

                                                                                                        1. re: EdjuCat

                                                                                                          How do you hear people mispronounce paprika? Either I've never heard it mispronounced or everyone I know (myself included) 'mispronounces' it.

                                                                                                          1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                            Paula Deen always said "papa-rica." And so does some other Food Network luminary, but I can't recall who.

                                                                                                            1. re: EdjuCat

                                                                                                              The dictionaries list 2 (at least) pronunciations, differing mainly on which syllable is stressed. And as is normal in English, the unstressed vowel becomes an undifferentiated schwa.

                                                                                                              This is a borrowed word, 'pepper' that has passed through Hungarian and Serbo-Croatian.

                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                I never resist enlightenment. Thanks for that info.

                                                                                                            2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                              BTW, I love your user name. Very clever.

                                                                                                          2. I think someone mispronouncing does not make them know less what they are talking about. I hear people mispronounce just about every french word they use here. They still know what they mean. Their "boof"(boeuf) is not less beef because they say boof.

                                                                                                            With something like food, and so many languages involved, no one could ever pronounce everything correctly.

                                                                                                            The only moment I do think someone should be put in their place is when they are being snobbish a-holes and using a word to belittle someone else, while mispronouncing it.

                                                                                                            Other than that, it's about the food and how it tastes really. For me anyways. Life is too short. And sometimes it's funny. I just recently told my husband I don't watch soap O-pay-rahs. I had the opportunity to learn and laugh!

                                                                                                            1. I went to lunch once with my boss and he ordered a Nick-o-see salad. Salad Nicoise. I almost cracked up but naturally could not. Another time I was out with a friend who ordered a Capreese appetizer. Caprese. It was funny but I guess this is how language evolves, right?

                                                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: babs2010

                                                                                                                Boss orders Nick-o-see salad? Poker face, poker face. That one is funny!

                                                                                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                  Hearing that, I would have gulped my wine and probably choked.

                                                                                                                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                    Speaking of wine, a friend's boss - big honcho at the BofA at the time - famously pronounced pinot noir as "pine-not no-ear". This in San Francisco! And it was his favorite wine!

                                                                                                                      1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                        HE WASN'T!!! Honest to God. She bout died of embarassment when he said it (ordering wine in a restaurant).

                                                                                                                      2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                        My kids first tried to pronounce it, "pee-not noh-eer." We got a good laugh.

                                                                                                                  2. re: babs2010

                                                                                                                    Ah yes, it is ok to show off your superior knowledge to friends, inferiors and strangers, but not your superiors. :)

                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                      C'mon, paul, there are friends, strangers, and bosses, but there are no inferiors or superiors...

                                                                                                                    2. re: babs2010

                                                                                                                      Salade Niçoise is a tough one, along with Framboise (a raspberry lambic beer), because everyone always pronounces them as "nee-swah" and "fram-bwah".

                                                                                                                      1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                        Then there's the stereotypical haughty French waiter at Prairie Home Companion's "Cafe Boeuf" (which in Lake Wobegon is "berf"), announcing that he has accepted a position in a better restaurant in "Bwahzz", Idaho.....

                                                                                                                    3. When one wants a marinated fish dish and orders poke [pohk] salad, does one receive Southern greens instead?

                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: kauma

                                                                                                                        I don't care who you are, that's funny!

                                                                                                                        Did anyone post "jew-ler-ee" yet?

                                                                                                                        And yes, to the OP, chipolte drives me up the wall, both in printed and verbal form.

                                                                                                                        And while I'm at it... new location of a local Mex dive hired a window painter to announce they are
                                                                                                                        COMMING SOON to the new digs. Ayeeeeeeeeeee!!!

                                                                                                                          1. re: GroovinGourmet

                                                                                                                            we brits say jewlery though it's spelled jewellery but then we say libree, cematree, strawbree, rasbree, blackbree

                                                                                                                            but then you Yanks pronounce things strangely to us

                                                                                                                            1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                              Rumor has it that you say, "al-u-min-ium" - it this really true?

                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                  yes, in the UK it's most definitely aluminium.

                                                                                                                          2. It could be worse - I had a girlfriend once who called them chiptotals.

                                                                                                                            1. I praise our dear language
                                                                                                                              which gives lingual allowance
                                                                                                                              to Chipotles, and lots other words.

                                                                                                                              When we grow jalapenos,
                                                                                                                              and surreptitiously smoke them,
                                                                                                                              We embrace the chipotle
                                                                                                                              with not speakin', but eatin'.

                                                                                                                              1. I work in a plant that manufactures bottled salad dressings. Another one that I hear every day, and it makes me cringe, is "vinegar-ette" as opposed to "vinai-grette." Arrggghhh!

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: EdjuCat

                                                                                                                                  How about 'cannolis, spaghettis, paninis, raviolis' all of which do not need the 's' because they are already plural words due to ending with an 'i'. There is no singular for spaghetti like 'spaghetto', and the singulars for the other 3 are cannolo, panino, and raviolo.

                                                                                                                                2. Most people would not recognize a chipotle if they saw the wrinkled roasted ripe jalapeno chile. Rehydrated it makes a great Texas-style chili ingredient.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChiliDude

                                                                                                                                    Yes they do and they do pack a punch. Most of the canned chipotle in adobo is made from moritas.
                                                                                                                                    I rehydrate them to make my own chipotle.

                                                                                                                                    I also grind them dry to make chipotle powder

                                                                                                                                  2. It is annoying, but understandable, because there aren't many words that sound the way chipotle does, especially to an English speaker.

                                                                                                                                    1. The other day while walking the dog I met a birdwatcher. While talking about the bird at hand, I mentioned the larger woodpecker, the pileated. I used a short 'i'. She replied with some other fact, but used a long 'i'. I took it as a polite correction.

                                                                                                                                      But it turns out, birdwatchers have their own set of pronunciation feuds.
                                                                                                                                      Dr. Language Person's Guide to Bird Name Pronunciations

                                                                                                                                      " If it bothers you when people say it differently than you do, lighten up. They're just birds, for goodness sakes, and THEY don't care what you call them."

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                        Hmm.. never thought to pronounce it "pieleated".

                                                                                                                                      2. Wow, I was working in the kitchen yesterday with Guy Fieri on in the background, and he was making "fokasha".
                                                                                                                                        Nope, not focaccia, but FOKASHA.

                                                                                                                                        I was yelling "stop it! just stop!"

                                                                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                          Q. Why do we have all this buckwheat?
                                                                                                                                          A. Fo' kasha.

                                                                                                                                          Works for me.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                            Then again, he pronounces his name "Fee, eddie."

                                                                                                                                            1. re: chowser


                                                                                                                                              "Why did Guy change his last name from Ferry to Fieri?
                                                                                                                                              Guy changed his name when he got married in 1995; he wanted to honor his immigrant grandfather. blog post Guy's great-grandfather's name was Giuseppe Fieri. video

                                                                                                                                              The change occurred many years before beginning his FoodTV career. There are news articles going back to November of 1996 listing "Guy Fieri" (and not "Guy Ferry") as an owner of Johnny Garlic's.

                                                                                                                                              Moreover, Fieri is correctly pronounced with a rolled "r," known to linguists as the alveolar trill, as in the Spanish, Italian or Russian languages. The best approximation for a rolled "r" by Americans and the English is to use a "d-" or soft "t-," as in Fieddi or Fietti. See trivia questions."


                                                                                                                                              1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                The rolled "r", that I can't do correctly either, is a real pronunciation problem! A similar example of this type of thing is our "th" sound. Non-native English speakers have issues with this sound. That's why we hear a lot of "dee" and "dis/dees" instead of "the" and "this" out of people from other countries.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                I'm guessing that you met him then, as a friend of mine was instructed to pronounce it this way by Guy himself.
                                                                                                                                                This was supposed to be a reply to "Fee-Eddie," but it wound up down here.

                                                                                                                                              3. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                Could you enlighten this non-Italian speaker about what was so wrong about that?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                    In Italian, "ci" is pronounced as an English "ch". The Italian "ch" is pronounced like an English "k".

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                      I wish you could tell that to all the people -- including waiters -- who correct me when I order "brusketta" and not "brushetta".

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                        I found references to a Tuscan variation, where /tʃ/ → [ʃ] between vowels.


                                                                                                                                                        If that's applicable in this case, maybe the 'sha' is a dialectical alternative. But then I also read that the spelling is entirely different in Tuscany: Schiaciatta

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                          Interesting! But you have gone beyond my one semester of Italian!

                                                                                                                                                  2. This and poor pronunciation of words in general makes me insane, but lately I've started to let it go because, there's no point in being annoyed. Also my husband is one of the smartest people I know, but he says "nu-cue-ler", "EXpecially" and others that make me nuts. I told him it reflects not on his intelligence but on how others perceive his intelligence.
                                                                                                                                                    But, people are smart in different ways. A lot of folks struggle with pronouncing words correctly but they could do equations around me, or have more technical knowledge. So I don't see the point in letting it bother me just like it doesn't bother them that I can't, I dunno, take apart a carburetor.

                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: iheartcooking

                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, we should just have a nice cup of expresso and chill out...;-)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                          Otherwise, you might go nucular on me.