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

PotatoHouse Oct 8, 2011 04:22 PM

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.

  1. FoodFuser Nov 4, 2011 07:54 AM

    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. BobB Nov 4, 2011 07:36 AM

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

      1. k
        kauma Oct 17, 2011 05:51 PM

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

        6 Replies
        1. re: kauma
          GroovinGourmet Oct 17, 2011 08:41 PM

          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
            kauma Oct 18, 2011 02:47 PM

            Thanks, GG...you're funny too!

            1. re: GroovinGourmet
              smartie Oct 20, 2011 06:28 PM

              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
                sandylc Oct 20, 2011 07:09 PM

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

                1. re: smartie
                  sandylc Oct 20, 2011 07:10 PM

                  Or rumour.

                  1. re: sandylc
                    smartie Nov 5, 2011 02:47 PM

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

            2. b
              babs2010 Oct 16, 2011 01:55 PM

              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
                Veggo Oct 16, 2011 02:02 PM

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

                1. re: Veggo
                  bushwickgirl Oct 17, 2011 06:28 AM

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

                  1. re: bushwickgirl
                    buttertart Oct 17, 2011 03:35 PM

                    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: buttertart
                      bushwickgirl Oct 17, 2011 03:52 PM

                      I hope to hell he was joking.

                      1. re: bushwickgirl
                        buttertart Oct 17, 2011 04:32 PM

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

                      2. re: buttertart
                        bulavinaka Oct 17, 2011 06:57 PM

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

                  2. re: babs2010
                    paulj Oct 16, 2011 02:14 PM

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

                    1. re: paulj
                      Veggo Oct 16, 2011 02:18 PM

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

                    2. re: babs2010
                      Josh Oct 16, 2011 02:17 PM

                      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
                        greygarious Oct 17, 2011 12:41 PM

                        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. c
                      cactusette Oct 15, 2011 10:04 PM

                      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. mlou72 Oct 15, 2011 05:54 PM

                        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?

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: mlou72
                          Veggo Oct 15, 2011 06:00 PM

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

                          1. re: mlou72
                            paulj Oct 15, 2011 06:41 PM

                            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: paulj
                              E Eto Oct 16, 2011 12:52 AM

                              I just say pa amb tomaquet.

                              1. re: E Eto
                                paulj Oct 16, 2011 09:45 AM

                                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: mlou72
                              Josh Oct 15, 2011 06:46 PM

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

                              1. re: mlou72
                                greygarious Oct 15, 2011 07:05 PM

                                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
                                  sandylc Oct 15, 2011 09:02 PM

                                  I like you.

                                  1. re: greygarious
                                    bushwickgirl Oct 16, 2011 04:19 AM

                                    Me too.

                                    1. re: greygarious
                                      Terrie H. Oct 16, 2011 05:30 AM

                                      Me three.

                                  2. c
                                    ChiliDude Oct 13, 2011 05:56 PM

                                    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
                                      nihongojoe Oct 13, 2011 09:49 PM

                                      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
                                        greygarious Oct 15, 2011 07:01 PM

                                        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
                                          PotatoHouse Oct 16, 2011 12:41 PM

                                          [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
                                            greygarious Oct 16, 2011 01:15 PM

                                            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
                                              bulavinaka Oct 16, 2011 01:37 PM

                                              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. Josh Oct 13, 2011 03:18 PM

                                        Another good one: expresso.

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

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Josh
                                          scubadoo97 Oct 13, 2011 05:36 PM

                                          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
                                            paulj Oct 13, 2011 06:09 PM

                                            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
                                            inaplasticcup Oct 13, 2011 06:50 PM

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

                                          3. Veggo Oct 13, 2011 08:28 AM

                                            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
                                              Sharuf Oct 13, 2011 09:26 AM

                                              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. s
                                              Sharuf Oct 13, 2011 12:32 AM

                                              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. paulj Oct 12, 2011 06:52 PM

                                                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. scubadoo97 Oct 12, 2011 06:32 PM

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

                                                  18 Replies
                                                  1. re: scubadoo97
                                                    bella_sarda Oct 12, 2011 06:58 PM

                                                    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
                                                      sandylc Oct 12, 2011 07:05 PM

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

                                                      1. re: sandylc
                                                        greygarious Oct 15, 2011 07:29 PM

                                                        Au jus: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/658294
                                                        Mascarpone: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/600859

                                                      2. re: bella_sarda
                                                        inaplasticcup Oct 12, 2011 07:15 PM

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

                                                        1. re: bella_sarda
                                                          paulj Oct 12, 2011 08:00 PM

                                                          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
                                                            Kitchen Imp Oct 12, 2011 08:24 PM

                                                            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
                                                              paulj Oct 12, 2011 10:23 PM

                                                              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
                                                                Kitchen Imp Oct 13, 2011 07:56 AM

                                                                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
                                                              DeppityDawg Oct 13, 2011 08:34 AM

                                                              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
                                                                paulj Oct 13, 2011 09:29 AM

                                                                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
                                                                  linguafood Oct 13, 2011 09:31 AM

                                                                  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
                                                                    paulj Oct 13, 2011 10:38 AM

                                                                    I don't think I've ever heard the 'skee' form, at least not when referring to the cheeries
                                                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maraschino_cherry 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
                                                                      linguafood Oct 13, 2011 11:11 AM

                                                                      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
                                                              inaplasticcup Oct 13, 2011 01:20 PM

                                                              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
                                                                paulj Oct 13, 2011 03:19 PM

                                                                "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
                                                                  inaplasticcup Oct 13, 2011 06:49 PM

                                                                  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
                                                                Josh Oct 13, 2011 03:18 PM

                                                                The bruschetta one bugs the shit out of me.

                                                                1. re: bella_sarda
                                                                  wendylouwho Oct 15, 2011 07:43 PM

                                                                  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. EWSflash Oct 10, 2011 08:37 PM

                                                                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. paulj Oct 10, 2011 06:53 PM

                                                                  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. c
                                                                    CharlieTheCook Oct 10, 2011 01:33 PM

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

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: CharlieTheCook
                                                                      inaplasticcup Oct 10, 2011 01:39 PM

                                                                      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
                                                                        sandylc Oct 10, 2011 02:57 PM

                                                                        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
                                                                          inaplasticcup Oct 10, 2011 03:10 PM

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

                                                                          1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                                            sandylc Oct 10, 2011 06:29 PM

                                                                            You are so right.

                                                                    2. Karl S Oct 10, 2011 01:13 PM

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

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Karl S
                                                                        sandylc Oct 10, 2011 01:30 PM

                                                                        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. monavano Oct 10, 2011 12:12 PM

                                                                        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. cowboyardee Oct 10, 2011 09:08 AM

                                                                          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
                                                                            ratgirlagogo Oct 16, 2011 03:51 PM

                                                                            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. monavano Oct 9, 2011 01:40 PM

                                                                            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. FoodFuser Oct 9, 2011 01:37 PM

                                                                              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. shanagain Oct 9, 2011 11:41 AM

                                                                                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
                                                                                  monavano Oct 9, 2011 12:00 PM

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

                                                                                  1. re: monavano
                                                                                    grayelf Oct 9, 2011 01:27 PM

                                                                                    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. b
                                                                                  bulavinaka Oct 9, 2011 08:32 AM

                                                                                  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. inaplasticcup Oct 9, 2011 07:57 AM

                                                                                    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. g
                                                                                      grant.cook Oct 9, 2011 07:34 AM

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

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: grant.cook
                                                                                        Ruth Lafler Oct 17, 2011 05:25 PM

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

                                                                                      2. E Eto Oct 9, 2011 07:01 AM

                                                                                        You mean like this?

                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: E Eto
                                                                                          luckyfatima Oct 9, 2011 07:16 AM

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

                                                                                          1. re: E Eto
                                                                                            monavano Oct 9, 2011 07:22 AM

                                                                                            Funny commercial! Now I want that sauce...

                                                                                            1. re: E Eto
                                                                                              paulj Oct 9, 2011 09:03 AM

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

                                                                                              1. re: E Eto
                                                                                                inaplasticcup Oct 13, 2011 06:36 AM

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

                                                                                              2. luckyfatima Oct 9, 2011 06:50 AM

                                                                                                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. monavano Oct 9, 2011 06:24 AM

                                                                                                  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
                                                                                                    sandylc Oct 10, 2011 12:07 PM

                                                                                                    Yup. That one was strange.

                                                                                                    1. re: monavano
                                                                                                      BigE Oct 11, 2011 07:36 AM

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

                                                                                                      1. re: BigE
                                                                                                        velochic Oct 13, 2011 06:47 AM

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

                                                                                                    2. paulj Oct 9, 2011 12:19 AM

                                                                                                      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?


                                                                                                      11 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                                                                        PotatoHouse Oct 9, 2011 05:06 AM

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

                                                                                                        1. re: paulj
                                                                                                          luckyfatima Oct 9, 2011 07:04 AM

                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                            gilintx Oct 11, 2011 10:25 PM

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

                                                                                                            1. re: gilintx
                                                                                                              luckyfatima Oct 12, 2011 06:21 AM

                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                paulj Oct 12, 2011 11:36 PM

                                                                                                                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'

                                                                                                          2. re: paulj
                                                                                                            linguafood Oct 9, 2011 07:52 AM

                                                                                                            Please. A Nahuatl?

                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                              luckyfatima Oct 9, 2011 08:03 AM

                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                linguafood Oct 9, 2011 08:40 AM

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

                                                                                                                My bad.

                                                                                                            2. re: paulj
                                                                                                              chowser Oct 20, 2011 03:12 PM

                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                paulj Oct 20, 2011 03:56 PM

                                                                                                                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
                                                                                                                  chowser Oct 20, 2011 04:50 PM

                                                                                                                  "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.

                                                                                                            3. b
                                                                                                              Bliss149 Oct 8, 2011 08:01 PM

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

                                                                                                              1. a
                                                                                                                acgold7 Oct 8, 2011 05:37 PM

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

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: acgold7
                                                                                                                  Josh Oct 13, 2011 08:45 AM

                                                                                                                  I hear that all the time.

                                                                                                                  And "tumeric".

                                                                                                                  1. re: Josh
                                                                                                                    sandylc Oct 13, 2011 01:17 PM

                                                                                                                    That's a big one.

                                                                                                                2. bushwickgirl Oct 8, 2011 04:58 PM

                                                                                                                  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.

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