You’ve been saying Salt Bae and Shein all wrong – the most mispronounced words of 2021

WE may have started using some new words this year, or at least struggled to pronounce words we don't usually hear.

But for some of us, we could never quite get the pronunciation just right.

To round off 2021, Babbel chose to find out which trending words we have struggled with the most over the last year.

The British Institute of Verbatim Reporters also found the words that newsreaders and television presenters have struggled with most this year.

Senior linguist, Todd Ehresmann said: "It’s always interesting for us to take our annual look at the terms that have been most mispronounced, as they are usually new vernacular or words that are borrowed from, or have origins in, another language.


"This year has seen UK news anchors struggling with new words and names while covering major sporting events, viral internet trends and emerging celebrities,’

"As they come into everyday parlance, it’s great to see people at least having a stab at saying them correctly, because having the confidence to speak new words and phrases is one of the most important aspects when learning a language."

The words that made the mispronunciation list include the hottest restaturants of the year, cryptocurrency references and words you will no-doubt have seen online.

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The BIVR chose the following words and names as the most commonly mispronounced of 2021 and the phonetic pronunciations are by Todd Ehresmann.

Cheugy (CHOO-ghee)

We have Gen Z to thank for this word.

They have used it to make fun of and categorise outdated aesthetics that are familiar to millennials.

Things such as ‘Live, Laugh, Love’ signs, being a Disney adult, using the word 'doggo' or having exposed lightbulbs have all been labelled as cheugy.

Fashion styles such as 'basic girl autumn' have also used the word and some 'mum looks' have also been called 'cheugy'.

Skinny jeans, rose gold, uggs and Double GG Gucci belts have all been called cheugy.

Dalgona (tal-goh-nah)

This word rose to popularity after the September release of Netflix’s mega-hit Squid Game.

It is a Korean treat made with melted sugar and baking soda.

It is also the name of a whipped coffee that gained popularity on Tiktok.

Pronunciation note: Some speakers seem to produce a ‘K’ instead of the ‘G’ in the middle syllable.

Dogecoin (DOHJ – coin)

Sounding like a mix of the word dog and coin, this divisive cryptocurrency first started ironically.

Tesla creator Elon Musk, caused its value to dramatically increase and now some people have millions wrapped up in the digital currency.

Gina Coladangelo (JEE-nah co-lah-DAN-gelo)

The businesswomanand political aide was caught kissing then-Health Secretary, Matt Hancock in June.

Their affair led to the Health Secretary’s resignation amid national outcry as the images were published of the pair flouting social-distancing rules.

Both were married and Matt Hancock had imposed a nationwide lockdown.

Giorgio Chiellini (JYOR-jyo kyi-LEE-nee)

The 2021 European Football Championship captain of the Italian team where Italy beat England on penalties in the nail-bitingly tense final on July 11.

Chiellini was involved in a disputed foul on England winger Bukayo Saka, late on in the game, resulting in a yellow card.

This caused major outrage across the UK, with some even blaming it for England's loss.

Keirin (KAY-reen)

When this sport and track cycling event was held at the Tokyo Olympics during Summer this year, newscasters struggled to pronounce it properly.

Beginning in Japan in 1948, it involves aspeed-controlled start behind a motorized or non-motorized pacer and riders use only brakeless fixed-gear bikes or 'fixies'.

It means 'racing cycle' and became an official event at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Pronunciation note: KAY-rin is feasible as well.

Måneskin (MOH-ne-skin)

The Italian musical group and winners of Eurovision 2021, who won with hit song 'Zitti E Buoni.'

Their name means ‘moonshine’ in Danish.

Pronunciation note: The first syllable is an approximation – the “å” sounds similar to the ‘or’ in ‘morning’

Nusr-Et (nus-RET)

Opened in September, London's hottest new restaurant owned by Nusret Gökçe – a.k.a ‘Salt Bae’, was widely roasted for its high prices.

His full name is Nusret Gökçe Erzurum and he began a viral hit or a 'meme.'

He charged £1,450 for a Golden Giant Tomahawk steak and a single Coca Cola cost £9 and a Red Bull at £11.

Shein (SHEE-in)

The Chinese fast fashion company creates copies of trending styles at rock bottom prices.

People began creating viral ‘Shein haul’ videos where they showed all the items they bought from the budget brand.

Wellerman (WELL-er-man)

The name of a sea shanty which went viral on TikTok in January this year.

Many videos detailed performers mispronouncing the ship as ‘weatherman.’

Band called The Longest Johns performed the song, which was used in millions of Tiktoks.

For more stories on 2021, check out what exactly are sea shanties and why have they gone viral?

If you wanna check out more Nusr-et, see Nusr-Et London menu and prices explained

For more bizarre trends, this TikTok craze sees teen lads getting perms like 1970s footie stars

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