"I Thought It Was Pope-Yes": 29 Words People Mispronounced And The Hilarious Ways They Said Them

Sometimes you get tripped up pronouncing a word that you've only seen written down because phonetics can be tricky! These are 29 words people admitted to learning how to pronounce a little later than they probably wanted to.

shocked person saying oh no

1."Facade. I thought it was pronounced fake-aid. And I’m in real estate. So damn embarrassing 🫢."


2."Awry. Until very recently I pronounced it AW-ree. I’m 40. SMH."


3."I was in my 20s when I learned that chipotle was NOT pronounced as 'shi-pot-el' 😂"


person saying oops

4."My mom LOVES to tell the story of how I called algae allergy and asked a waiter at a restaurant once what a desert creep was (dessert crepe)"


5."Archipelago. My husband laughed (lovingly) at me as I tried to read it aloud arch-ee-pel-ah-go."


6."Photographer — I’m every day of 40 and read it as 'fo-toe-GRAPHER' every. single. time."


person hiding their face with their hand

7."If you are eccentric, have unrealistic expectations for things, maybe delusions of grandeur, and are generally acting like Don Quixote, what are you? Key-HO-tic. Like Don Quixote. Not kwik-SOT-ic."


8."The discount fashion store Shein. I have been pronouncing 'shine' for literal years until today I realized it's pronounced 'she-in.'"


9."PharmaCUTEical gets me every time, it’s really pronounced pharmaSUITical but at least I can remember the spelling."


person saying whoops

10."Thought Yosemite was yose-might."


11."My kid pronounced the soda drink Hi-C as 'hick.'"


12."Why is no one here saying lingerie? For the longest time, I thought it was 'lin-jur-ee,' rhyming with 'jury.' I was absolutely appalled the first time I heard the word while also looking at the spelling!"


person making a yikes face

13."Chaos. I learned most of my words from reading and I thought it was Ch-OWs for years."


14."When I was tiny and learning to read, I pronounced the word Chicago as chick-a-go. My dad nearly died laughing and pronounced it that way for the rest of his life (like, 20 more yrs) 😭."


15."Popeyes. I thought it was pope-yes. Like an agreement to the Catholic pope. Pope? Yes! Ugh."



16."Caveat! I was pronouncing it 'cav-eat' for the longest time. I'm still furious no one ever corrected me. The first time I heard someone else say it, I died internally."


17."I've said 'viola' on purpose in place of 'voilà' so many times I'm not sure I could get it right on the first try anymore."


18."The name 'Beatrice', I pronounced it 'beat-rice' instead of beer-tris."


princess beatrice exiting a building

19."Hemorrhaging, said like hem-or-hagg-ing. Whole class laughed at me for that one."


20."In fourth grade we each had to do a report on a 'famous explorer,' and my classmate read her report on 'Jack-ass Coo-stow' (Jacques Cousteau)."


21."When I was much younger, I thought 'colonial' and 'colonel' were the same word, just spelled different. Like they're/their/there."


person saying, did i do that
ABC Family

22."I definitely didn't know how to say 'cerulean' for the LONGEST time. When I was little and reading my Crayola colors, I was adding a C and pronouncing it 'SIRK-yoo-leen.' Then a childhood friend told me it was pronounced 'KER-leen.' I kinda settled on 'seh-ruh-LEEN' until I heard it as 'seh-ROO-lee-in.' JEEZ."


23."'Reprise.' Saw it a LOT on my Disney soundtracks and it wasn't until I watched this classical music special last year that I realized it was 'reh-preez' not 'ree-Prize.'"


24."The name Sean through me for a loop and I was pronouncing it as ‘seen’ for whatever reason until my brother corrected me. 🙈"



25."When I saw chaos written I thought it was pronounced 'cha-oos.'"


26."Ennui. Must be 'en-you-why,' right? Nope. Awn-wee."


27."My favorite mispronunciation is from my friend’s dad. He saw 'fajitas' on the menu at a restaurant and pronounced it with a hard J and long I, as if it rhymed with 'vagina.' Faj-EYE-ta."


person saying yikes

28."Indict is one of mine. There was a big legal case going on when I first read the word in a news article (can’t remember the case). At the same time though I was hearing about the case on NPR and they kept saying this word that was pronounced 'in-dite.' I started to get suspicious that maybe they were the same word so I avoided saying it all together until the day the person got indicted and I excitedly announced to my crush that the person was 'in-dik-ted.' Cue my horror after I ran out of the room to google the pronunciation like I should have done in the first place."


29."Hermione. When I was little and first read the books I thought it was 'her-me-own.'"


  Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

OK, now it's your turn. Tell us the innocent mispronunciations you've heard. I'll start: when my husband first saw the brand, he thought Louis Vuitton was pronounced "loo-iss voo-ish-on."