That’s So Cheugy: Here’s the Most Mispronounced — and Misunderstood — Words of 2021

Language teacher and stand-up comedian Esteban Touma breaks down the list of the most mispronounced words and names of 2021, including Billie Eilish’s last name and the omicron COVID-19 variant.

What were the words and ideas that we struggled to understand in 2021?

Even if we did get them down in our brains, were we able to pronounce them correctly to our friends and family?

The U.S. Captioning Company and Babbel teamed up for their sixth edition of the most mispronounced names and words of 2021 in the United States and overseas in the U.K.

Entries include “cheugy” [CHOO-gee], which Gen Z has coined on social media platforms to mock the outdated aesthetics of millennials, and Ethereum [ih-THEE-ree-um], one of the many cryptocurrencies that have entered common parlance in 2021.


Listen: Esteban Touma helps you pronounce the most mispronounced words of 2021.


Babbel language teacher and stand-up comedian Esteban Touma joined CultureShift to talk about the most mispronounced words of the past year as well as the way that learning different languages — and how their words are said — can bring us closer together.

You can also watch a video of Touma pronouncing the words on the 2021 list below.

Trusted, accurate, up-to-date.

WDET strives to make our journalism accessible to everyone. As a public media institution, we maintain our journalistic integrity through independent support from readers like you. If you value WDET as your source of news, music and conversation, please make a gift today.

Donate today »

 

Author

  • Ryan Patrick Hooper is the award-winning host and producer of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. As a longtime arts and culture reporter and photographer, Hooper has covered stories for NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN and Paste magazine.