'Cheugy' Is One Of The Most Mispronounced Words Of 2021 & You're Probably Saying It Wrong

Billie Eilish and Salt Bae have also been giving people issues.

Senior Global Editor
'Cheugy' Is One Of The Most Mispronounced Words Of 2021 & You're Probably Saying It Wrong

You can easily call a millennial "cheugy" in a TikTok comment, but can you dish it out with the proper pronunciation IRL?

Babbel Magazine just released a list of the most mispronounced words of 2021, and the hot Gen Z slang is also one of the easiest terms to screw up.

Or maybe that's just the millennials showing their age, am I right?

The right way to pronounce cheugy is "CHOO-gee," according to the language-learning app's experts. That pronunciation is correct in both the U.S. and the U.K., so don't go throwing in a "sh" sound if you feel the need to get fancy at some point.

The other word that gave people a ton of trouble was "dalgona," the South Korean sugar treat that blew up after it appeared in Netflix's Squid Game. The right way to say it is "tal-goh-NAH," according to Babbel, although some people use a "K" sound in the middle instead of a "G."

The list is based on info from the U.S. Captioning Company and the British Institute of Verbatim Reporters. Both groups watch a lot of broadcast TV news and that's where they've been seeing the missteps.

"Chipotle" proved to be surprisingly difficult for some people in the U.S., though Babbel says that it's largely the baby boomers who struggle with the restaurant's name. The correct pronunciation is "chih-POHT-lay," according to the site.

Speaking of restaurants, Salt Bae's restaurant chain made the U.K. list after a controversial opening run in London. The restaurant is called Nusr-et after Salt Bae's real name, Nusret Gökçe, and the right way to say it is "nus-RET."

Babbel expert Todd Ehresmann added Billie Eilish's name to the list in a video accompanying the post because he says too many people are pronouncing it with an "Ay."

"It's Billie 'eye-lish,'" he said.


Babbel says people also had a tough time pronouncing the name of the Ever Given, that giant cargo ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal earlier this year. But they say that it appears to be more of a reading error since broadcasters kept screwing up and calling it the "Evergreen."

Other words that made the list include the Chinese fashion brand Shein ("SHEE-In"), the beauty filter known as Yassify ("YEAH-sih-fai") and two cryptocurrencies, Ethereum and Dogecoin.

It's "ih-THEE-ree-um" and "DOHJ-coin," by the way.

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