Voldemort, and 24 Other Words You’ve Been Pronouncing Wrong

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

We all mispronounce words. For me, it mostly happens when I’ve read a word but never heard it spoken out loud – as it turns out, occasionally sounding like an idiot is a funny side effect of being a voracious reader with a large vocabulary. Womp womp.

But I’m here to help! Check out these 24 words you’ve probably been saying wrong, and you’ll never sound dumb again when you slip ’em into conversation.


Incorrect: ARE-tick

Correct: ARK-tick

You can’t say it fast, but you can say it right.


Incorrect: Tri-ATH-a-lon

Correct: Tri-ATH-lon



Incorrect: MIN-ih-chur

Correct: MIN-ee-ah-chur

Bonus: You get to sound pretentious in the process!


Incorrect: SELL-tick*

Correct: KELL-tick

Fun Fact: When reading words that were originally Latin, there is never a “soft” c. They’re always hard like this one. (Now, say Julius Caesar armed with that knowledge).

*Be careful though, do not refer to the Boston Celtics as the Boston kell-ticks. You will be laughed at.


Incorrect: Kil-OHM-eh-ter

Correct: KILL-o-mee-ter



Incorrect: HIGH-rar-kee

Correct: HIGH-er-ark-ee

Had this one down. You?

#18. DRAMA

Incorrect: DRAM-ah

Correct: DRAW-mah

These sound the same to me?

#17. AÇAÍ

Incorrect: Basically every way you’ve ever heard it said.

Correct: Ah-SAH-ee

No one ever says it right, so why bother?


Incorrect: ex-PREH-so

Correct: Eh-SPREH-so

Okay but seriously, how can you watch television and not have picked this up by now?


Incorrect: per-AW-gah-tiv

Correct: pre-RAW-gah-tiv

This one is going to be a hard habit to break.

#14. GYROS

Incorrect: GEE-ros / HEE-ros / JAI-ros

Correct: YEE-ros

After waiting tables for several years, I can confirm that there are approximately 50 ways to mispronounce this word.


Incorrect: per-SCRIP-shun

Correct: pruh-SCRIP-shun

Subtle. And maybe unnecessary. 


Incorrect: va-LUMP-tu-us

Correct: Vol-UP-tyoo-us

If you want to add that extra m in the middle…don’t do it.


Incorrect: MAN-ayze

Correct: MAY-oh-nayze

Hmm. Are we sure that’s not the Southern pronunciation?


Incorrect: NEW-kyoo-lar

Correct: NEW-klee-ur

Attention, George W. Bush!

#9. MONK

Incorrect: Mawnk

Correct: Munk

Okay, fess up – who was saying MAWNK?


Incorrect: Mis-CHEE-vee-us

Correct: MIS-cheh-vus

I totally know I say it wrong. But it’s more fun to say it the first way, am I right?


Incorrect: Nuh-TELL-a

Correct: New-TELL-ah

If you’re saying this one wrong, you obviously don’t watch commercials. You lucky bastard.


Incorrect: Cloo Clucks Clan

Correct: Coo Clacks Clan

CLACKS? Seriously? I was not expecting that.


Incorrect: FEB-you-air-ee

Correct: FEB-roo-air-ee

Hey, even George Steinbrenner didn’t know. #SeinfeldReferenceFTW


Incorrect: Eh-leck-TOR-ul

Correct: Eh-LECK-tor-ul

It’s all about the emphasis, friends.

#3. GIF

Should we even bother?

Yeah, not going there.


Incorrect: Soos

Correct: Soys

He even went so far as to write a rhyme to help us out:

“You’re wrong as the deuce

And you shouldn’t rejoice

If you’re calling him Seuss 

He pronounces it Soice.”

Tell me you’ve been saying this right, and I’ll call you a liar.


Incorrect: VOL-de-mort

Correct: VOL-de-more

It’s French, people!

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You rock! Thanks for reading!