There are few things that cause more self-loathing than fumbling over the pronunciation of something you order everyday—or say when you’re trying to sound smart. Whether you get an açaí smoothie for breakfast, a quinoa bowl for lunch, or have an uncle who recently had angina, here’s how to say it all the right way (and feel a lot less awkward in the process).
Say it right: ah-sigh-EE
This antioxidant-packed Amazonian fruit tastes delicious in smoothies or breakfast bowls—and confounds most people trying to order it.
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Say it right: AN-juh-nuh
Technically it’s not wrong to call chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart an-JIE-nuh, but do you really want to?
Say it right: an-iss
Some say this licorice-flavored seed can ease coughing and help clear up congestion. Some also say it as a-niece. Nope.
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Say it right: broo-SKET-ta
Don’t fretta if you call this toast-and-tomato appetizer “shetta”—just make a note before you head on a trip to Italy.
Say it right: SEE-lee-ak diz-ease
This autoimmune condition in which gluten damages the small intestine is singular, not plural.
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Say it right: chi-POHT-leh
You don’t want it to sound like you’re saying “pole” when referring to a smoked jalapeno pepper (or your favorite burrito joint).
Say it right: crow-nz diz-ease
When talking about this inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), pretend there’s a “w” in there.
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Say it right: keh-FEER
Russians say it with emphasis on the second part of the word, so if you want to sound legit when referring to your probiotic drink, this is the best way to pronounce it.
Say it right: MEN-ar-kee
When you’re describing your first menstrual cycle, it shouldn’t rhyme with the name of a butterfly.
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Say it right: fuh
Order this Vietnamese noodle soup as “foe” and your waiter will still probably know what you want—but might as well be a friend to him or her and say fuh.
Say it right: KEEN-wah
This whole grain that’s not really a grain (it’s a seed!) is known for packing protein, iron, and fiber, and for being incorrectly pronounced as kwin-OH-a, or KWEEN-oh like in this Bud Light commercial.
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