Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Don't Sound Like a Tool: The Most Mispronounced Menu Words of All Time

Posted By on Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 10:06 AM

Don't Sound Like a Tool is SFoodie's series of audio pronunciation guides to sort-of-common-but-not-obvious words we keep encountering

on wine lists and menus. No more shame, no more pointing, no more

godawful imitations of a language you don't speak.

click to enlarge Confit: Pronounced konh-FEE - BOKCHOI&SNOWPEA/FLICKR
It's the visual equivalent of a tongue twister: Half the Americans who know what a prix-fixe menu is don't know how to pronounce the phrase correctly. Those who know which x is pronounced and which is silent have either worked in restaurants or taken a few years of French.

A while back, I put out a Twitter call for other often-mispronounced food words. I compiled the following list from readers' suggestions, adding to it a couple of words I involuntarily screw up (alembic, offal) time and time again. All pronunciations were checked against Merriam-Webster's, with the exception of gyro. (Really? Zheero? For shame, M-W.)

NOTE: Some browsers take a few seconds for the MP3 to load. If you don't see an audio icon directly below this text, wait for 30 seconds; it should eventually appear.





Foie gras


Macaron (not macaroon)



Prix fixe




Did I miss any? List 'em in the comments.

Follow us on Twitter: @SFoodie.

  • Pin It

Tags: , ,

About The Author

Jonathan Kauffman


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"