Twelve French Menu Words You Need To Stop Mispronouncing

Look, nobody's saying you need to affect a French accent when you order a French dish, but it would be nice if you didn't totally butcher my language when doing it. Nobody's asking you to screw up your nose and pipe out "croûton", with that oh-so-pretentious nasal vowel at the end, but at least put the em-PHA-sis on the correct syl-LAB-le, okay?

See also:
 Five Commonly Mispronounced Mexican Food Terms that Americans Shouldn't Mispronounce
 Five Cultural Faux Pas to Avoid
 Five Things You're Doing Wrong With Japanese Food

Here are twelve of the most grating ones to a French speaker:


What it is:
Garlic mayonnaise.
How people pronounce it: ay-YOH-lee
How people should pronounce it: eye-oh-LEE


What it is: The archetypal long, thin French bread.
How people pronounce it: bag-GET
How people should pronounce it: bah-GET

Bœuf bourguignon

What it is: Beef stewed in the Burgundy style, with pearl onions and mushrooms
How people pronounce it: bohf bore-gheen-YONN
How people should pronounce it: boof (like "hoof") boor-gheen-YOHN (nasal N!)


What it is: Apple liqueur from Normandy.
How people pronounce it: kaal-VAH-doh
How people should pronounce it: kahl-vah-DOHSS

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What drives me crazy is people pronouncing AU as "AWW" when is should be "OH" as in Au Jus.


"Kersants" is the worst of all!  Especially down here in the deep South (USA).  Can't make 'em right and definitely can't pronounce 'em!


On a serious note, the article was decent, as I didn't know you were capable of writing more than one sentence. The miracle of Pyrilamine Maleate I surmise.


Maybe we should hook up. I could be of some small service to you in your epic struggles to defend the free world from the forces of evil, combating celiac disease,  dermatitis hepetiformis, and making certain everyone in Orange County can enjoy anal sex without the messy sheets.


I suggest that you buy a Batmobile from Fletcher Jones Imports and I'll keep it over at my place until you need it -- being that you don't have a garage...


Eh bien, il semble stupeur l'éditeur de copie chauve-souris est de retour et a menacé de devenir terminal. Comme 5ème niveleuse faire, vous souffla et soufflé un peu, mais j'étais bien trop disposés à plat ventre, et bientôt les plumes étaient en place. Il me semble que si vous avez un méchant virus ou une maladie vénérienne embêtants. Lorsque le pus dans votre sèche vagin jusqu'à, peut-être à sermonner anthropoïdes suffira. Comme une horloge cassée besoin de guérison, perverties troglodytes petits vont penser de mensonge odieux sale et trouver des oreilles pour le déverser dans les. Je sais que vous êtes extrêmement sensible à la moindre odeur du machisme, et généralement faire semblant d'avoir un utérus et le cerveau. Sur lisant ce qui pourrait être une légère calomnies imaginaires ou non, vous n'avez pas jeté - vous les jettent, en jetant des grenades, des salades, comme d'habitude quand on était là pour entendre les détonations siphonage. Ceux que vous fléau ont généralement un pénis n'est-ce pas? Et est votre favori huîtres Rocky Mountain?


A lot of the "mispronunciations" in this article aren't that bad. What kills me is how many servers in restaurants mispronounce bruschetta as "bruce-chet-ta". The "ch" in Italian should be pronounced like a "k", as in chianti. 


yeh this is a pretty douche'y article. There are books for "foodies" that explain all this stuff though if you really want to learn. But c'mon when you here someone say croissant all proper.... insta douche or mexicans who could speak more american sounding then say carne asada as if they just got done making payments to the coyote.


Who wrote this article?  Ted Mosby or Diane Chambers?


Really preposterous.  Truly.


We stole, or borrowed, or whittled these words in order to jam them into use in the USA. If we pronounced all the words we stole from France and Germany, we'd be speaking French and German! The French steal from English, just like the rest of the world, and when they do they certainly make their own pronunciations how ever they like.


I suggest stamp collecting to kill the lonely hours.


@fretsward They left the door to the asylum's computer room unlocked again, I see.


@fretsward J'ai l'honneur de vous informer que vous parlez français comme une vache Espagnole abasourdie, et je vous saurais gré d'avoir la bonté de bien vouloir vous faire enculer sans tarder.

BillxT topcommenter


 I see there's more than one out there that could use an "american" lesson.

GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

 @guitarista With a pseudonym like "guitarista" you accuse others of being preposterous? Glass houses, rocks, etc...


 @GustavoArellano  I'm not so sure guitarista is off base. I mean we still use the standard system of measurement eventhough the metric system is vastly superior. Why? Because we're GD Americans!


I eat Bag-ette... Macaroons suck ass ... and if you waste 10 cents on a tornado or filet mignon youre a donkey... order a rib eye like a real man...  Always ask yourself WWJWD (What Would John Wayne Do?)


Hey Dave.  Why is the Champs Elysees lined with trees?

Answer that and you'll know why we Americans dont really give a shit about hacking the French language!



 @Dave_Lieberman  @GustavoArellano


I'm what Gustavo would call a Self hater... My Grandmother on my Fathers side was French and I refuse to identify with that.


Being the smart ass I am I only claim to be American... Though I am quite the Euro Mutt..


 @909Jeff  @GustavoArellano Dwight Eisenhower called from 1945, he wants his joke back. (And the answer, of course, is, "pour que les Boches puissent marcher à l'ombre.")


The first time I heard someone talk about tournedos Rossini, they pronounced it "tornado" and I was trying to picture some sort of cone-shaped carb thing with foie gras and Madeira sauce in it. Then I looked it up and realized it was "tournedos" and it all made so much more sense.

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