Nearly half of Brits (44%) have been corrected on their mispronunciation of a word, according to a study – with the most common mistake being the word “quinoa”.

The healthy grain is frequently called “kin-oh-ah” by 17% of adults, instead of the correct pronunciation, “keen-wah”.

And the poll of 2,000 adults also found that 12% have wrongly said “ex-press-oh”, instead of espresso.

The top 25 mispronounced words also include “prob-ly” instead of probably, “JIF” rather than GIF, and pronouncing library as “lie-berry”.

And one in four adults get corrected at least once a week for saying a word incorrectly.

The research was commissioned by leading car manufacturer, Hyundai, as it has teamed up with Seong-Jae a.k.a. Korean Billy, to embrace a change to the pronunciation of the brand name in the UK – from the anglicised “Hy-un-dai”, to the global articulation “Hyun-day”.

A tongue-twister quiz has been unveiled where you can test your knowledge to correctly say the right word or phrase as it should be.

The research also revealed 38% sometimes use words and phrases they don’t properly understand.

But half of Brits admit every word they think about sounds right in their minds initially, until it is said out loud.

And a quarter say it can be difficult to understand every word or phrase in existence.

In addition, 47% will research the correct pronunciation online via a search engine like Google, and 29% say they often pick up the English Dictionary to see if the phrasing is correct.

But according to OnePoll data, 42% will sometimes choose to mispronounce words, if it means making others laugh, or to enable them to stick to what they know.

Tech brands, location spots, and people’s names are among the things people are not fussed about mispronouncing out loud.

Ashley Andrew, managing director at Hyundai Motor UK, said: “Having updated our brand’s pronunciation locally, we wanted to explore pronunciation as a topic more broadly, and get people talking about those words that we can potentially struggle with in everyday life – such as quinoa and espresso.

“Teaming up with Seong-Jae, a.k.a Korean Billy, marks a new era for Hyundai – a young, innovative, and a progressive brand, that injects a little humour and personality to people’s lives. We hope everyone enjoys the partnership as much as we have.”


  1. Quinoa (ki-no-ah)
  2. Probably (prob-ly)
  3. Espresso (ex-press-oh)
  4. Affidavit (affi-david)
  5. GIF (JIF)
  6. Meme (meh-meh)
  7. Tenterhooks (tenderhooks)
  8. Cache (cash-ay)
  9. Coup de grace (coo-de-GRAH)
  10. Zoology (zu-ol-oh-gee)
  11. Parliament (par-lament)
  12. Foyer (foy-ay)
  13. Mischievous (mis-chee-vee-ous)
  14. Antarctic (ant-ar-tic)
  15. Arctic (ar-tic)
  16. Library (lie-berry)
  17. Mange tout (manj-eh-towt)
  18. February (feb-er-erry)
  19. Jewellery (joo-luh-ree)
  20. Sherbet (sher-bert)
  21. Prescription (per-scription)
  22. Almond (aal-mund)
  23. Moot (mute)
  24. Coupe (c-oo-p)
  25. Triathlon (tri-ath-a-lon)

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