Pain au chocolat and other things that are delightfully fun to mispronounce

DELIBERATELY cocking up the pronunciation of words is one of life’s little pleasures, so liven up your otherwise drab existence by mangling these: 

Choco Leibniz

You know Choco Leibniz biscuits, the Rich Tea of the continent? You call them ‘the tasty rectangle chocolate ones’ that your gran gets from Waitrose, but it’s much funnier to childishly refer to them as ‘chocolate lesbians’, or something that sounds like a cross between Coco Pops and Limp Bizkit.


Nigella gave us her tastiest treat of all when she concocted this feast of the English language. Depending on your intonation, ‘Mee-crow-wah-vee’ sounds like a whimsical spell uttered by a Shakespearean faerie or a threat slurred by a troll living under a bridge. Either way, it promises hours of fun watching others wince. 


Everyone has heard some insufferable pedant say paella correctly, and cringed as their mouth twists its way around a vague orgy of Spanish vowel sounds. But phrasing it as a request for your sister’s posh mate to bring you a pastry-based dinner is much more satisfying. Try it yourself.

Anywhere ending in ‘shire’

Admittedly you can only do this one in a safe space lest you get mistaken for an ignorant American tourist, but it’s still good, wholesome fun. Slowly sounding out ‘Lie-cest-er-shire’ allows you to cosplay as a dim rural farmer who ain’t ever heard of these fancy big town ways of saying stuff. Chew some hay for the full effect.

Pain au chocolat

Messing with the French is always enjoyable, whether it’s by bringing up their abject surrender in two world wars or by deliberately butchering the name of their flavourful pastries. They may think they’ve got one over on you by forcing you to briefly use their heathen language, but you’re coming right back by saying ‘pain of choc-lit.’


A double whammy that can piss off both the French and the rich. Sounding it out as ‘sham-pag-ne’ makes the expensive beverage sound like an ugly, newfangled baby name. And it’s also how you’ll be pronouncing it anyway once you’ve necked a few glasses of the stuff, you big lightweight.

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