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

What it is: Cured meats, like salami and sausages.
How people pronounce it: shahr-CUTE-ee-er
How people should pronounce it: shahr-cute-eh-REE

Crème Chantilly

What it is: Cream whipped with vanilla and sugar.
How people pronounce it: krehm shahn-TILL-lee
How people should pronounce it: krehm shahn-tih-YEE


What it is: A flat, soft pancake
How people pronounce it: crayp
How people should pronounce it: crehp


What it is: Egg, lemon and butter sauce, common on asparagus and eggs Benedict.
How people pronounce it: HAH-len-days
How people should pronounce it: oh-lahn-DEZZ.


What it is: Small pieces of crispy slab bacon.
How people pronounce it: LARD-dons
How people should pronounce it: lahr-DOHN (nasal N!)


What it is: A filled almond sandwich cookie in a wide range of colors.
How people pronounce it: maa-kuh-ROON
How people should pronounce it: mah-kah-ROHN (nasal N!)


What it is: Southern French flatbread with caramelized onions, olives and anchovies
How people pronounce it: piss-SALL-uh-deer
How people should pronounce it: pees-sah-lahd-YAIR

Prix Fixe

What it is: A menu that costs the same regardless of what you choose.
How people pronounce it: priks fiks, price fiks
How people should pronounce it: pree FEEKS


What it is: A fancy word for filet mignon.
How people pronounce it: tor-NAY-dohs
How people should pronounce it: toorn-DOH or toor-nuh-DOH

Got words you'd like to know how to pronounce? Leave a comment!

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