A new study carried out by casino operator Slotbox revealed that two Irish names proved to be the top two most difficult words to pronounce by British people.
The study found that the name Aoife is the most difficult word for British people to pronounce, with over 111,000 Google searches on how to say it over the course of the last year.
Aoife generated more Google searches on pronunciation than any other word in Britain. Aoife was followed closely by a fellow Irish name – Saoirse.
This Irish name is the hardest word for British people to say – Aoife has British people struggling
The study, which was commissioned by casino operator Slotbox, has revealed that Aoife, pronounced ‘ee-fa’, is the hardest word for British people to say.
The name and its pronunciation were put into Google over 111,000 times last year, more than any other word for British people.
Saoirse, a name that has become popular through the likes of Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones, Brooklyn) and Saoirse Monica-Jackson (Derry Girls), followed closely behind its fellow Irish name as the second-hardest word for the British to pronounce.
The pronunciation of this name is one that is hotly debated in Ireland, with the two most popular being ‘sur-sha’ and ‘seer’sha’.
The top five – the words leaving Brits scratching their heads
After the pair of Irish names leaving British people scratching their heads comes the Covid-19 variant Omicron in third place.
There was much confusion about how this was pronounced, with some saying ‘om-me-cron’ while others would say ‘om-uh-cron’.
With the break out of the war in Ukraine in 2022, Kyiv ranked as the fourth-hardest word for British people to say.
British and Irish people were commonly saying the Ukrainian capital phonetically as ‘Ki-ev’, while it is pronounced locally as ‘Keev’. Rounding out the top five is the Brazilian fruit acaí, pronounced ‘ah-sai-ee’.
Irish names made more appearances – more appear further down the list
Aoife and Saoirse aren’t the only Irish names that appear in the top ten, with Niamh and Siobhán joining them further down the line.
The popular Greek food gyros, pronounced ‘year-ohs’, also made the top ten. The popular Vietnamese surname Nguyen, ‘wen’, also features in the top ten.
Finally, the top ten is rounded out with the word schedule. Schedule was ranked one of the most difficult words to pronounce because there are two competing pronunciations, ‘sked-yool’ and ‘shed-yool’.
So, there you have the top hardest words for British people to say. Now, be honest. Have you googled one or more of these words yourself?