It used to drive me crazy growing up when my grandmother mispronounced the brand name of my Nike shoes.
She pronounced it so that it rhymed with bike. If only I had the Internet then—I could have proven to her that it’s pronounced Ni-key.
As it turns out, many in the United Kingdom still pronounce it the rhymes-with-bike way. That’s what prompted Ben Martin and Kendal Peters to send a letter to Nike’s CEO, Phil Knight, asking him to circle the correct pronunciation.
The result is pretty fantastic:
It’s Nikey, not Nike. pic.twitter.com/Xo952HR8k7
— Stewart Wadden (@StewartWadden) June 2, 2014
So, there you have it. (Surprisingly, it seems no one mentioned that Nike is pronounced the way it is because it’s named after the Greek mythological figure of the same name, the goddess of victory.)
The duo’s letter even got the Yahoo video treatment:
Turns out Nike isn’t alone in having its name mispronounced. The Telegraph recently published a list of the most commonly mispronounced brand names, including Bvlgari, Stolichnaya, Givenchy, Guerlain and Laphroiag.
Pronouncing it “Give-in-chee” and “Grr-lain” makes sense, but are people really saying “Buh-vull-gar-ee?”