30 Commonly Mispronounced Words About Animals
Do you know how to pronounce Bichon Frise? How about Cymric? We love to give animal breeds and species fancy names, but sometimes it makes for quite the tongue twister when we try and say them.
From Axolotl to Xoloitzcuintli, here are 30 often-mispronounced animal words.
A popular little white dog with a French name, this cutie is often mispronounced in many ways (and often misspelled as “fries”).
The correct way to pronounce Bichon Frise is “bee-shon free-zay.”
The Chausie is a regal-looking cat that may remind you of a domesticated cougar.
You may be tempted to pronounce their breed name as if it was a cute nickname for the famed Geoffrey Chaucer, but the correct pronunciation for Chausie is “Chow-see.”
These ugly-cute underwater “dogs” have become the second-most popular pet in the U.S., but people still can’t pronounce their name right.
Often called “ak-suh-laa-tl,” the current pronunciation is “ash-a-lot.”
The Weimaraner is not a super common dog breed, but it is adored by those that own one. You may be tempted to pronounce this one as “weim-eraner” – sort of skipping over the middle in a slurred way and hoping no one will notice.
The correct pronunciation of Weimaraner, however, is “wahy-muh-rah-ner.”
A favorite of many zoo visitors and wildlife buffs for their interesting look, the Okapi has a name as strange as it looks. Temptation is to pronounce the first two letters like the word “okay” with “appy” tacked on at the end.
The current pronunciation, however, is “oh-KAHP-ee.”
Dogue de Bordeaux
This large, French dog breed is often mistaken for a number of bully breeds, but maybe that’s just because people don’t want to try and pronounce its name. If you’re a wine drinker, the last half of the name may be easy for you, but the first will get you.
Often assumed that the “ue” must do something, people get creative with the first word. However, the correct pronunciation is easier than you think: “dog duh bor-doh.”
If you’re like us, you may just skip over trying to pronounce this horse breed altogether and just refer to them as “the world’s oldest breed of horse.”
According to the San Diego Zoo, there are a couple ways to pronounce Przewalski correctly: "sheh-VAHL-skee," "per-zhuh-VAHL-skee" or "PREZ-VAHL-skee."
A very popular dog breed, many people pronounce this as “dash hound.” However, being a German word, the correct pronunciation of Dachshund is “dahks-uhnd.”
Regardless of how you say it, it still spells cute.
It’s probably easiest to just call this dog the Mexican hairless, and many do.
But its full name is Xoloitzcuintli, and if you want to impress someone, you will pronounce it as “show-low-eats-QUEENT-lee," according to the American Kennel Club.
This cow is a native to Africa, which explains its name that may be hard for some to pronounce. You may be tempted to say “ankle” for the first word, even if you get the second one right.
But the correct pronunciation is “ahng-kOH-lay-wah-tOO-see.”
Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of this dog breed before (you may not have even known it was a dog breed). The American Kennel Club recognized this Dutch sport breed in 2018.
According to the club, the correct pronunciation is, “NAY-dehr-lahn-she Koi-ker-hond-yuh.”
This beautiful desert cardinal has a name that stumps most. You may think to pronounce it like the word "pyro," but you’d be wrong.
According to the Audubon Society, it’s pronounced, “peer-uh-LOX-ee-a.”
The “butterfly dog” named after the French word for butterfly due to its large, fluffy ears, the Papillon is often pronounced “Pap-ill-on.”
However, being French, the correct pronunciation is “pa-pee-yawn.”
A Uakari is a small primate with a bright red face from South America. If you are stumped on how to pronounce it, don’t worry, it’s not easy
The correct way is “wuh-kaa-ree.”
The Ptarmigan is a species of bird from North America and Eurasia. The “p” usually throws people as they try and figure out how to pronounce it, but like most words that start with a “p” followed by another consonant, the “p” is silent.
And you might be tempted to use a hard “-gan” at the end, like “began.” But that wouldn’t be right either: The correct pronunciation of Ptarmigan is “TAR-mig-gin.”
Ever heard of the Cymric cat? They are an adorable, long-haired Manx (tailless) breed.
You may be tempted to pronounce their name as “sim-ric.” However, it’s actually pronounced “come-rick.”
Bernese Mountain Dog
This large dog breed is super sweet and makes for a great family dog if you don’t mind learning how to say it.
Many people mistakenly call it the “Burmese” mountain dog. However, the correct pronunciation is “bur-neez.”
The stunning Akhal-Teke horse is known for its metallic coat and a name no one can say. Many want to call it “Al tee-kee,” skipping most of the first word and mispronouncing the second.
But Akhal-Teke is actually pronounced “Ah-Khal Teh-keh.”
While the first half of “Belgian malinois” maybe be easy for most, the last half is a doozy. Most try and pronouns the “s” and get something odd like “mali-noos” or similar.
However, Malinois is actually pronounced “mal-in-wa.”
Another cute cat with a mouthful for a name, the Chartreux is a French breed known for having a blue coat. This one might be easy for you if you know how to pronounce French words ending in –treux.
But the rest of us may say something that sounds like “trux.” The actual pronunciation is “shar-true.”
If you have an infinity for Jagermeister liqueurs, this one may be easy for you, too. Otherwise, you may be tempted to pronounce it like a jaguar cat, which this is definitely not.
The Jaegar is a cute brown seabird, and its name is pronounced “Yay-gur,” according to the Audubon Society.
Quiche anyone? For some reason, many want to pronounce Keeshond like the yummy cheese pastry, “k-EE-Sh hound.”
However, the correct pronunciation is “kays-hund.”
Another bird breed the Audubon Society says is mispronounced often is the Crested Caracara. A beautiful raptor, many may want to say the last word as “car-a car-a.”
However, it’s actually “CARE-a-CARE-a,” after the sound of their cry.
This small mammal is a dwarf variety of the mongoose family from central and western Africa. You may be wondering how exactly to pronounce this cute little creature’s name.
The Quetzal is a beautifully colored bird from Mexico that has a hard-to-pronounce name. Like the Axolotl, the word come from the Nahuatl language, making it a challenge for those not familiar with it.
The correct pronunciation is “KET-zal.”
At first, you may be thinking this is an easy one, right? It must be said like “faux,” so “foh” but with a “v,” making it “voh.”
But this North American Swift was named after William S. Vaux, who pronounced his own name (as well as the bird’s!) as “vawks.”
Bouvier des Flandres
A regal dog that looks a lot like a giant schnauzer, this dog has a Belgian name that is as difficult to say as the dog is to groom. The correct pronunciation for Bouvier des Flandres is “boov-yay day flahn-durh.”
Yup, the “r” and “s” are silent, among other things that make this a tough name to get right.
A beautiful and rare horse breed from France and Belgium, the Ardennes has a name that is hard for anyone not familiar with those languages to pronounce.
With all those letters, you may think it must be a mouthful when in reality it’s pronounced simply as “ar-den.”
This cute, bear-cub-looking dog has a mouthful of a name. The Schipperke is a tongue-twister and often is called “shipper-kee” or something similar.
The correct pronunciation of the Schipperke, though, is “skip-er-kee.”
This adorable chestnut-colored horse is known for being a steady mount — and for having a name that is commonly mispronounced by Americans. We tend to see this word and immediately switch some letters around, making it “half-linger.”
However, the correct pronunciation is “ha-FLING-gr,” with a hard –gr at the end!