In Massachusetts It’s Pronounced Any Way They Want

, , , | Right | May 29, 2017

Customer: “Hello, I’ll take a medium decaf ‘cup of chino.’”

Me: “Medium decaf cappuccino?”

Customer: “Yes, ‘cup of chino.’” *I turn around to make her drink* “Where are you from?”

Me: “I’m from Cape Cod. How about you?”

Customer: “Oh, I thought you were foreign. It’s pronounced ‘cup of chino,’ honey, not ‘cappuccino.’”

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  • Cassia212

    Every time I’m at Starbucks I hear at least one cockwaffle asking for “expresso” or mispronouncing “crossaint.” Sometimes both. Those are dark days.

    • cantwakecarl

      I grew up learning some mixed French from my Canadian grandparents. Every once in a while I’ll say it right, roughly “kwah-son” and then know I’m immediately going to have to clarify…

      • Cassia212

        Maybe it’s because I’m part French but when people say the R it just sets my teeth on edge. Don’t even get me started on people who mispronounce “Le Creuset.”

        • Novelista

          Lay-coo-say? (I’m sorry, dear, but I hate your language. But at least before I dumped my therapist, she taught me to never pronounce the last letter of a French word unless it’s a vowel.)

          • David Green

            My rough guide to pronouncing French: Drop the last five consonants and say whatever’s left through your nose.

          • Novelista

            Well, I suppose as long as you don’t come off sounding like Wayne Newton singing “Danke Schoen”, you’ll be alright. 😉

          • Cassia212

            “Dear?” Are you the customer in the story or something?

          • Novelista

            Would you prefer, “French is a shitty language! Go away, you fucking cocksucking frog eater!” ? Because that could certainly be arranged for next time.

            As for being the customer, I’m the opposite. She drinks it and can’t pronounce it–I hate coffee and can say “cap-oo-chee-no” just fine.

          • Cassia212

            Well, you certainly escalated that very quickly. I’d prefer not to be condescended to or stereotyped, kindly fuck off if that’s too much to ask of you.

          • Novelista

            Uh, no, that was an example. But hey, if you feel like, “I don’t like your language” is too condescending, then I mean everything I said. Plus, you’re a greasy-cunted motherfucker that needs to drown in a barrel of wine. I might live in a country run by a bright orange baboon, but at least I’m not a walking terror target and my country isn’t synonymous with “coward”! (We didn’t change it to “freedom fries” because we love you!)

          • Cassia212

            Oh…my…GOD. You stupid, stupid little creature. Oh this is too fucking funny. Read my comment in response to cantwakecarl again and see if you can spot where you went wrong. Go ahead, I’ll wait to address the rest of your asshattery until you’ve done that.

          • Cassia212

            From your silence I’m starting to think that you realized exactly where you went wrong but just in case, I’ll spell it out for you. Let’s see if I can dumb it down enough for you:

            “Maybe it’s because I’m part French,” means that I have French ancestry. Not that I am French or that I was born or live in France. Some people, those of us whose family tree doesn’t more closely resemble a telephone pole at least, like to celebrate our heritage and keep some aspects of the cultures our families come from intact.

            And not for nothing, the fact that you thought I was French makes your little hissy fit here even more disgusting. What, did you decide “Hmm, the rest of the world doesn’t have a dim enough view of the US right now, I better make it even worse!”

        • MouseyBrown

          I went into a Le Creuset outlet. In Mississippi.

          I’m sure you can guess how some of the other store patrons pronounced the store’s name.

          • Cassia212

            I shudder to think and I’m sorry you had to endure that lol

          • MouseyBrown

            I heard one person call it “Luh Crusty”.

          • Cassia212

            That doesn’t surprise me at all. The one I hear most commonly is “Leh Crewset.”

      • Angel

        I think it’s because I live in Ontario that I never have to clarify when pronouncing it that way. I think the only time I have to clarify is when I pronounce crepes with the French pronunciation.

      • Kida Ferrari

        In spanish (Argentina at least) we call them “medialuna” literally “half-moon”

        • ggdub

          Oh, that’s pretty!

    • Phillip Rendon

      what’s wrong with ordering an angry holy person? (a cross saint)
      …i wish i could say i never heard it pronounced that way…

    • Bill Cademy

      Is a tay-co made with a croy-sont called a jie-row?

      • Michael Hughes

        i might call it a key-barb

    • Chris Hubbard

      Now thats just picky, the difference between expresso and espresso is hardly worth getting worked up over and insulting people. Its not cup of chino level ludicrous.

      • Leah

        you’re right, it’s not ‘cup of chino’-level ridiculous, but it’s not being picky either. ‘Espresso’, it’s right there on the menu, why do people stick an x in it??

        • ♛Winry♛

          Because we have the word ‘express’ and most people default to that word when pronouncing it.

      • Kraziekat

        I find it audibly a d offensive because we got the commercials for the Nespresso, but I personally don’t go running around after people correcting them. My mind set is ‘I ain’t yo mama, I ain’t yo teacher’ unless I’m your beta reader, then that’s different.

      • heymoe2001

        I disagree, “expresso” really is cacophonous to the ear.
        As much so as when people say “eck setera” and “Can I axe you something?”

    • Leah

      See I understand mispronunciations of croissant because it’s a different language and people attempt to pronounce it phonetically, which is fair enough when you’ve never been taught otherwise. It’s a totally different matter, though, to stick in a *different letter*, a la ‘expresso’.

      I will adjust my pronunciation of ‘croissant’ depending where I am. Here in australia, I’ll say ‘cruh-sont’, because that’s how everyone else pronounces it and if I pronounced it differently there’s a high chance the person I’m speaking to won’t know what I’m talking about. When I lived in the UK (or visit other european countries) I said ‘cwuh-son’. If I’m in France, I’ll roll the r.

      • tulip_poplar

        “cruh-sont” (or rather krȯ-ˈsänt) *is* listed as the first pronunciation in Merriam Webster. People who are complaining about English speakers not using the French pronunciation of a loan word should check that out. It’s not wrong. The pronunciation was changed after we borrowed it.

        • Powers

          Dictionaries are descriptive, not prescriptive. They list a pronunciation if people use it, no matter how wrong they are. “Nuke-u-lar” is in there too, I bet.

          • tulip_poplar

            It’s listed as the first pronunciation though, meaning that it is the most prevalent/preferred pronunciation. The order matters. And I’ve seen it in other dictionaries listed as the “English pronunciation” vs the “French pronunciation.” Languages aren’t static. I notice you didn’t write your comment in Old English for example. At some point “how people say it” becomes “how it is correct to say,” and it appears as if krȯ-ˈsänt has made that jump, at least in some countries.

    • Jackie Fauxe

      People make mistakes. Is it really worth looking down on them for it if their mistake is innocent and they aren’t insistent that they’re right and others are wrong?

    • Rob Tonka

      Expresso for esspresso is simply missing a letter. Its pretty close and an easy mistake to make. But as for croissant and the below(or does it now show above) mentioned Le Creuset, why would you expect anyone who does not speak French to know to correct French pronunciation of those words? As long as the pronunciation is phonetically correct, why get annoyed? Hell, I’d guess that the majority of Americans were introduced to the croissant by the croissanwich at Burger King.

      • Cassia212

        It’s not that hard to learn the correct pronunciation of an unfamiliar or foreign word. I do it all the time and if I can do it, anyone can. With so many ways to access so much knowledge there is no excuse for that kind of ignorance.

        • Rob Tonka

          No excuse? Here’s a good one. Apathy. Someone looks at a word on a menu. Or sees a commercial on tv with the phonetic pronunciation. What’s in it for them to take even a little bit of time to learn the foreign pronunciation? My main objective in placing an order for food is that the person taking the order knows what I mean. Further, if I am looking at a menu with extremely foreign named dishes (ie: names that have not been made a general part of every day life in america like tamale or crepe), I sometimes don’t even bother trying to pronounce it and instead just point at it on the menu.

          • Cassia212

            You think apathy is an acceptable excuse? Or even acceptable, period? “What’s in it for them?” Broadening their horizons? Expanding their minds? Keeping their brain active? You’re content with being ignorant and isolated, I feel so sorry for you.

          • Rob Tonka

            Do you know how to change to oil in your car? Can you fix your washer if it stops draining? Can you speak Cantonese? Can you debug a faulty java script? How well versed are you in investment portfolio earnings statements? Are you able to look at a building and accurately determine the architectural style?

            No? Maybe one or 2 of those? Why don’t you know all of them? Are you actively working towards being able to do all of them? Why not? Because people put forth the effort to learn things that interest them or benefit them in some way. No one can know everything and no one can dictate what other people should spend their time learning. What’s important to you is not to others. We are all apathetic to a wide variety of topics.

            If I’m visiting France, it’s more worth my while to learn how to correctly pronounce words in French than it is if I’m only visiting the corner bakery.

          • Cassia212

            I do know some of those things, actually. The others are things I would be interested to learn because they could be useful at some point. Continuing to learn new things does wonderful things for the human brain, especially learning new languages.

            You are the most boring kind of person to me, someone who is willfully ignorant about the rest of the world and happy to remain that way. I have no use for people like that and zero respect for them. Enjoy your atrophied brain. Are you capable of fucking off on your own now, or should I go ahead and block you?

          • Rob Tonka

            Block me. 🙂

    • Dixie Landings

      Whenever someone orders an expresso, I want to give them a crate with an ostrich in it.

      • Bethany Lieflijk

        Sneakers included?

        • Dixie Landings

          Naturally! How could he run fast without ’em?

    • Rick Wales

      I imagine you have to make sure your facial espression doesn’t make you look like a cross ant.

  • Raven Odette

    *stuffs a pair of pants into a cup*

    There you go ma’am one cup of chino

    • Mushroom

      You beat me to this. A cup of chinos, right before going to see West Side Story.

    • Sarianna

      Eh, it’s the Boston area, just ask to borrow the lady’s car keys and put them in a cup. (Boston-accented ‘car keys’ sounds like ‘khakis’ to non-rhotic speakers of English)

      • Bill Bryant

        It does in South London too.

      • Dominik Raab

        I once met an Australian in the middle of a German town telling me how “beer can” and “bacon” sound exactly the same with a Jamaican accent. Very informative. Never heard the car keys one, though. Thanks!

    • ArchStanton75

      No, it’s “capuchino” because it’s made by our specially trained Capuchin monkeys in the back. Explains the price, too.

  • HeadlessGhostOfAbrahamLincoln

    I’m finding more and more tales of stupid coming out of Massachusetts lately.

    • Jackie Fauxe

      It’s probably that you’re looking for Massachusetts so you’re seeing it more. I haven’t noticed in influx myself.

      • HeadlessGhostOfAbrahamLincoln

        No. I’m not looking. Just noticing.

        • Jackie Fauxe

          I meant it more that you’re thinking of that state so you’re noticing it more. I’m pretty sure Oregon has popped up a lot more this week than MA, but I might be thinking that because I noticed two Oregon stories in quick succession, and so I’m noticing Oregon more overall.

          • HeadlessGhostOfAbrahamLincoln

            I didn’t mean just this site. Just this site I’ve notice a lot of Australian stories were posted in succession last week.

  • grmrsan

    Perhaps, but here the owners prefer we use the Italian term, Cappuccino, as it is originally an Italian drink, and they feel it provides more class.

  • Denton Young

    “I’m sorry you never learned how to speak English. Here’s a link to a dictionary.”

    • Caerus

      You say that but lets face it, that word is italian. You just loaned it.

      • Pamela Drees

        True, but even the Italians pronounce it “cappuccino”. OP statement stands. It’s in the English dictionary, even if it’s an Italian word.

        • Caerus

          Point taken

        • Apologetic CheeseChomper

          But aren’t there a few words English borrowed from the Italians that are pronounced completely differently? I thought there was some kind of pasta dish that sounds very weird in English, but I’m native to neither language, so what do I know… :’D

          • Rebecca Jones

            I put a few pasta related words into google translate and played them back on the Italian side. Fettuccine and bolognese are pretty far off from how I hear them pronounced.

            (This is a pretty neat trick to know, although obviously the software isn’t perfect. I was reading a discussion about how the Dutch pronunciation of Van Gogh is not really close to the typical English pronunciation OR the “van Goff” pronunciation that snooty speakers insist is Dutch. I put it in and the playback did sound a lot like what people were trying to describe, and honestly on balance I’d say it sounds MORE like the typical English pronunciation. There was also some discussion about regional diferences, but IIRC none of them were supposed to be close to “van goff” or if they were they weren’t the ones where he was from. It was a while ago though.)

          • Leigh

            I just put Van Gogh into Google Translate. It sounded like it was swearing at me.

          • Rick Wales

            I had to play it a couple of more times to be sure it wasn’t telling me to eff off!

          • MouseyBrown

            Could be worse, I suppose…

            I was watching a training video at work, and the narrator pronounced “parmiggiano reggiano” as “parmesan oregano”.

          • Dsru Bin

            In the British comedy “‘Allo, ‘Allo!”, they pronounce it “Van Goch” (with the hard “ch”)

          • Geekette

            I’m Dutch-Canadian with Dutch as a second language. I’d describe a dutch “G” as a cross between forcing up a big wad of spit and speaking klingon.

          • Apologetic CheeseChomper

            Getting an answer is very nice, getting an answer and the way to reproduce it is even sweeter. Thanks for the explanation!
            …I’m off to play around with google translate…

          • Alan Liber

            The Dutch ‘g’ is closer to a ‘ch’ sound than to an english ‘g’. It’s similar to the end of the Scottish word ‘loch’ (when properly pronounced by a Scottish person). It’s a guttural sound made in the throat, but not as harsh a sound as the German ‘ch’ sound.

      • John Mill

        BORROWED it.
        The Italians lent it – we borrowed it.

        • Donnell Hanog

          They didn’t lend it. We cornered them in a dark alley, mugged them, knocked them out, then rifled through their pockets for loose grammar.

          • John Mill

            I did think about using the word ‘stolen’ instead of borrowed because we certainly won’t be giving it back.

        • Rebecca Jones

          Given he said “you,” I assume in his first language loan and borrow are much more closely related words. You get that a lot with foreign speakers. No need to correct him in capital letters.

      • Denton Young

        Italians don’t pronounce it “cup of chino” either.

  • mashava

    *points to menu* “No, ma’am.”

    • AngoraAlpaca

      i would have no problems pointing this out to the woman, but i wanna bet that she’d insist that the menu is wrong as well.
      “no, ma’am the Cappuchino comes from the italian word cappuccio which means hood, because the drink reminds of the monks hood of a capuchin monk”

      • Chris B

        Yep – narcissists can never admit when they’re wrong. They’ll tell you the dictionary has it spelled incorrectly just to save face.

        • Trinity Morningstar

          Sounds like you’ve met my mother…

        • Kalu-chan

          I once had a Latin teacher like that. Student translated a word, she said it was wrong an meant something else. Student checked the dictionary, nope, her way was written their, the teacher’s was not. Teacher’s reply:”That’s a printing error!” Sure lady. Sure.

        • Laura Szalacinski

          Like my mom vs. a jeweler on FB:
          ‎‎ to Robert Haack Diamonds
          October 25, 2012
          I want to let you know that I find the mispronunciation of the word “jewelry” on your TV commercials very annoying especially in that you are a jeweler. The word is pronounced “jewel-ry”. I had hoped that as newer ads appeared, this would have been corrected.
          Robert Haack Diamonds
          Robert Haack Diamonds Hi, I am from a family that deals with old antiques, and the old English way is way I say it. – The word has three syllables. Say /JEW-EL-RY/. The pronunciation /jewl-ry/ is common but not correct, as it removes one syllable from the word. So, we are both right. If you google how to say jewelry, you will get both pronunciations; your way and my way.
          I did Google it. What I’m hearing in the commercials is “jewl-a-ry”. The second sylable is what I’m annoyed by.

    • BamaDan

      Point to menu, Google it, Bing It, Yahoo it, Family Feud it and take a survey of 100 people. It’s still not ever gonna be cup of chino, honey.

    • Dsru Bin


      1) “You can’t even spell it correctly on your menu!”, or
      2) “Yes, but it’s pronounced ‘cup of chino’. It’s Spanish, you know.”

  • Flami

    Ugh, that’s not how it’s really pronounced!

  • Paradox Owl

    Now I wanna shove coffee down my pants just to say I have a “cup of chino “

    • Dsru Bin


  • JAFischer

    Bet the customer says ‘To all intensive purposes’ also.

    • Raven Odette

      I’m sure they say it irregardless

    • Pete Harris

      Supposably, that’s the case

      • Kittens McTavish

        They sound like a looser.

        • Michael Hughes

          they need to be more pacific with how they speak

          • HeadlessGhostOfAbrahamLincoln

            Nuff of this all ready

          • Vicemage

            Really now, stop all this idol gossip.

          • Trihan

            I like this conversation thread alot.

          • Yeah, we should of stopped alot sooner.

          • ggdub

            Maybe they could care less.

      • das Wunderkind

        I’ll axe them why they say it that way.

        • Geekette

          Exactly, No need to go Nucular on her.

      • John Smith

        I’m dying here. Thanks for the laughs everyone. 🙂

      • Kimberly Duberstein

        She could of learned to say it right.

        • Incognitoburrito

          Her arrogance is literally killing me.

      • Matt Ashworth

        This thread made my day. 🙂

    • Powers

      That’s a whole nother issue.

    • Kathy Plester

      These customers that put themselves up on their pedal stools are about as much use as a damp squid.

    • Kirishima Touka

      To be fair, these purposes are pretty intensive.

    • Medusa Jordan

      Perhaps pacifically for their intensive purposes?

  • Leah

    Has she never read the word ‘cappucino’??

    That’s worse than people who say ‘expresso’ :-/

    • Dsru Bin

      That’s just a portmanteau of “express espresso”, meaning they want espresso, and they want it really quickly so that people can see how avant garde they are.

      • Medusa Jordan

        No it isn’t, they really don’t know.

        • Dsru Bin


          • Medusa Jordan

            Maybe you were trying to be funny, That didn’t go over my head, I just didn’t find it funny.

          • Dsru Bin

            No, if you didn’t find my comment funny but realized I was making a joke, you would have just left it alone (or, perhaps, posted an “IDGI”). The fact that you posted a serious response means that you took my – obviously incorrect – comment seriously, and means that the joke flew over your head. *WHOOOOOSH!*

          • Dsru Bin

            Try again. If you realized that I was making a joke but found it unfunny, you wouldn’t have chosen to treat it as a serious comment. So you were either replying in such a deadpan manner that all of the humor was lost from your comment, or you didn’t realize it was a joke. Deny it all you want, we all know that the reality was Option #2.

          • Medusa Jordan

            Just let it go lad, it’s not worth it!

          • Dsru Bin

            Was that a joke? I don’t get it.

    • Kirishima Touka

      She wants it to have with her crossant

  • XRjak929

    Not only was she wrong. She had to be condescending about it. Fuck… you…

    • John L

      Sometimes, it’s just really not worth it. Once you get that 90% of people are idiots, you can let this crap roll off your back.

  • Lord Circe

    “Mmmhhmm… And which one of us works at a coffee shop? Uh, that would be me. You know nothing. Here’s your cappuccino, start drinking so we don’t have to hear more ignorance coming out of your mouth.”

    • heymoe2001

      The first one is just pronounced by clearing one’s throat, isn’t it?

    • Dsru Bin

      “You work at a coffee shop, which PROVES that you don’t know anything! Anyone with any education (like me!) would have a high-paying job! I’m so important that I don’t have times for smart-mouthed punks like you to sass me! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!?!?!!!11!!?”

  • AsaeAmpan

    I’m sorry, what was that? cup of chino? WRONG. I don’t know what failure of a teacher taught you but they deserve to be fired and never allowed back in the classroom.

    • Kraziekat

      Hey, don’t blame e teacher. Even the best teacher in the world can have students who can’t be taught.I even know of elementary school teachers who had their fail overriden because Mummy and Daddy’s ‘pwesshush widdle snowfake’ couldn’t possibly be wrong.

  • Pete Harris

    I wonder how she handles Massachusetts place names like Worcester or Gloucester.

    • Leigh

      Probably the same way all North Americans do: The opposite of the UK way. 😀

      • scatternerd

        So you don’t pronounce it Wooster and Glosster (not a perfectly accurate phoenetic spelling of how I say either, but reasonably close)?

        • Leigh

          I may stand corrected. I’ve always heard Americans say ‘War-chester’. Ditto with places like Norwich.

          • scatternerd

            Usually only when joking around, or when raised in certain areas where pronunciation of Worcester isn’t a top priority. I mean, I can pronouce worcestershire sauce properly, but at times I feel like being a bit silly and butchering it for a laugh from my friends.

          • Dsru Bin

            Is it NOT pronounced “war-chest-er-shir”? *blush*

            Or do you mean that you sometimes pronounce Worcester as “war-chest-er”? Honestly, I’ve never heard the word said, so I would have assumed it’s the same as the sauce.

          • scatternerd

            Usually when I’m joking around, it’s an entire hodgepodge and clearly not how it should be pronounced (war-chester-shishter-shooster-shire, or even more sh-sounds added in). Though I also pronounce the sauce as “wooster-sher”.

    • Medusa Jordan

      I think you’ll find that they are English places names Peter!

      • Pete Harris

        On this side of the pond both of those names have two syllables. Is it the same there?

        And the point was more this: “cappuccino” is relatively phonetic. If this lady can’t handle that, how badly would she treat Worcester?

        • Medusa Jordan

          Wooster and Gloster.

          I don’t think the problem is in her pronunciation because if she had seen the word she would at least have realised that it wasn’t cup of chino, even if she didn’t know how to pronounce it. Someone ignorant of the Italian cc being a k sound might say cappooseeno!

          These malapropisms usually come about from people not reading enough, and only ever hearing the word. Therefore someone hearing someone saying Worcester would hear Wooster, and say it correctly, but spell it wrongly.

          Children do this all the time and we think it is charming, but when adults do it it is not so much.

  • ShireNomad


  • Kitty

    Do me a favor, ‘honey’, and go to Italy and ask for a cup of chino there. Then we’ll see how it’s pronounced.

    • Ilya

      She’ll just say they are saying it wrong too.

  • Sorority Taylor

    “Ma’am, I would love for you to Google that phrase. I’ll wait.”

  • Gabriele Alfredo Pini

    She is right, you know? So we can go back to call Cappuccio the true one (caffè espresso, steam heated milk and cacao) and call all the others “cup of chino”.

    • Dsru Bin

      Unless you’re in a Starbucks, where it will be the “cup of chino”, the “beaker of chino”, and the “shot of chino”

  • Stacy

    The customer is probably the same person who thinks a cappuccino is what you get from the machine at a gas station.

  • Kami Avis

    Hey, Cape Cod! 😀

  • KashyaCharsi

    Reminds me of Kelly Bundy who anglicized Yvette to “Eye-wet”. At least she made some phonetical sense.

  • Chris B

    “Sure it is.”

  • Crazy Russian

    No. No, darling, it’s not.

  • Stephen

    That pronunciation is pants.

  • Elle Wayne

    I know someone who prides herself on being able to pronounce foreign words. Unfortunately, she’s wrong a lot, e.g. she pronounces “pfeffernüsse” as “peppernoose” and “hefeweizen” as “heffy-wheezin'”(LMAO).

    • das Wunderkind

      I rarely laugh out loud but that cracked me up!

  • Jane Ennis

    And here is an Italian dictionary to go with your order.

  • Harold George Wagner III

    …no, [Customer] no it isn’t.

  • Xaveston

    The cafe I used to work in Australia, I had quite a few ask for a mug of chino.. It’s called cappuccino, People are weird, I just went with cappuccino because you can’t mix it up with flat white. (The more annoying people who just go a normal cup of coffee.. Of what? Cap, Mocha, Flat White? Different kinds)

  • Wow, that customer really puts the “ass” in Mass., don’t they?

  • Sara van der Merwe

    No, it’s cappuccino. As it turns out, it’s from this foreign place across the ocean called Italy. Who knew?

  • Erin

    Oh god.