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How do you pronounce Nike?

April 28, 2015

How does one pronounce the brand of running shoes, Nike? When this brand first appeared it was definitely pronounced Nye-key, after the Greek goddess of the same name (she was the goddess of victory, and her Roman equivalent was Victoria). But if I say it like this now, my son (aged 11) laughs at me. It’s now pronounced to rhyme with bike.

It occurs to me that the pronunciation of this brand-name has followed the opposite trajectory to that of Nestlé, which began over here as the anglicised Nestles (people of my vintage will remember the song from the Milky Bar Kid adverts: “Nestles milky bar!”),  before acquiring that continental extra syllable.

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  1. Eminem pronounces it Nye-key.

  2. Steve Chapman permalink

    Try asking an American to pronounce Adidas.
    They will no doubt offer Adee-das. However as the company was named after Adolf Dasler, who was called Adi for short, they’d be wrong. Then again you could just say that don’t have a ear for accents, after all how do you get Carib-beann from Caribbean? Try listening to someone from their pronounce the word.

  3. About the same as HMS Raleigh. Is it correct to pronounce it Rally? Is it Rally or Raleigh bicycles?

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