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The correct pronunciation of Nutella

November 22, 2013

 You know that chocolate-and-hazelnut spread, Nutella? (Every 20 grammes has 2 hazelnuts in it, apparently.) When I first came across it, years ago, I naturally assumed it was pronounced Newtella. Words of more than syllable which begin nu- are always pronounced that way (unless there is a doubled consonant in the middle, as in nugget or nuzzle): consider such words as nuclear, nucleus, nubile, Nubian, nutritious. Consider Gary Numan. On John Lennon’s 1973 album Mind Games there is a silent track called ‘The Nutopian International Anthem’, and no one would want to call that the Nuttopian International Anthem.

And yet. As soon as I started calling it – the spread, I mean – Newtella, I was corrected by everyone who heard me. “It’s Nut-tell- a – because it’s got nuts in it! Isn’t it obvious?” Even my own children refused to accept my pronunciaton, and corrected me so mercilessly that I eventually gave in and got into the habit of calling it Nuttella like everyone else.

And then, just the other day, one of my daughters shamefacedly came to me and confessed that she had seen, on the Nutella website, that the name should be pronounced New-tell-a. It’s true. You can go there and check it for yourself.

The question is, can I now unlearn the new pronunciation and go back to the old?

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One Comment
  1. That’s a disgraceful pronunciation & I shan’t switch. However, I am now very, very hungry for Nutella, so – good salesmanship!

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