Nike is known worldwide for its sneakers, athletic gear, and iconic “Just Do It” slogan. But what’s not so universally known: How the heck you’re supposed to pronounce the brand’s name.
When you say the word “Nike,” what sound comes out of your mouth? “Nigh-K,” “Nee-Kay,” Ni-Key”?
Based on the way it’s spelled, the popular fitness brand’s name appears like it should rhyme with words like “bike” or “hike.” But is that actually how it’s supposed to be pronounced? Have you been saying it wrong you entire life?
According to The Independent, back in 2014, two students named Ben Martin and Kendal Peters wrote to Nike chairman Phillip Knight to settle the debate once and for all (or, as they put it “answer one of life’s big unanswered questions”).
Knight confirmed that it is, in fact, pronounced “Ni-Key,” by circling that option on the letter, before sending it back to the students.
In other words, it rhymes with “spikey” not “bike”. If you’re still uneasy about how you’re spouting off “Nike,” here’s a visual and auditory guide to help you out:
Of course, this still begs the question: Why does this word that’s spelled like “bike” have an extra verbal syllable? It’s pretty simple actually. The company was named after the ancient Greek goddess of victory, Nike, which is pronounced ni-key, reports Business Insider.
So, there you have it. You can ditch the stress of how to properly pronounce Nike. And the next time you need to say it out loud, “Just Do It.”
This article originally appeared on Women’s Health US
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