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LaCroix

How Do You Pronounce 'LaCroix'?

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LaCroix

For decades, Perrier was the sparkling water of choice for beverage enthusiasts. More recently, an upstart named LaCroix has captured the attention of millennials who don’t much care for Perrier’s elitist stature. Sold in aluminum cans rather than glass bottles and featuring festive, Florida-tinged designs (the parent company, National Beverage, is based in Fort Lauderdale), LaCroix has managed to become a market leader in bubbly water. National Beverage claims it’s the number one brand.

While consumers may enjoy the taste, requesting a LaCroix can be slightly problematic if you don’t know how to pronounce the name. Like the acai berry and quinoa before it, the name can be troublesome to the tongue.

The company instructs that the proper pronunciation is “Lah-croy,” rhyming with “enjoy.”

The name comes from the fact that LaCroix was originally developed in Wisconsin back in 1981. The “La” is for the city of La Crosse, and “Croix” from the St. Croix River.

Uttering “La-crux” might get you some judgmental stares among the bubbly water elite. Affecting a French accent and coughing out “la-kwah” might get you pardoned from the table. Stick with “lah croy." If you need a mnemonic device, you can tell yourself it rhymes with “enjoy.” Or you could just order tap water.

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'Froyo,' 'Troll,' and 'Sriracha' Added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary
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Looking for the right word to describe the time you spend drinking before heading out to a party, or a faster way to say “frozen yogurt?" Merriam-Webster is here to help. The 189-year-old English vocabulary giant has just added 250 new words and definitions to their online dictionary, including pregame and froyo.

New words come and go quickly, and it’s Merriam-Webster’s job to keep tabs on the terms that have staying power. “As always, the expansion of the dictionary mirrors the expansion of the language, and reaches into all the various cubbies and corners of the lexicon,” they wrote in their announcement.

Froyo is just one of the recent additions to come from the culinary world. Bibimbap, a Korean rice dish; choux pastry, a type of dough; and sriracha, a Thai chili sauce that’s been around for decades but has just recently exploded in the U.S., are now all listed on Merriam-Webster's website.

Of course, the internet was once again a major contributor to this most recent batch of words. Some new terms, like ransomware (“malware that requires the victim to pay a ransom to access encrypted files”) come from the tech world, while words like troll ("to harass, criticize, or antagonize [someone] especially by provocatively disparaging or mocking public statements, postings, or acts”) were born on social media. Then there’s the Internet of Things, a concept that shifts the web off our phones and computers and into our appliances.

Hive mind, dog whistle, and working memory are just a few of the new entries to receive the Merriam-Webster stamp of approval. To learn more about how some words make it into the dictionary while others get left out, check these behind-the-scenes secrets of dictionary editors.

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How New Words Become Mainstream
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If you used the words jeggings, muggle, or binge-watch in a sentence 30 years ago, you would have likely been met with stares of confusion. But today these words are common enough to hold spots in the Oxford English Dictionary. Such lingo is a sign that English, as well as any other modern language, is constantly evolving. But the path a word takes to enter the general lexicon isn’t always a straightforward one.

In the video below, TED-Ed lays out how some new words become part of our everyday speech while others fade into obscurity. Some words used by English speakers are borrowed from other languages, like mosquito (Spanish), avatar (Sanskrit), and prairie (French). Other “new” words are actually old ones that have developed different meanings over time. Nice, for example, used to only mean silly, foolish, or ignorant, and meat was used as blanket term to describe any solid food given to livestock.

The internet alone is responsible for a whole new section of our vocabulary, but even the words most exclusive to the web aren’t always original. For instance, the word meme was first used by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene.

To learn more about the true origins of the words we use on a regular basis, check out the full story from TED-Ed below.

[h/t TED-Ed]

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