How do you pronounce Niche? And why you are probably wrong
Last Update: Jan 13, 2017
'Niche' is probably THE most used word by online marketers but it's also the word that it's the most mispronounced.
'Neesh', 'Nitch' or 'Nish' … If you have been around for some time you have probably heard different versions of the word Niche.
For the newbies, let's just have a quick recap of what exactly a Niche is ( in the realm of Marketing)
What is a Niche?
According to the business dictionary a niche is:
'A small but profitable segment of a market suitable for focused attention by a marketer. Market niches do not exist by themselves, but are created by identifying needs or wants that are not being addressed by competitors, and by offering products that satisfy them.'
How do you pronounce niche?
For me, as a French Native speaker, the prononciation was quite obvious from the start ('Neesh'), since the word Niche is a French word.
Origins of the word Niche
'Early 17th century: from French, literally ‘recess’, from nicher ‘make a nest’, based on Latin nidus ‘nest’.'
It really made me laugh when I heard people pronouncing it wrong but after hearing the 'wrong' version over and over again it made me think ….So I had to find out for myself.
It was quite a surprise to find out that, according to Google, the word was pronounced 'Nitch' while in this video by prononciation hub, it's clearly pronounced 'Neesh'.
Stuart Walker, owner of nichehacks, affirms that the only way to pronounce Niche is 'Neesh'.
I had a look at some dictionaries and they all seem to have different opinions.
According to https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/niche
There are two common pronunciation variants, both of which are currently considered correct: \NEESH\ (rhymes with sheesh) and \NICH\ (rhymes with pitch). \NICH\ is the more common one and the older of the two pronunciations.
It is the only pronunciation given for the word in all English dictionaries until the 20th century evidence suggests that in British English, \NEESH\ is now the more common pronunciation.
But then according to http://www.dictionary.com/ it's pronounced 'Nitch'
So why can't dictionaries agree on the correct prononciation?
According to the Cambridge dictionary it's pronounced 'Nitch' in American and Canadian English and 'Neesh' in British English.
So it seems that the word Niche has evolved and that while 'Nitch' is correct for Americans and Canadians, the rest of the world prefer to pronounce it 'Neesh'.
So, how do you pronounce Niche?
Let me know in the comment section below!
Please hit the like button, if like me, you still think that 'Neesh' is the correct way to pronounce it :)