If You Don’t Pronounce “Coke” Properly, It Could Mean “Penis”

One of my Korean students went to the United States for a business trip and she went to a bar after work.

She went up to the bar counter. She doesn’t drink alcohol, so she wanted to get a soft drink.

She said, “Coke, please.”

The bartender was shocked to hear what she just said. “Excuse me?”

She said again, “I want coke!”

The bartender shook his head totally confused.

When she said “coke,” it sounded like “cock.”

“Cock” is a slang term for penis.

This happened because my student didn’t distinguish the long vowel from a short vowel.

Pronunciation: Coke vs Cock

“Coke” has a long vowel.

These words have the same long vowel: Coke, poke, woke, yoke, and soak.

“Cock” has a short vowel.

These words have the same short vowel: cock, dock, mock, lock, and knock.

Next time you want to order coke, make sure to pronounce “coke” properly. If they don’t understand you after 2 or 3 tries, say it in a different way. Try “coca-cola,” “pepsi,” or “the carbonated sugar water with the artificial black color.”

If you're not careful, you're going to sound like this poor Korean teacher on youtube…

Pronunciation: Important vs Impotent

Try reading these two sentences out loud.

My friends are very important to me.

My friends are very impotent to me.

I know many Korean students who do not pronounce the word “important” properly. The vowel on the second syllable needs to be long and emphasized. It’s “impórtant.”

I heard some Korean students pronouncing it as “ímpotent.” If you put the emphasis on the first syllable and make the second syllable too short, it becomes another word.

“Impotent” has two meanings. It means (1) powerless, or (2) a man can’t achieve an erection (his penis can’t get hard).

I hope your friends are very important to you.

To avoid embarrassment and misunderstanding, it’s important that you improve your English pronunciation.

If you are a Korean student, you should take my “English pronunciation course for Korean students” right now.

About Josh

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52000명의 유튜브 구독자가 인정한 유튜버 영어 강사 Josh Tanaka 일본계 미국인인 Josh는 전에 통번역사와 프로젝트매니저를 했던 경험을 바탕으로 여러분이 보다 스마트한 영어를 할 수 있도록 도와 드리고 있습니다.

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