You’re Mispronouncing ‘Adidas’

Germans, Brits, and other Europeans emphasize the first syllable: AH-deed-das.

A Kinkster Mag editor who happens to be from London schooled me recently on the correct pronunciation of Adidas.  It was something I’ve heard for years but thought nothing of it.

Apparently, all of us in America at least have been pronouncing ‘adidas’ incorrectly all this time. Business Insider Australia recently published an article on how to properly pronounce the name of the iconic Three Stripes brand. Most of us are probably used to saying “ah-DEE-das,” placing the emphasis on the second syllable.

“However, our neighbors across the pond, namely those in Germany, where the company was started, say “AH-deeddas,” putting emphasis on the first syllable. Since Adidas was started in Germany by Adolf “Adi” Dassler, it’s probably a safe assumption that their way is the right way.”

“Adidas doesn’t mean anything in German but comes from the company’s original founder, Adolf Dassler. His nickname was “Adi,” with the stress on the first syllable, director of language programs at the Goethe Institut Christoph Veldhues tells Business Insider in an email. That plus a shortened version of his last name, “Das,” gives us “Adidas.” The emphasis naturally stays on the first syllable.”

It should be noted that Adidas does not, as many people believe, stand for “all day I dream of sports.” That’s called a backronym — an acronym made to fit a word that already exists.” (Business Insider)

Americans’ way of saying “ah-dee-das” can be credited to the Hip-Hop Rap Group, Run DMC.  The rap group’s hit song in 1986 “My Adidas” shows the “lexical peculiarities” of American English.

Here are a few more brand names you might be mispronouncing:

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Founder, Co-Owner & Managing Editor. Corey has experience in the corporate financial services, training, brand development, and when he is not writing he's at home dancing nude with a glass of wine.