Niche: Nitch or Neesh?

October 27, 2006 Posted by Tyler Cruz
  • Niche: Nitch or Neesh?
  • Real Estate Market
  • Blog Updates

Niche: Nitch or Neesh?

“Life is a foreign language; all men mispronounce it” — Christopher Morley

In the web publisher and web entrepreneur industry the word niche gets thrown around quite often. However, due to the nature of the internet, the pronunciation of the word doesn’t come into play. It is therefore usually only spoken when talking face-to-face with somebody or over the phone.

I’ve heard it pronounced many ways including: NITCH, NEESH, NEESH-AY, and NETCH. This has always bothered me; I like to have an answer for everything, or at least investigate things to a certain degree that will satisfy my curosity. So I did a bit of research onto how to correctly pronounce the word. After all, I don’t want to one day be at a conference giving a speech, only to incorrectly pronounce niche 150 times…

Dictionaries seem to accept only two correct pronunciations: NITCH and NEESH. Niche apparantly comes from Old French, from the word nichier which means to nest. Although it’s not exactly clear, as some scholars believe it to possibly have some Latin origins (nidus, meaning nest) and possibly even Italian.

From the half-dozen dictionaries I checked, I found only NITCH and NEESH as proper pronunciations and nothing else (I verified this with IPA pronunciations; fortunately I learned IPA when I was taking my TEFL course at the college). From further research on the web, such as Wikipedia, blogs and websites, and forums discussing the correct prononciation, I found that most people indeed say it either NITCH and NEESH. However, it appears that Americans are more likely to say NITCH. However, Canadians and Brits tend to say NEESH more. Which makes sense, I guess, since it’s pronouncing it from the French word.

Personally I say NEESH, mainly because I’ve always pronounced it that way. I’m also Canadian and feel that since we are a bilingual Country I’d be patriotic 🙂 Also, I find NITCH to sound raw and crude…

So, there you have it. There are only two correct pronunciations: NITCH and NEESH. You can choose whichever one you prefer, but remember that others may say it a certain way depending on where you live.

Real Estate Market

If you’re an avid reader of my blog you may be wondering what is going on with my Condominium hunting. I’m still looking, but there’s not a lot of new listings hitting the market right now. I’d say a few per week pop up each week that I can afford, but most are either too cheap or else too crappy for me to show any interest in. And that one place I really liked that I was holding out on, hoping for a drop in price due to the season, has been sold I believe.

So, I’m still keeping my eyes open… although I don’t mind waiting too much as it gives me a chance to recoup from the Poker “Ban” hurtage as well as wait for winter to arrive. Winter consistently shows that condos drop in price, and statistics prove that winter sells the least amount of condominiums here, which is good for me.

Take a look at this PDF, which shows the Condo market statistics in my city.

Can you believe that? That’s a 50% increase over just two years! This is why I want to buy now, and not later! With the Olympics coming here in just a couple years and the world starting to notice our beautiful island, the market here shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. Everyone here agrees. I live on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. I understand that the real estate market has plateaued in the US, so I thought I’d remind you that I’m not American.

The second graph shows how November and December show dramatic drops in the number of condo units sold, so don’t be surprised if I purchase something in the next month or two. Consider it a Christmas present to myself 🙂

So, yeah, I’m really just waiting for more listings to hit the market and grab my attention, as well as prices to do their ‘winter drop’.

Blog Updates

I installed the Digg This plug-in, the same one which John Chow uses. Now, I’m nowhere near as much of a Digg-whore as John (although I’d probably like to be), but I do Digg certain posts from time to time. I have to try it, since John has seriously had crazy success with Digg and his blog.

So now whenever there is a Digg to my blog, it will automatically insert a button at the bottom where others can Digg it. I’d really appreciate it if you Digg the stories which have a button to help me out. Thanks.

Good luck and good earnings!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below, subscribing to my RSS feed, or following me on Twitter.
Posted: October 27th, 2006 under Articles  

17 Responses to “Niche: Nitch or Neesh?”

  1. webmaster99 says:

    In the UK its 100% only NEESH.

    People will laugh if you say NITCH over here.

    Great blog.

  2. crunchi says:

    Yeah i must agree with webmaster99..
    He’s right about it..


  3. scoby says:

    I think nitch must be purely american english. It sounds a bit ridiculous to me, to be honest.

    It’s always interesting to hear about the origin of words though.

  4. rls says:

    I pronounce it “Nitch” …

  5. BobLee says:

    Thanks TC!

    I’m funny about wanting to know and more importantly pronouncing any word correctly. I’m from Florida and use to use the ‘nitch’ version but did a far less thorough investigation and since no ‘t’ exist, I chose the ‘neesh’ version as it makes the most sense to me.

    I have a marketing tools site for niche business owners at ( and find it a must to know that (really) either way is correct AND I can have my preference.

    Thanks again for your indepth research.



  6. Lee Jones says:

    It’s got to be Neesh !

  7. ezamo says:

    I have strong feelings about the nitch/neesh controversy. I’m 36, and I never heard anyone say neesh until one evening, in the late 90s, when I heard a radio broadcaster say it. It sounded completely awful to me, and a bit pretentious, as though someone has said “David Mam-MAY” instead of “David MAM-it”.

    Part of the reason neesh doesn’t sound correct to me is that nitch actually sounds like what it is. When I think of nitch, i think of a small opening in a surface, like a crevice in a stone wall that a little creature lives in. The creature specializes in inhabiting that space, and there’s no room for others. That’s a pretty good definition of niche (nitch). Neesh, on the other hand, doesn’t sound like anything in particular–just vaguely French.

    Here’s what I think happened: everybody in America always said nitch until one day, somewhere in the 1990s, someone in broadcasting saw it written for the first time and decided that, since it looked French, they’d sound smarter/cooler if they gave it a French pronunciation. everyone who heard him/her do this on the air did a quick mental nitch/neesh comparison and, even though everyone grew up hearing it nitch, many figured hey, the radio guy must be smarter than me since he speaks French, so it must be neesh. Huh! Who knew?

    Therefore, without any discussion whatsoever, millions of Americans simultaneously ON THE SAME DAY decided that the word niche was pronounced neesh instead of the way they had always heard it. I know this will sound far-fetched to many of you, but that’s the way ideas travel in this day and age. It’s the same as an urban legend, a persistent myth. For example, I have been told by several very well-educated people that the Daddy Long-legs is actually one of the most venomous creatures there is, but it’s fangs are too small to penetrate our skin, so we’d never know it. This claim is false. There is no evidence behind it whatsoever, regardless of how you interpret it. Yet I’m sure it won’t go away, for the same reason that I’m sure I’ll continue to hear people say neesh: people believe that propagating it makes them sound smarter.

    I hearby challenge anyone out there listening to find me a recording of an American saying neesh from before, say, 1990. I bet you can’t because I bet they didn’t.

  8. […] Niche: Nitch or Neesh? | An Internet Entrepreneur’s Journey __________________ Tyler Cruz Administrator Merendi Networks Inc. pvid.parsePost('post_message_131714',131714,2147483647,4095); pvid.parseSig('post_signature_131714',131714,0,2147483647,4095); […]

  9. Michael Watkins says:

    I’m English and I have always said nitch and find neesh quite recent and puzzling.

  10. Michael Watkins says:

    Yes I agree with ezamo, people feel the need to jump on a bandwagon lest they be thought silly or untrendy.

  11. It is really interesting how many English words are from different origins, I love that we adopted so many foreign words in English vocabulary.

  12. Gouri says:

    Should be ‘nitch’. That’s what Oxford dictionary says, tha’s what Merriam-Webmaster’s online dictionary says.. And that’s what I have been pronouncing right from my childhood!!

    • whisper says:

      That is because both websites are owned by someone in the US. The US are the only ones that pronounce it NITCH. This is one of many words that they have brutalised by Americans from the English language. That is why I refuse to pronounce Arkansas as Arkansaw. Just look at the way Americans say the letter Z. It is Zed not Zee

  13. linguisticsupremacy? says:

    The reason why British people pronounce it “neesh” is because we understand that the word derives from a French word, pronounced in a similar manner. Like the article says.

    I have no idea why Americans pronounce the word differently but there is no conspiracy and both are accepted in their respective areas of the world.

  14. Sheila says:

    It’s NEESH – it’s a French word, and Americans bastardise it as they’re too lazy to pronounce it correctly. I CRINGE when I hear “Nitch” – really?

    Like Des Moines – which they pronounce “D Moyne” – it’s actually “Day Mwa”. The last bit is pronounced A as in apple.

    Other transgressions include “Bayzil”, “erbs”, “carmelised (instead of caramelised)”, “gram (instead of graham)”, “aluminum (instead of aluminium)” …. the list goes on.


Leave a Reply