It’s an argument that’s divided our country, has gone on for decades and has maybe even broken up friendships: Which is the right way to pronounce “Reese’s?”

People are serious about their peanut butter cups! While we may be separated into Team “Rees-EES” and Team “Rees-IS,” only one side is pronouncing it correctly. So, who’s the winner? A little history behind the beloved chocolate peanut butter cup candies will provide you with the answer. 

H.B. Reese: The Man Behind the Candy

chocolate, peanut butter, butter, candy, peanut, sweet
Jude Alsawah

According to the Hershey's Community Archives, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups get their name from their founder, Harry Burnett Reese. H.B. Reese started out in the candy business by managing dairy production for Milton S. Hershey. When the dairy barn shut down, he decided to try his hand at making candy for a living, and the R&R Candy Company was born.

Reese made various chocolate candies, but it became clear that the peanut butter cups were the star of the show. He maintained a close relationship with Hershey, using his chocolate to cover each bit of peanut butter and eventually, Hershey acquired Reese’s in 1963. 

Since Reese’s is named after the man himself (and they're his peanut butter cups), the correct pronunciation is in fact “Rees-IS” instead of “Rees-EES." So the next time you and your friend get in an argument, let them know you’ve done your research. 

Need More Proof?

Though today's Reese's commercials seem to add fuel to the fire of this argument by only using words in their commercials and never actually saying the brand's name, this wasn't always the case. Reese's does in fact actually confirm it is Rees-IS in past commercials, like this super sophisticated one from 2003. 

But What About Reese’s Pieces?

peanut butter, peanut, butter, chocolate
Reed Erickson

When Reese’s introduced their mini peanut butter candies called Reese’s Pieces in 1977, the pronunciation debate continued. Some call them “Rees-IS Piec-IS” while others say “Rees-EES Piec-EES." However, the latter basically creates a whole new word, which is, unfortunately, technically incorrect.

Regardless of how you’ve been saying it, luckily, there's no wrong way to eat it. So, enjoy your Reese's Peanut Butter Cups while you show up your friends in this infamous argument once and for all.