Do you know what a gyro is? Have you had a gyro before? If your answer is "of course," then I'm glad we're on the same page here. That being said, have you ever second guessed the way you pronounced gyro? Do you say guys-whoa, guy-roll, why-go, hi-hos, gwy-ro, or perhaps ga-hee-ro? Well, anyhow, we are about to teach you how to pronounce gyro.

The Age-old Battle

cream, chocolate, gyro
Victoria Romulo

If you have actively participated in this debate, which has lasted for as long as gyro have existed, you're not alone. In fact, Jimmy Fallon, the host of "The Tonight Show," has already taken the issue to national television. What's more (you've guessed it), is that he's made it into a music video, which I'm sure only shows how serious he is about getting this matter straight. 

Personally, I've always called it jai-roe without ever doubting myself. What gave me the confidence? The fact that everyone around me pronounces it the exact same way. 

meat, bread, gyro, sandwich, beef, vegetable, lettuce
Net Supatravanij

So, is Jimmy Fallon right and I'm wrong? Apparently, just among the English speakers, there are also those who call it guy-row, gee-row, geero, and euro. Inevitably, people's pronunciation may be different depending on the region.

Many U.S. Greeks say yee-ro, which natives don't completely agree with, either. To solve this long-lasting mystery, we would have to talk to a real Greek.

YEE-ros vs. YEE-ree

So what's the real way to pronounce gyro? Yep, this might be counterintuitive, but according to Josh Gates of the Travel Channel, "gyros" is actually the singular form, and is pronounced YEE-ros. If one gyro isn't enough, then you would say that you want a couple of gyri, or YEE-ree.


If you haven't heard of the King Kong chain, it's a fast food restaurant that serves everything from burgers and steaks to phillies and gyros. Here's one of their past commercials:

I know the commercial looks like it was made 20 years ago, but did you catch how they said gyro in the video? If not, here's a second one:

So, looks like it's YEE-ros, indeed!


Next time I order Greek food from an American restaurant, I will probably still stick with saying jai-roe. If it is an authentic Greek restaurant, then I may give YEE-ros a try.

vegetable, chicken, sauce, meat, gyro, fish, lettuce
Helena Lin

Regardless, why does it matter? It's great to learn about different cultures and languages and the real way to pronounce gyro, but call it "the-Greek-pita-bread-wrap" if you like. It's your passion for food that really counts!