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40% of Americans can’t spell ‘Budweiser’

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This shouldn’t be a trick question: How many “e’s” in Budweiser?

Americans may love bellying up to the bar, especially on St. Patrick’s Day. But they’re often clueless when it comes to spelling the names of their favorite alcoholic beverages.

That’s the word from Bartrendr, an app that lets users share information about their favorite watering holes. The app’s technical team tracked some 100,000 recent postings and found a plethora of misspellings, even with names that would be seemingly easy to get right.

Among the brands most commonly mangled: Jägermeister (it was spelled incorrectly 90% of the time), Budweiser (42%), Jameson (23%), Hennessy (15%) and Jack Daniel’s (6%).

The Batrendr team did not consider accent marks when judging spelling, so the mistakes with Jägermeister had nothing to do with the umlaut. If anything, the mistakes were likely related to the fact that although the German spirit is spelled with a “j,” it’s pronounced as if it begins with a “y” (“Yay-ger-mice-ster”), as per the German language.


And if you’re wondering how Americans managed to misspell the fourth most-popular beer brand in the country, that’s because they often referred to it as “Budwiser,” according to Bartrendr.

Interestingly, some of the most complex brand names — think such single-malt Scotches such as Bruichladdich and Laphroaig — were rarely misspelled, according to Bartrendr. Devon Bergman, a co-founder of the app, attributes that to the fact that drinkers of such beverages tend to be fairly sophisticated and in-the-know.

Bergman also says that users’ level of sobriety may play a role in their spelling ability (or lack thereof), but Bartrendr couldn’t determine to what extent. “We’re not a breathalyzer app,” he says.

Charles Passy