Top 10 Ukulele (Mis)Spellings

Ukulele Misspelled

Because it’s a Hawaiian word, the word “ukulele” is frequently misspelled by English speakers.

Ever wonder what the top 10 most popular ways people spell (or misspell) it are? So did I. Here’s what I did about it:

First I broke the word down into its 4 syllables, “yoo”, “koo”, “lay” and “lee”, then I tried to come up with all the possible ways someone would try to spell each syllable. I came up with:

Yoo – u, yu, yoo, oo

Koo – ku, ke, ka, ki, koo

Lay – le, lai, lay, la, lei, lie

Lee – le, li, lie, ly, lee, lay, lai, lei

Then I made a list of every combination of the word using these different spellings to come up with a list of 920 possible spellings (See that list below).

Then I used a tool to see how often each one was searched, and found the top 10 most popular, here’s the result:

  1. Ukulele (the normal spelling)
  2. Ukelele (an alternate spelling mainly used in the early 1900’s)
  3. Ukalali
  4. Ukelale
  5. Ukalele
  6. Ukalaylee
  7. Ukalaily
  8. Yukulele
  9. Yukalele
  10. Ukilayli

What can we learn from this? Not much, but it is interesting that the “oo” spellings were not on the popular list, considering that is the true Hawaiian pronunciation.

This is likely explained by the fact that there are more English speakers than Hawaiian speakers, and that Hawaiian speakers are probably more familiar with the spelling (and therefore do not misspell it as frequently).

Anyways, here’s the list of all 920 combinations that were checked:

ukuleleukeleleukaleleukilele
ukooleleyukuleleyukeleleyukalele
yukileleyukooleleyookuleleyookelele
yookaleleyookileleyookooleleukulaile
ukelaileukalaileukilaileukoolaile
yukulaileyukelaileyukalaileyukilaile
yukoolaileyookulaileyookelaileyookalaile
yookilaileyookoolaileukulayleukelayle
ukalayleukilayleukoolayleyukulayle
yukelayleyukalayleyukilayleyukoolayle
yookulayleyookelayleyookalayleyookilayle
yookoolayleukulaleukelaleukalale
ukilaleukoolaleyukulaleyukelale
yukalaleyukilaleyukoolaleyookulale
yookelaleyookalaleyookilaleyookoolale
ukuleileukeleileukaleileukileile
ukooleileyukuleileyukeleileyukaleile
yukileileyukooleileyookuleileyookeleile
yookaleileyookileileyookooleileukuliele
ukelieleukalieleukilieleukooliele
yukulieleyukelieleyukalieleyukiliele
yukoolieleyookulieleyookelieleyookaliele
yookilieleyookoolieleukuleliukeleli
ukaleliukileliukooleliyukuleli
yukeleliyukaleliyukileliyukooleli
yookuleliyookeleliyookaleliyookileli
yookooleliukulailiukelailiukalaili
ukilailiukoolailiyukulailiyukelaili
yukalailiyukilailiyukoolailiyookulaili
yookelailiyookalailiyookilailiyookoolaili
ukulayliukelayliukalayliukilayli
ukoolayliyukulayliyukelayliyukalayli
yukilayliyukoolayliyookulayliyookelayli
yookalayliyookilayliyookoolayliukulali
ukelaliukalaliukilaliukoolali
yukulaliyukelaliyukalaliyukilali
yukoolaliyookulaliyookelaliyookalali
yookilaliyookoolaliukuleiliukeleili
ukaleiliukileiliukooleiliyukuleili
yukeleiliyukaleiliyukileiliyukooleili
yookuleiliyookeleiliyookaleiliyookileili
yookooleiliukulieliukelieliukalieli
ukilieliukoolieliyukulieliyukelieli
yukalieliyukilieliyukoolieliyookulieli
yookelieliyookalieliyookilieliyookoolieli
ukulelieukelelieukalelieukilelie
ukoolelieyukulelieyukelelieyukalelie
yukilelieyukoolelieyookulelieyookelelie
yookalelieyookilelieyookoolelieukulailie
ukelailieukalailieukilailieukoolailie
yukulailieyukelailieyukalailieyukilailie
yukoolailieyookulailieyookelailieyookalailie
yookilailieyookoolailieukulaylieukelaylie
ukalaylieukilaylieukoolaylieyukulaylie
yukelaylieyukalaylieyukilaylieyukoolaylie
yookulaylieyookelaylieyookalaylieyookilaylie
yookoolaylieukulalieukelalieukalalie
ukilalieukoolalieyukulalieyukelalie
yukalalieyukilalieyukoolalieyookulalie
yookelalieyookalalieyookilalieyookoolalie
ukuleilieukeleilieukaleilieukileilie
ukooleilieyukuleilieyukeleilieyukaleilie
yukileilieyukooleilieyookuleilieyookeleilie
yookaleilieyookileilieyookooleilieukulielie
ukelielieukalielieukilielieukoolielie
yukulielieyukelielieyukalielieyukilielie
yukoolielieyookulielieyookelielieyookalielie
yookilielieyookoolielieukulelyukelely
ukalelyukilelyukoolelyyukulely
yukelelyyukalelyyukilelyyukoolely
yookulelyyookelelyyookalelyyookilely
yookoolelyukulailyukelailyukalaily
ukilailyukoolailyyukulailyyukelaily
yukalailyyukilailyyukoolailyyookulaily
yookelailyyookalailyyookilailyyookoolaily
ukulaylyukelaylyukalaylyukilayly
ukoolaylyyukulaylyyukelaylyyukalayly
yukilaylyyukoolaylyyookulaylyyookelayly
yookalaylyyookilaylyyookoolaylyukulaly
ukelalyukalalyukilalyukoolaly
yukulalyyukelalyyukalalyyukilaly
yukoolalyyookulalyyookelalyyookalaly
yookilalyyookoolalyukuleilyukeleily
ukaleilyukileilyukooleilyyukuleily
yukeleilyyukaleilyyukileilyyukooleily
yookuleilyyookeleilyyookaleilyyookileily
yookooleilyukulielyukelielyukaliely
ukilielyukoolielyyukulielyyukeliely
yukalielyyukilielyyukoolielyyookuliely
yookelielyyookalielyyookilielyyookooliely
ukuleleeukeleleeukaleleeukilelee
ukooleleeyukuleleeyukeleleeyukalelee
yukileleeyukooleleeyookuleleeyookelelee
yookaleleeyookileleeyookooleleeukulailee
ukelaileeukalaileeukilaileeukoolailee
yukulaileeyukelaileeyukalaileeyukilailee
yukoolaileeyookulaileeyookelaileeyookalailee
yookilaileeyookoolaileeukulayleeukelaylee
ukalayleeukilayleeukoolayleeyukulaylee
yukelayleeyukalayleeyukilayleeyukoolaylee
yookulayleeyookelayleeyookalayleeyookilaylee
yookoolayleeukulaleeukelaleeukalalee
ukilaleeukoolaleeyukulaleeyukelalee
yukalaleeyukilaleeyukoolaleeyookulalee
yookelaleeyookalaleeyookilaleeyookoolalee
ukuleileeukeleileeukaleileeukileilee
ukooleileeyukuleileeyukeleileeyukaleilee
yukileileeyukooleileeyookuleileeyookeleilee
yookaleileeyookileileeyookooleileeukulielee
ukelieleeukalieleeukilieleeukoolielee
yukulieleeyukelieleeyukalieleeyukilielee
yukoolieleeyookulieleeyookelieleeyookalielee
yookilieleeyookoolieleeukulelayukelelay
ukalelayukilelayukoolelayyukulelay
yukelelayyukalelayyukilelayyukoolelay
yookulelayyookelelayyookalelayyookilelay
yookoolelayukulailayukelailayukalailay
ukilailayukoolailayyukulailayyukelailay
yukalailayyukilailayyukoolailayyookulailay
yookelailayyookalailayyookilailayyookoolailay
ukulaylayukelaylayukalaylayukilaylay
ukoolaylayyukulaylayyukelaylayyukalaylay
yukilaylayyukoolaylayyookulaylayyookelaylay
yookalaylayyookilaylayyookoolaylayukulalay
ukelalayukalalayukilalayukoolalay
yukulalayyukelalayyukalalayyukilalay
yukoolalayyookulalayyookelalayyookalalay
yookilalayyookoolalayukuleilayukeleilay
ukaleilayukileilayukooleilayyukuleilay
yukeleilayyukaleilayyukileilayyukooleilay
yookuleilayyookeleilayyookaleilayyookileilay
yookooleilayukulielayukelielayukalielay
ukilielayukoolielayyukulielayyukelielay
yukalielayyukilielayyukoolielayyookulielay
yookelielayyookalielayyookilielayyookoolielay
ukulelaiukelelaiukalelaiukilelai
ukoolelaiyukulelaiyukelelaiyukalelai
yukilelaiyukoolelaiyookulelaiyookelelai
yookalelaiyookilelaiyookoolelaiukulailai
ukelailaiukalailaiukilailaiukoolailai
yukulailaiyukelailaiyukalailaiyukilailai
yukoolailaiyookulailaiyookelailaiyookalailai
yookilailaiyookoolailaiukulaylaiukelaylai
ukalaylaiukilaylaiukoolaylaiyukulaylai
yukelaylaiyukalaylaiyukilaylaiyukoolaylai
yookulaylaiyookelaylaiyookalaylaiyookilaylai
yookoolaylaiukulalaiukelalaiukalalai
ukilalaiukoolalaiyukulalaiyukelalai
yukalalaiyukilalaiyukoolalaiyookulalai
yookelalaiyookalalaiyookilalaiyookoolalai
ukuleilaiukeleilaiukaleilaiukileilai
ukooleilaiyukuleilaiyukeleilaiyukaleilai
yukileilaiyukooleilaiyookuleilaiyookeleilai
yookaleilaiyookileilaiyookooleilaiukulielai
ukelielaiukalielaiukilielaiukoolielai
yukulielaiyukelielaiyukalielaiyukilielai
yukoolielaiyookulielaiyookelielaiyookalielai
yookilielaiyookoolielaiukuleleiukelelei
ukaleleiukileleiukooleleiyukulelei
yukeleleiyukaleleiyukileleiyukoolelei
yookuleleiyookeleleiyookaleleiyookilelei
yookooleleiukulaileiukelaileiukalailei
ukilaileiukoolaileiyukulaileiyukelailei
yukalaileiyukilaileiyukoolaileiyookulailei
yookelaileiyookalaileiyookilaileiyookoolailei
ukulayleiukelayleiukalayleiukilaylei
ukoolayleiyukulayleiyukelayleiyukalaylei
yukilayleiyukoolayleiyookulayleiyookelaylei
yookalayleiyookilayleiyookoolayleiukulalei
ukelaleiukalaleiukilaleiukoolalei
yukulaleiyukelaleiyukalaleiyukilalei
yukoolaleiyookulaleiyookelaleiyookalalei
yookilaleiyookoolaleiukuleileiukeleilei
ukaleileiukileileiukooleileiyukuleilei
yukeleileiyukaleileiyukileileiyukooleilei
yookuleileiyookeleileiyookaleileiyookileilei
yookooleileiukulieleiukelieleiukalielei
ukilieleiukoolieleiyukulieleiyukelielei
yukalieleiyukilieleiyukoolieleiyookulielei
yookelieleiyookalieleiyookilieleiyookoolielei
ookuleleookeleleookaleleookilele
ookooleleookulaileookelaileookalaile
ookilaileookoolaileookulayleookelayle
ookalayleookilayleookoolayleookulale
ookelaleookalaleookilaleookoolale
ookuleileookeleileookaleileookileile
ookooleileookuleliookeleliookaleli
ookileliookooleliookulailiookelaili
ookalailiookilailiookoolailiookulayli
ookelayliookalayliookilayliookoolayli
ookulaliookelaliookalaliookilali
ookoolaliookuleiliookeleiliookaleili
ookileiliookooleiliookulelieookelelie
ookalelieookilelieookoolelieookulailie
ookelailieookalailieookilailieookoolailie
ookulaylieookelaylieookalaylieookilaylie
ookoolaylieookulalieookelalieookalalie
ookilalieookoolalieookuleilieookeleilie
ookaleilieookileilieookooleilieookulely
ookelelyookalelyookilelyookoolely
ookulailyookelailyookalailyookilaily
ookoolailyookulaylyookelaylyookalayly
ookilaylyookoolaylyookulalyookelaly
ookalalyookilalyookoolalyookuleily
ookeleilyookaleilyookileilyookooleily
ookuleleeookeleleeookaleleeookilelee
ookooleleeookulaileeookelaileeookalailee
ookilaileeookoolaileeookulayleeookelaylee
ookalayleeookilayleeookoolayleeookulalee
ookelaleeookalaleeookilaleeookoolalee
ookuleileeookeleileeookaleileeookileilee
ookooleileeookulelayookelelayookalelay
ookilelayookoolelayookulailayookelailay
ookalailayookilailayookoolailayookulaylay
ookelaylayookalaylayookilaylayookoolaylay
ookulalayookelalayookalalayookilalay
ookoolalayookuleilayookeleilayookaleilay
ookileilayookooleilayookulelaiookelelai
ookalelaiookilelaiookoolelaiookulailai
ookelailaiookalailaiookilailaiookoolailai
ookulaylaiookelaylaiookalaylaiookilaylai
ookoolaylaiookulalaiookelalaiookalalai
ookilalaiookoolalaiookuleilaiookeleilai
ookaleilaiookileilaiookooleilaiookulelei
ookeleleiookaleleiookileleiookoolelei
ookulaileiookelaileiookalaileiookilailei
ookoolaileiookulayleiookelayleiookalaylei
ookilayleiookoolayleiookulaleiookelalei
ookalaleiookilaleiookoolaleiookuleilei
ookeleileiookaleileiookileileiookooleilei

Pointless? Probably, but we can’t just sit around strumming chords all day.

Don’t forget to tune up your strings. Happy Playing!

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