Another reason why so many people say this dog’s breed name incorrectly is because the wrong way of saying it has become so popular; it has almost become a slang word. When one person says it incorrectly, another person does not correct them since the mispronunciation has become so common. The person who does know that accurate phonation often thinks that they themselves are the ones who would be perceived as enunciating it incorrectly, so they don’t speak up. And the endless circle continues.
The most common and incorrect pronunciation of Shih Tzu is: Shit Zoo. We know some breeders, show handlers and all sorts of people who really should know the linguistic mistake regarding this breed that so many others make, but they don’t.
So many people - both owners and breeders- will say the first syllable to be: “shit”… Some are a bit embarrassed when saying it, other say it clear and loud to “show” that they say will say it right, no matter what. Therefore, it is a bit amusing that they are not enunciating it accurately.
There are other incorrect pronunciations of the word as well. We have heard:
Shi –Doo, Sheet Zoo, She – Do and just about any other mix of the vowel and consonants that one could imagine.
So, for the correct pronunciation of Shih Tzu let's look to the Oxford English Dictionary, which is the world's most comprehensive single-language print dictionary according to the Guinness Book of World Records. It is the premier dictionary of the English language.
According to this trustworthy, top-class, reputable resource, the correct pronunciation is: (shē' dzo͞o)