30 years on, people are still arguing over how to pronounce NES


Oh internet, will you ever agree on anything? We couldn't just celebrate the Nintendo Entertainment System's 30th birthday without it turning into an argument, could we?

Someone on NeoGaf has gone and done it, asking forum dwellers if they pronounce the console's name as "NES" or "N. E. S.". Can open. Worms everywhere.

Despite what you might assume, there seems to be some variation in the way people pronounce the name of Nintendo's 8-bit home console. 'Vipershark', for example, insists the "only correct way to pronounce it is N-E-S". As does Justin Jackson on Twitter.

Liamario, from Ireland, also says "N-E-S" but yields that he/she announces the name of the console's successor as "SNES".

But ohhh boy, here comes 'dose' with a dose of reality: "So you pronounce a Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation L-A-S-E-R ? Sorry, but you're talking absolute bulls**t."

Likewise, 'MindGamingMantis' also says "nes like Ness". 'krpiper' is equally confused: "I say Ness like the first part of Nessie what's this NEZ stuff"

That's before we've even got onto the SNES, a whole other territory that's best avoided. "the SNES is the Super-N-E-S", says 'ekim'.

"like who says super n e s?" asks 'Stevey'. Well Stevey, this rather terrible, but official, 1993 advert for the SNES Super Set does. Told.

Digging through some early commercials for the NES tells us Nintendo switched between using the "N-E-S" acronym and pronouncing the full "Nintendo Entertainment System" - though no sign of it being referred to as the "NES".

Some people are even claiming to have called it the "Nintendo". Like, what the hell? Then comes another good question: do you say "NES" or "NEZ". "How do you "nez" people pronounce yes?" asks Jiggles. Great point.

And if you think any of this is a joke, just ask schick85, who says "You'd be made fun of if you went around calling it "ness" in my neighborhood. No one called it that." Just imagine growing up on that street.

We've asked Nintendo to put this to bed once and for all, but for now we're going to have to go by the adverts and tow the party line: it's "N-E-S".

Still, if there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that the blond kid in this one particular commercial is just the worst.

So, how do YOU say it?

  • "NES"
  • "NEZ"
  • "N-E-S"
  • "Nintendo Entertainment System"

This is important, guys, ok? Next up: how do you pronounce Sega?

Hugh Langley

Hugh Langley is the ex-News Editor of TechRadar. He had written for many magazines and websites including Business Insider, The Telegraph, IGN, Gizmodo, Entrepreneur Magazine, WIRED (UK), TrustedReviews, Business Insider Australia, Business Insider India, Business Insider Singapore, Wareable, The Ambient and more.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider covering Google and Alphabet, and has the unfortunate distinction of accidentally linking the TechRadar homepage to a rival publication.