ChatGPT Means “Kitty I Have Farted”

When global names go horribly wrong

Joshua Edward
2 min readMar 28


Photo by Bogdan Farca on Unsplash

The French language is considered one of the chicest in the world, and in fact, the word chic is itself French. The French language is very important to the French people, so much so that there is even an institution, the Académie Française, which is tasked with being the authority on the French language. Anytime new words are created, this academy decides how the French will say it, spell it, and which gender the word has. This is important in order to avoid improper pronunciation or bad translations.

The Academy certainly has its work cut out for them with ChatGPT.

Say The Alphabet

The French language uses the same alphabet as English, however, naturally, the letters are pronounced differently. For example, A is pronounced “Ah,” B is “Bay,” and C is “Say.”

Where it gets interesting is with G-P-T.

G is pronounced with a soft G like what we have in the word “massage,” but also it’s pronounced long, like “gay” but with the soft G, rather than the hard letter for the word that we use to describe happy people and homosexuals.

P is pronounced like “pay” and T is said more like “tay.”

Got that? Gay-pay-tay (remember the soft G).

I Have Let One Go

In French, when we are referring to something we have done, we say “j’ai ____” with the blank being where the verb is conjugated in the past tense goes.

In French, a fart is “pet” and the past tense is “pété,” pronounced: “pay-tay.”

See where I’m going?

As you probably guessed, “j’ai,” which means “I have,” is pronounced like “gay” but with the soft g. Imagine how you might try to pronounce a word spelled “jhaiy.”

So… “j’ai pété” means I have farted.

There’s more.

Chat in French means cat, but when pronounced “cha” it means “male cat.” If you say the full word (with the t), then it means “female cat” or “kitty.”

So reading the name ChatGPT comes across as “chat j’ai pété” meaning:

Cat I have farted.

But there is still more — If we speak this as it sounds for French people, it would be “chatte j’ai pété” which literally translates to:

Pussy I farted

And yes… that kind of pussy.

Cultural Whoops

Certainly, when coining this label, the crew responsible for naming the brilliant AI machine didn’t research how it would translate outside of English, or at least they didn’t check it in French.

Perhaps they should have asked ChatGPT.



Joshua Edward