Pronunciation of Caribbean: Are You Saying It Right?

September 1, 2022

Proper Caribbean Pronunciation?

Have you secretly been wondering how to pronounce Caribbean? You wouldn’t be alone.

Did you know thousands of people run google searches each month to wonder how the name of the tropical region is pronounced?

Once I learned this, I knew I had to do a quick write-up about the correct Caribbean pronunciation. After all, we’re Caribbean addicts here at Mango Tree.

Our mission is to give families everything they need to travel to the Caribbean region–and that starts most fundamentally with knowing how to pronounce it’s name! No need to stress about whether you’re saying it wrong.

Table of Contents

Caribbean Family Travel Resources

If you’re researching the right way to say the name Caribbean, I hope that means you have your eye on a trip to the region! 

So real quick, before we dive in, let’s be sure you have our best Caribbean travel planning resources at your fingertips.

Did you know we have a whole collection of recommended family hotels in the Caribbean? I’ll admit it, it’s sort of our pride and joy. Explore our collection using search filters (like room size) that we designed just for parents. 

Wishing someone else would just handle the logistics for a change? We’re here for that too, offering bespoke Caribbean family travel planning services. Rest easy knowing someone is taking care of you for a change. 

And finally, want more Caribbean travel inspiration in your life? Sign up for our weekly newsletter, where we feature a Caribbean destination each month and highlight our favorite hotels and family travel tips. We also share our best Caribbean destination guides for families

Now, pour yourself a Carib and get back to your Caribbean dreaming.

Two Competing Pronunciations Of Caribbean

There are two common pronunciations of the word Caribbean: First, “care-ih-BEE-an” — with the emphasis on the third syllable. Second, “cuh-RIB-be-an,” with more of an emphasis on the second syllable.

So How Do You Pronounce Caribbean?

The correct pronunciation is “care-ih-BEE-an.”  So, have you been getting it right? 

How do we know this is the right way to say Caribbean? A few ways.

First, most people who live in the islands say “care-ih-BEE-an.” If you’re going to trust anyone’s opinion on how to say Caribbean, I’d go with the region’s residents.

Second, the region’s name comes from the Carib Indians who once populated many islands. The tribe’s name (and the name of the region’s local beer, which is delicious in my opinion) is pronounced “care-ib,” which aligns with this Caribbean pronunciation.

And third, most trusted dictionaries agree with this pronunciation of Caribbean, both for british english and american english. You can hear audio of the english pronunciation on the Cambridge dictionary page.

A Mango Tree Confession

Now that I’ve given you all you need to pronounce Caribbean the right way, I have to admit something: I’ve been pronouncing Caribbean the wrong way. (Hides under couch.)

I’m awfully glad I did the research to answer your question, because now I can correct myself. 

You learn something new every day.

Happy Travels!

How to pronounce Caribbean?