You’ve probably eaten plenty of them in your lifetime – but have you ever paused mid-nibble wondered how to actually pronounce the name of Nice biscuits correctly?
The simple yet delicious snack – a crumbly combination of buttery, coconutty flavour with a generous sprinkling of sugar across its golden top – is a staple in biscuit tins across the country, and is just as good dunked in a cup of tea as it is enjoyed on its own. But while we might love buying and scoffing them, many of us are actually saying their name all wrong.
The debate was reignited in 2020 by Twitter user Bruno Bouchet, who sent a message to Australian manufacturers Arnotts Biscuit to ask the crucial question.
‘G’day @ArnottsBikkies – would you mind giving us the definitive ruling on the pronunciation of the legendary ‘Nice’ biscuit?’ he wrote. ‘N-ice or niece? Cheers.’
And Arnotts were quick to confirm that it’s the French city, not the descriptor, that we should be using when referring to the bake.
‘Hi Bruno, thank you for your query. Nice biscuits were named after the city in the South of France and pronounced the same as that city. They have been part of the Arnott’s range since 1922,’ they responded.
Hi Bruno, thank you for your query. Nice biscuits were named after the city in the South of France and pronounced the same as that city. They have been part of the Arnott's range since 1922.
— Arnott's Biscuits (@ArnottsBikkies) June 23, 2020
While some have been using the correct pronunciation for years, other commenters were surprised at the revelation. ‘I can’t handle the new pronunciation – sounds like trying to sound Scottish. “niece biscuits”‘, wrote one, while another added ‘It can be confusing because Nice biscuits are also very nice.’
‘I’m so happy to finally know the answer to this. Never too old to learn something new!!’ a third commented.
In the UK, Nice biscuits are typically part of individual supermarkets’ own brand ranges, although a McVities version does exist.
The Wikipedia page for Nice biscuits confirms that ‘the name probably derives from the city of Nice in the south of France. 1929 editions of the Hull Daily Mail carried an advertisement for Huntley & Palmers Nice Biscuits using the phrase “Delightful as the town after which they are named”, indicating that by this point their manufacturers intended the public to associate the biscuit with the French town.’