I was eating at a Turkish place with a Turkish colleague and I learned so much about gyros, which the Turkish call doner. Doner means ‘rotates’ because it cooks on that rotating spit. I honestly never thought of this before, but that’s what ‘gyro’ means too. Like a gyroscope.
I have long wondered about the pronunciation of gyro. If you’re a kid from small town Tennessee, you have a gyro (pronounced ji-ro) like 4 times in your life when you go to the county fair. Then you move to the big city and you meet kids from the city who had hippies for parents and they explain to you that it’s a yee-ro.
That all makes sense, but then you go to a place run by old Greek guys and you know they’ve heard people say yee-ro before, but when you say it they pretend they don’t know what you’re talking about. “WHAT you want?” they yell in response. Then you say ji-ro and they say “OH A JI-RO” and make you one.
I assume this is because they dislike hippies who try to pronounce things ‘right.’ The best experience ever is to order a gyro while at an angry old Greek guy restaurant with your hippie friend who feels super strongly about how gyro is pronounced. It’s beautiful because you can be made to feel stupid no matter how you say it. Don’t you see, it’s perfect.