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2019 photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin (left); bowl of poutine (right).

You may have seen "poutine" trending on Twitter, spawning countless bad memes from anglophones who confuse the French spelling of the autocratic Russian president's name with the gravy-logged dish from Quebec. "Putin," of course, isn't how it's spelled, either.

Both spellings are just approximations roughly matching the native Russian pronunciation of his name with Roman letters that produce similar sounds in French and English. The French "Poutine" also conveniently avoids sounding too much like the favourite vulgar interjection "putain."

In Cyrillic script, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is written Владимир Владимирович Путин, according to the Kremlin's official website, which, save for a Google preview, is inoperable as of the time of writing thanks to the efforts of a group of crafty hackers.

To our non-specialist ears and according to news reports and amateur YouTube linguists, the Russian pronunciation of his name is somewhere between the French poo-TEEN and English POO-tin with an emphasis on the first syllable and a middle consonant that sounds a little softer than the French or English 't' — so POO-tchyen... kind of.

For the record, the Russian embassies to the United States and France seem to recognize Putin and Poutine, respectively, as official transliterations.

But someone should tell the internet. Confusion and jokes abound on social media over the French spelling.

The one unlucky Twitter user with the handle @poutine has even apparently become somewhat of a target online.

In the anglo world, the puzzlement seems to have reached new heights following this tweet from Canadian NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, which led many to discover the French spelling for the first time.

You can imagine the disappointment.

And the bad jokes.

One poutine please, hold the Putin.

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