Because of its simple design, affordability, and wide range of models, the Dahon folding bike is one of the best-selling folding bikes on the market. Simply put, out of all of the folding bikes out there, the one you see being ridden on the street the most frequently is the Dahon. Despite the near omnipresence of the Dahon folding bike, one surprising problem exists: most people are unsure of how to pronounce its very name. Dahon folding bikes are discussed in countless forums, shared by word of mouth through email and blogs... but the thing is, whether you're discussing, researching, or even purchasing a Dahon folding bike online, you do not need to know how to pronounce the name in order to do so. Such is the reality of the internet.
And, due to this reality, we are offered countless pronunciations for the Dahon folding bike from customers that visit our shop or call us on the phone. The two most common pronunciations we hear for Dahon are 'Day-hon' and 'Duh-hon.' Of course, the list does not stop there. We've heard the Dahon folding bike referred to as the Duh-hone, the Day-hone, the Dee-hone, the Daa-hun, the Day-hun, and even once as 'The Don.' The imagery of Donald Trump's distinctive, unchanging hairstyle and his angry, pointing finger aside, this was one of our favorite Dahon mispronunciations.
"So how do I discuss this folding bike with my friends, family, and co-workers without sounding like a fool? How do I show everyone that I'm in the know, that I'm an informed member of the folding bike community? How do I ensure that when I say 'Dahon,' everyone knows that I'm cool?
Here at NYCeWheels we tend to alternate between pronouncing it as 'Day-hon' and 'Duh-hon.' It depends on the mood we're in, and how the customers themselves have pronounced it (we're not one of those bike shops that likes to revel in a customer's missteps and then talk down to them in a holier-than-thou manner.)
"So you switch between two pronunciations for the Dahon folding bike? That isn't exactly the definitive answer I was looking for."
Well, how about this then. The founder of Dahon folding bikes is David Hon. The name of the folding bike is simply taken from his own name: we have the 'Day' from 'David,' and the 'Hon' from, well, 'Hon.' This would make it 'Day-hon.' Simple enough, right? Well, maybe. After much discussion of the pronunciation on the Dahon folding bike forums (one user even adapted a classic song to help others remember the pronunciation), one of Dahon's technicians logged in and noted that the correct pronunciation of Dahon is in fact 'Duh-hon.'
So, while the official pronunciation of the Dahon folding bike has been determined, please feel free to pronounce it however you are most comfortable when in our shop or calling us on the phone. Not only will we not judge you for it, but if your pronunciation is amusing enough we may even add it to this article.
And, in closing, we would like to quote Romeo and Juliet:
'That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.'
The same is true here. When all is said and done, a Dahon folding bike is still a Dahon folding bike regardless of how you pronounce it.