Pronunciation of terms

I was thinking about ogives today for some reason and I became hung up on exactly how to pronounce the very word. Since I am basically away from it all up in Maine and not around collectors to hear these sorts of words to be spoken, I checked the pronunciation and was surprised to find that it is not pronounced “O-give” or “O-geeve” as I thought it was, it is actually “O-jive”. You can see and hear it here: Click on the little speaker icon to hear it pronounced. Then I got thinking about other commonly mispronounced words, and so I made a list, and looked them up. I made the following key:

Annulus = Ann-you-lus
Bakelite = Bake-ah-light
Carbine = Car-bine /// British pronunciation = Car-bean
Chamfer = Cam-fur
Daewoo = Die-woo
Flechette = Fleh-shett
Franchi = Fron-key
Galil = Gah-leel
Heckler & Koch = Heck-ler & Coke
Hoppes = Hop-eeez
Hornady = Horn-uh-dee /// British pronunciation = Hor-nay-dee
Incendiary = In-sen-dee-yairy /// British pronunciation = In-sin-dree
Kynoch = Kai-knock
Lapua = Laup-wah
Leopold = Lou-pold
Mannlicher = Mahn-licker
Picatinny = Pick-a-tinny
Sako = Saw-ko
Sellier & Bellot = Sell-yaw & Bell-low
Steyr = Shteer
Tikka = Tee-ka
Xiuhcoatl = Shwee-caught (new Mexican assault rifle)

If anyone thinks different please chime in and offer a pronunciation. The “British pronunciations” are sort of best guesses, as I know some of the same words are pronounced differently, my favorite is “Al-loo-min-eum” instead of “Al-oo-min-um”

SABOT! SAY-bow or saa-BOW?

Great idea, by the way.

DK, that really is a fantastic idea! I have been butchering the pronunciation on many words. Thanks so much!

PS: Rick, you gave me a idea. I think I may have to name a young unnamed Bushbaby, SAY BOW".

According to Sabot is pronounced “Sah-bow” (with the emphasis on the “sah”) and not the more typically accepted version of “Say-bow”.

Just noted there is a talking pronunciation speaker thingy on Says it. Amazing, this computerized intraweb.


Though I don’t agree upon Sellier & Bellot = Sell-yaw & Bell-low

I’d say Sell-yea & Bell-oh

In England it’s spelled " aluminium" just like they pronounce it!

Note a bad idea to list these, but it should be by correct pronunciation and not local accents.

I never herd the word Carbine pronounced in any way, in the military, but as the Britsh do according to the list - Car-bean. Car-byne I’ve only heard with Civilians. I don’t know what’s right by the dictionary, but by common usage, I would use car-bean.

Vlim is correct on Seillier & Bellot. They are French names and pronunciation must be in French to be correct, in my opinion.

Franchi - I don’t think it could possibly be made to sound Fron-key. It is true that “chi” in Italian is “key” and not “chee,” but the A is a broad “a” and not an “o” sound by any means. It is not the flat “a” as in Yankee that most Americans pronounce. I can’t really phonetically spell the word. I am sure it can be done - I just can’t think of it right now.

I don’t buy "Horn-uh-dee either. that may be how it comes out - maybe even from me. My own accent, for instance, does not do double TTs. “Rotten,” as I say it, comes out “Rodden.” Is that correct - no, but its the way it comes out of mouth.

What you credit as the British pronunciation of Hornady is most correct - whore - na - dee, in my opinion. Pardon the first word - it is not a relection on anything other than trying to show the right pronunciation.

Just my thoughts on it. Over all, a good list. I like your “Lapwah.” As far as I can find out, that is correct and few people other than Finns seem to use it that way. People laugh when I don’t call it La-poo-a, but a Finnish customer of mine once told me when people used the name that way, it made him gag.

Cool list. We should add to it.

John - yes some of these do leave something to be desired in terms of knowing where the emphasis lies, and how soft or hard the letters are supposed to be. Like in Franchi being pronounced “Fron-Key” the “n” is fairly soft, so it’s not like a really hard “fronnn-key”, it’s more like “FROn-key” I guess. And the British pronunciation thing is mostly about where the emphasis lies as far as I notice.



As for “Carbine”, the local pronunciation around here is “car-byne” as it is a not uncommon last name. I’ve always heard and said “car-bean” in reference to a small, lightweight rifle, but I beleive that the “original” pronunciation was “car-byne”. I don’t think we will ever agree on correct pronunciations for many of these words. Just too many national and regional intrepretations. I cringe every time I hear a local say “sab-but” in reference to the sabot round they just loaded into their muzzleloader. All I ever heard in the military was “say-bo”, and as I recall, it was even phonetically spelled this way in some of the training manuals. This reminds me of a story about the news reporter who asked a native of the country of Quatar how the name of the country was correctly pronounced. He asked, is it “cutter”? or “kuh-tar”? or “gutter”? The native answered “yes, all of them are correct”!


DK - I have said it over and over to myself, and there simply is, in my opinion, no “Oh” sound in “Franchi.” The “a” is more like “ahh” but not quite that either. My Italian is not so good anymore - no one to speak with anymore - and it was never perfect, but that is a pretty straight forward word as to pronunciation.

The more I think of, a pronunciation guide, although I think it would be very useful in creating a cartridge language that everyone would understand, instead of the hodge-podge of pronunciations we have today, would be almost a hopeless endeavor, not only because of regional sound differences, which abound, as you know, in most countries including and maybe even especially in North America, but because of the huge volume of vocabulary there is.

We have not yet seen the foreign language glossary come to fruitation, so I am not sure that this endeavor would go very far or be very usable unless some real linguists got into the act. If you ask ten people who are not specialists in the subject to write out a word phonetically you will get ten different spellings, so even that poses problems not easily surmounted.

Great idea, but I will be a wet blanket and say I don’t think it will fly. I sincerely wish it would.

Everybody is forgetting that words change with time. According to even the military “bullet” now means cartridge. I was taught a sausage was in a casing and a cartridge had a case. Maybe the IAA should modernize and become the International Bullet Association :-). Just like Tony Willams keeps reminding people where the “head” of a bullet woops cartridge is.


Yeah, this sort of endeavor is mostly just useful to American English speakers who are way off base, and need a guide to get in the right pronunciation direction. The “on” sounds in Franchi is probably my idea of the “ahn” sound I guess. The worst has got to be Heckler & Koch which so many Americans pronounce “Heck-ler & caulk” instead of “coke”.

Sam - Gevelot = “jev-a-low” I think you are right as long as the “j” is sort of a soft j with almost a “z” or “sh” sound. J-P would know for sure.

Franchi has an “a” that must be pronounced as the first “a” in the word “America” .“nchi” is pronounced as the final part of the word “moNKEY”

[quote=“gamgjm”]Everybody is forgetting that words change with time. According to even the military “bullet” now means cartridge. I was taught a sausage was in a casing and a cartridge had a case. Maybe the IAA should modernize and become the International Bullet Association :-). Just like Tony Willams keeps reminding people where the “head” of a bullet woops cartridge is.


No, it is me, Tony Edwards, not Tony Williams who is the pedant about bullet heads!

…and in the Uk we say car-byne, not carbean.

Two nations separated by a common language…


it is that except the v is the part of the second term and not of the first term

it will give with your notations : je-va-low

Another one I’ve always wondered: “Aguila”.

Is that pronounced:



Ah-gui-la (no “w” sound in the middle) - (typically hear it as this one)

Or the more Spanish sounding:






I heard that there you pronounce “Fiocchi” as in this video

that is incorrect,It must be pronounced “Fee - o - kee”