40K Players: We Don’t Know What We’re Saying

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Pimpcron explains why you’re probably wrong and need a FAQ.

The Pimpcron is back this week, and you know you missed me. I miss me whenever I’m away from a mirror. I want to explain something to you that just might blow your mind: whatever your background, and however educated you are is irrelevant. You are probably mispronouncing at least one 40k word.

What am I talking about? When people read words without hearing them spoken, we often mispronounce them. I was always a huge a reader and luckily I have passed that on my children. You’ll probably think I’m lying but my wife and kids check out about 100 books from the library every other week. My son and I especially have this problem because we see new words written and have to guess how they’re spoken. Most of my vocabulary has been gleaned from written word, and that really messes with you. My son was talking about the human colon the other day (don’t ask) and he pronounced it more like “collin”.


“And now we make a small incision in the Collin.” [nurses suddenly question his abilities.]

I used to pronounce the word paradigm as “para-dij-m”. For years before the movies I used to mispronounce Thor’s hammer Mjolnir. These type of things can be embarrassing when you say them in front of someone and look like a fool because you never really stopped to think if you were saying it correctly. You just come across a word you don’t know and do your best, then move on until you’re called out on it, and it happens all the time in 40k too.

Here’s What I’ve Heard Debate Over

When we’re talking about Necrons, we all know they have Gauss technology. People like me pronounce it “gawss” while I’ve heard other people call it “gouse”. The ancient broken shards of gods they field on the table (C’Tan) can be pronounced “suh-tan” or “kuh-tan”.


Thems C’tan sure do like they wheat tho.

When talking about Imperial Guard, I’ve heard some weird pronunciations as well. I have a friend who calls Imperial Guard Heavy Stubbers “heavy stoobers”. Another person I’ve call the infamous death world Catachans as “katch-a-cans”. And probably everyone has heard someone call the tank a “lemon russ” at some point when they first start the hobby. And what about the ever present debate of “lazz-gun” versus “laze-gun”? I feel like Europeans would pronounce it Laze-gun, because I’m ‘Murican and we’ve always called a lazz-gun. But that’s just a hunch I pulled out of nowhere. What about every time someone mentioned an “A-quill-a” or an “a-kill-a”?

I have another friend who calls his Tau Ethereal an “ether-real”. He’s not like all of you uptight Ethereals; he keepin’ it real.

My friend Alex loves his “bail” predators for his Blood Angels, while I don’t really care for his “ball” predators. And I’m pretty sure nobody knows how to say Roboute Guilliman; Games Workshop just threw too many letters into that name for it to be spoken with a human tongue.

It used to really get under my skin when my friend would pronounce daemons as “day-mons” and not “dee-mons”, but I’m not sure that I’m saying it correctly. This isn’t a 40k specific problem, but we all got a laugh when a younger player said he was going to shoot his Soul Grinder’s “Phlej-um” Bombardment at me (phlegm).

Every had a new player comment on your “tie-ra-nids”? And I may be pronouncing this wrong, but I have always called Zoanthropes “zo-an-thropes” while I’ve heard some people pronounce them “zone-thropes”. I have always pronounced Ymgarl Genestealers as “ya-marl”, assuming the g is silent. But I’ve heard other people say “im-garl” genestealers.



I picture them talking like Zoidberg.

I have another idiot friend who pronounces the White Dwarf magazine as the White Duardin magazine. I’m kidding. Just a poke at Sigmar.

The funny thing is that when you get a certain pronunciation in your head that is “correct”, it becomes really irritating to hear someone say it another way which is what is “correct” in their head.

We Need An FAQ

Those are the ones I’ve heard of in my life as a gamer, and I’m sure there’s a million more. We really need Games Workshop to hand down a pronunciation sheet for all of these words. They’ve been so FAQ-happy lately, this is what the community so desperately needs. This is my plead to you GW: Players who don’t spend time arguing or confusing each other over mispronouncing your words will spend more time buying stuff from you.

I can’t back up that statement, but I figured if they heard that it might affect their pocketbook they’d do something about it.

Anyway, it’s just another funny aspect of our strange hobby.

So what have you guys heard pronounced in a funny way? What do you get wrong?

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  • ILikeToColourRed

    i am indisputably pronouncing everything correctly 😛

    always enjoyable, pimp

  • Funnily enough, even the audiobooks/audio dramas vary on the pronounciation of Catachans.

  • Gleep

    Pretty nice topic! And i have to admit: i have never though about it.

    • Muninwing

      i’ve heard enough variants on how to pronounce “Chimera” that i have…


    • Thanks Gleep!

  • The Rout

    Anybody know how to pronounce cataprachti ? (I’m not even sure how it’s spelt) I’ve heard it said as cat-a-frash-tie but that feels wrong.

    Don’t even get me started on vlka fenryka.

    Great article as always Mr cron. I spent all day at work yesterday cussing your name because you hadn’t posted an article (usually the high point of my working day on a friday) until I realised it was Thursday. Doubly disappointed as you can imagine.

    You know how when someone annoys you in a dream and you’re still angry at them when you wake up? Well I’m still angry at you for yesterday not being Friday. I hope you can live with yourself :p

    • Katafrakti-eye or thereabouts.

      • The Rout

        That’s how I’ve been saying it. Nobody knows how to say vlka fenryka though. And I have to say that a lot because space wolves is just a touch silly. Not as bad as ultramarine but still pretty bad.

        • Rob brown

          My understanding is that in Scandinavian languages it would be pronounced vil-ka fen-ree-ka. With the vil syllable very short.

          • The Rout

            I’ve been saying vil-ka fen-rai-ka. Close enough 😀

          • Yep, and that matches how the audiobooks and dramas have pronounced it as well.

      • A Latin-speaking friend of mine agrees.

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          its Greek though 🙂

          • It is, but those two languages stole enough vocabulary from each other over time that some pronunciation cross-contaminated. The Greek “ii” thing is apparently one of them.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            You know more than I then. I have to say though even Latin pronunciation varies on where you learn it. Each country seems to have its own orthodoxy.

          • euansmith

            Where ever it is spoken, it makes priests sound like they are trying to summon Satan. 😉

    • robomarine

      Cataphractii is pronounced Kat-a-fra-kti, like the heavy byzantine cavalry of the same name

      • Almost. Kat-a-fra-kti-eye would be closer, according to a Latin-speaking history professor friend of mine.

      • ChubToad

        Its Ka-ta-frak-tee the doble i implies no “eye” pronunciation. If you speak Latin or any other language that derives from it it is is easier to find the right pronunciation.

        • The double-i is commonly pronounced as i-eye in english. It is weird, especially to non-natives (like me, as a german who took Latin classes), but seemingly just how its done in english. Oh well.

    • Geil

      Fenryka is going to a tough one, if its suppose to be pronounced as Norse, for most native English speakers.

      Reason being the “Y”.
      I had a Linguistics professor form the UK, who knew all about forming the sounds, but after 20+ years in Denmark still were unable to make the correct nordic Y sound.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      Cat-a-frak-tee, with the second a pronounced the same as the a in cat.

    • Damistar

      I’ve gone with Kat-ah-frack-tee.

      • euansmith

        During their Tea Break, they are Kit-Kat-ah-frack-tee.

  • Rob brown

    Enjoyable read. Ultimately, only the writer will know how they intended it to sound. Whether they successfully communicated that with their choice of letters is a different question.

    My mate always claimed Skaven was pronounced with a short a. As in Sk-aa-ven because he argued the name was clearly derived from scavenger. I projected it Scay-ven because it rhymed with craven and to my ear just sounded better. With the original writers all long gone, who the hell knows.

    As a European (at least for a year or two more) I’ve never heard it pronounced Laze-gun though. You might be barking up the wrong tree with that one. Maybe a better question is lass-gun or lazz-gun. I favour lass myself.

    • euansmith

      Lasgun would be correct, as it is “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”, so laser; but lazgun just looks so darn cool 😀

      • lorieth

        It would be correct for a laser-gun, being a gun which uses lasers. However the descriptions in the background rarely come even remotely close to how a laser would perform.

        I think actually what happens is that when the weapons hit a target, they cause a flash of light. Thus it is actually “light-amplification by stimulation by a gun”. Las-gun for short.

    • Damistar

      Problem being there are multiple authors, each imagining the names pronounced differently. Then there’s the pronunciation differences between American English and British English.
      I suppose it should be Lays -gun (since it’s not a lasser), but lass-gun sounds cooler so I go with that.

      • Rob brown

        In the instance of multiple authors the ‘official version’ would be that of the original. In the absence of knowing exactly which was first, use either the consensus or more probably which ever you prefer/sounds cooler.

  • The_Illusionist

    “I feel like Europeans would pronounce it Laze-gun…”

    Not in 20 years of playing have I heard someone pronounce it as ‘Laze-gun’, except for that one time we were deliberately making fun of Americans whom we expected were getting it wrong.

    “And I’m pretty sure nobody knows how to say Roboute Guilliman…”

    Toby Longworth does.

    • batthemadbat

      The Uber-Smurf is easy: Rowboat Girlyman 😉

      • ZeeLobby

        Exactly how I say it!

    • Ghaniman

      Row-boo-tay Gilly-man

      • euansmith

        I was trying to come up with a phonetic spelling for how I would pronounce your surname, but could only come up with, “Halse”.

      • batthemadbat

        Thats exactly what imperial Propaganda wants you to believe, cause his name is actaually Rawbutt Jellyman

      • Severius_Tolluck

        Heh mine’s Trlak.. no one in the States can say it right!

  • NNextremNN

    Tring to write pronunciations in the same language is pretty pointless especially for foreign people maybe they should add a phonetic transcription into the codices or make a extra book for that. But too be honest I never could read that stuff either.

    • euansmith

      I often struggle to work out to pronounce words that are written using the proper phonetic alphabet, I mean, just look at it, “fəˈnɛtɪk”!

      • ɛ. ju gɛt juzd tu ɪt.

        • euansmith

          😀 😀 😀

        • Grasshopper

          phonetic alphabet = best alphabet

          I’m also a bit shocked about how utterly terrible it is trying to spell words derived from roman languages or greek in english transliteration. If somebody writes “chai-mear-uh” I read something like ​”x​aɪ-mɛar-ʊ​x”.


      • NNextremNN

        Yeah right 🙂 but I still hop it would help some and maybe they could tell us.

  • Donaldosaurus

    Classical education has largely been phased out in Britain, but I’m all in favour of it being brought back just so people know how to correctly pronounce ‘Skitarii’.

    • cudgel

      ii = y

      • ZeeLobby

        Many in the scientific community pronounce ii = ee-eye

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          that would definitely be the gardener’s pronounciation, though I’ve only heard it pronounced Skit-are-ee

        • Stars

          The truth is that ‘ii’ is one of the pronunciations we don’t know, as it is one of the ones that diverged over time between successor states that spoke or used parts of latin to inform their own languages. No one’s made a knock-out case for any of the three main contenders being the way it was spoken by the Romans (and of course that could easily have changed over time as well).

        • euansmith

          It must be a real struggle to try to sort out the pronunciation of dead languages. It is bad enough with living one; like this couple of British castle names; Cholmondeley (“Chum-lee”), and Belvoir (“Beaver”). Belvoir only makes sense if you pretend you a posh and speak with your teeth clamped together.

          • carlisimo

            We actually know their old pronunciation pretty well due to ancient poetry and spelling changes.

            -ii as “ee-eye” is an English invention. In Classical Latin the first i would have been short, like in “sit”, and the second i like in “machine”.

          • euansmith

            That sounds interesting. One question, though, if you are learning pronunciation from poetry, how do you know which word is supposed to rhyme with which? I’m thinking of something like the following:

            Dr Foster,
            went to Gloucester,
            In a shower of rain,
            He stepped in a puddle,
            Right up to his middle,
            And couldn’t get out again.

            How would you know if “puddle” or “middle” had suffered vowel slippage; and if they had, which one was correct; or whether this has always been a terrible rhyme?

            I’m amazed how scholars can spot who wrote which bits of which books of the bible by all sorts of tiny clues.

          • lorieth

            Did you sell your soul to santa again?

          • euansmith

            And all got in return was Candy Canes. 🙁

          • lorieth

            No-one wants that. Unless you mean Khandy Khaine, the lost goddess-bride of Kaela Mensha. Some say she is the last hope of the Eldar, not that upstart god-of-the-dead Ynnead (I mean, when you think about it, isn’t “dead” really the same word as “necron”?).

          • lorieth

            Oh dear, Kaela Mensha will be furious!

    • Chet Atkinson

      Latin ending

      • ZeeLobby

        Skit-ar-ee-I, like cata-fract-ee-I. I could be wrong but I always thought the two ii were split into two sylables (no classical education here outside scientific terminology).

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          yeah, double letters are both pronounced, like in finnish, otherwise they’d have just written one ‘i’.

          • euansmith

            Don’t say I’ve been mispronouncing “Finnish” all these years? I say, “Finish” rather than “Fin-nish”.

            Actually, can you give me any pointers on correctly pronouncing “Anacrites”, the Chief Spy from the Falco series of Historical Detective novels. I’ve tried, “Anna-krites” and “An-ik-ri-teas”, but neither sounds correct.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            I mean as in the Finnish langauge, not as in the word Finnish! Finnish isn’t a Finnish word, I believe Finnish for Finnish is Suomalainen, but it depends on exactly which aspect of Finnishness you are referring too…

          • Damistar

            Kind of like the Germans insisting it’s pronounced Deutchland? (Just kidding!)

          • euansmith

            Ah, yes, the Allemands.

          • Andrew

            Suomalainen is also a noun for “Finnish person”. Suomi is the name of the language and also the country of Finland.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            I know ‘Finnish’ as in the language has another word but I can’t remember what it is!

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            BTW ‘An-a-krit-ees’, both ‘a’s like the a in cat, with slight emphasis on 2nd and last syllables at a guess…

          • lorieth

            I’m no expert, but I think your first option is mostly correct, except the stress is on the second syllable so it’s more like “a-NA-kri-tees”.

    • Nyyppä

      I tried to research this during going through various online resources of latin pronounciations I have yet to find a single aa/ee/ii/oo/uu ending in a word. Instead there are short (like met/set/bet/cat/duck) and long versions of a/e/i/o/u that are just stretched versions of the short pronunciations.

      Essentially, according to what is available in the intterwebs “skitarii” is just “skitarii” instead of the popular “skitari-eye”. Likewise it’s “cataprachtii” instead of “cataprachti-eye”.

  • cudgel

    Magneto is Mag-neato not Mag-net-o; I found, much to my disappointment when I was eight and watched a cartoon….

    • ZeeLobby

      That one just doesn’t me without some additional punctuation in the middle. They’re trying to break it up Mag-ne-to I guess? Really should be spelt Mag-neat-o or Mag-nee-toe, etc.

      • cudgel

        oops missed a dash………….that I meant to put there………………………………honest…….

        • ZeeLobby

          Haha. I meant they’re pronunciation, not yours. I agree with you.

    • euansmith

      I get annoyed with the American pronunciation of Namor’s nom de guerre; it should be “Sub-ma-rin-er” (as in “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner”), not the freckin’ “Sub-marine-er” (as in “Yellow Submarine”)! 😉

      • The only people I’ve ever heard say it “Sub-marine-er” have neither sailed in, nor even seen one up close. Every single bubblehead I know says it “Sub-ma-rin-er”.

      • Damistar

        I always heard it the first way, never the second. There was a cartoon in the 70s, I recall.

        • euansmith

          Maybe it is just American on youtube then 😀

      • Severius_Tolluck

        I agree with Straylight, the average personsays sub ma rin er, or sub mar iner

        • euansmith

          I am gladdened to hear it. 😉

    • Rob brown

      Just one Magneto
      Give it to me
      Rich tasting bad guys
      From Italy…

      … wait… no germany.

      I always thought the name was derived for the Russian industrial metal working city Magnitogorsk. and carried over the ee sound from that name.

      • euansmith

        A Magneto (“Mag-neat-o”) is part of the ignition system of some internal combustion engines, so I’m thinking that is where Stan Lee got it from back in the 1960s.

  • Diagoras

    “And I’m pretty sure nobody knows how to say Roboute Guilliman; Games Workshop just threw too many letters into that name for it to be spoken with a human tongue.”

    “Row-boot-ay Gwhee-le-men” is my preferred pronunciation, but then again, I have no respect for the character this abhorrent jumble of letters represents.

    Also, I am one of the apparently rare advocates of “laze-gun”. Just makes more sense to me. It’s a gun that shoots lasers. Laser gun. Lasgun.

    • Nyyppä

      It’s pronounced Rowboat Girlyman.

      • Andrew Thomas

        That took a while.

    • Lord Elpus

      It’s pronounced throat wobbler mangrove..

      Seriously though from the mouth of one of the old designers who’s name rhymes with pick riestley, it’s pronounced Ro-boot (the last e is silent) Ghoulliman

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      It looks like it might be derived from French, in which case Ro-boot Gweel-i-man

    • lorieth

      It’s primary purpose is to shoot people, not lasers; that’s just a side-effect. Hence the one true pronunciation is in fact “lass-gun”, as in a gun which shoots ladies. There used to be a lad-gun as well, but the two designs were merged when they went into mass production for the AM (ne IG) and the “lass-gun” moniker(*) stuck.

      (*) or do I mean Monica?

  • ZeeLobby

    Ugh. The number of times people say A-bad-un instead of Abba-don. Abba-don just sounds so much better.

    • JPMcMillen

      But is he the dancing queen?

      • euansmith

        No, he is a Super Trouper! 😉

        • ZeeLobby

          Haha. Yes!

        • JPMcMillen

          Bravo sir. Bravo.

      • ZeeLobby

        He just might be!

    • I remember sitting in a meeting where Gordon Davidson went OFF on us Americans for the way we pronounced things.
      C’Tan is NOT see-tan, it’s a hard ‘c’ and therefore “Kuh-tan”.
      And he flipped most over Abaddon- it’s NOT Abba-don, it’s “a-BAD-un” with a reference to the biblical name. I’ll never forget that one again, and I trust an ‘inside man’ who speaks [british?] over my own poor skills of pronunciation.
      I should also note that this meeting saw some cups of alcohol being sloshed about by the certain uppers (one who was wearing flip-flops and a Hawaiian shirt), so the overreactions were quite funny. 😀

      • ZeeLobby

        Haha, Thank you for the awesome insider info! That’s hilarious. I just think it’s funny as it’s been pronounced both ways by British narrators in their audiobooks. I’ll stick with my guns, a-bad-un just sounds silly.

        • Severius_Tolluck

          I used to deal with some upper staff / mid management but high up to the US. He pronounced lasgun as lays-gun for lazer, and he prounced tyranids as Tie Ran Nids for tyranny of course! His Catachan was Kuh Tay Shin. Mind you he was from the north, and had an almost Scottish accent.. but got mad if you thought he was!

      • Median Trace

        A-bad-un seems a little too on the nose. Before he turned traitor, was he A-gud-un. Or maybe he just likes to ride on flying tapestries singing about the courage of the world? I think abba-don sounds more like a beast from the depths from below.

        • lorieth

          No, before he turned traitor he was still Abaddon but the “a” was a negative, as in “atypical”; he just went from Ay-bad-un to A-bad-un.

      • lorieth

        I’ve never heard anyone say “see-tan”, I thought this was pretty unambiguous. It’s not C. Tan, it’s C’Tan, though I must admit that pronouncing it as a soft “see” puts a much darker spin on “Settlers of Catan”.

  • Chet Atkinson

    I usually go by how they are pronounced in the audios. The readers have the pronunciation guide

    • JPMcMillen

      Well, then they need to publish the pronunciation guide. Or at least include them in every book/codex.

      I remember back in the 2nd ed AD&D, the Planescape Monstrous Compendium actually had a pronunciation guide in the front for the more challenging monster names.

  • AstraWlad

    After reading this article I’m really happy to be Russian speaker and have no problem with reading “Робаут Жиллиман” (Roboute Guilliman) at all. It’s a real blessing to have a language where each letter can be read in only one way :).

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      let us in on the secret then!

  • Simon Chatterley

    Reminds me of a song about potatoes and tomatoes….

  • Old zogwort

    Its Grauws

  • Arthfael

    Though English pronunciation is kinda tricky and varies from place to place, the standard rules would dictate that lasgun be pronounced lahz-gun, not laze-gun. Ymgarl should be “eem-garl” again as per standard rules. Others are trickier. For Zoanthrope, I always felt the name had to come from zoo-anthrope (apparently there’s a disease called zoanthropy), so “oa” should not be spoken as a diphthong here.
    Gauss or Aquilla would be pronounced differently depending on whether you go for the original language (German and Latin: Gouse and Akwilla) or English/French style pronunciation (Goss and Akilla).
    Sorry if this sound horribly pedantic 😛

    • euansmith

      I pronounce “Zoan” to rhyme with “kōan”, to give those big brained bugs a sort of Zen feel.

      • Arthfael

        Funny, relaxation and tyranids are not concepts I would think go together well. As a kid I remember reading The Fall of Malvolion, one of my first encounters with 40k. It was… quite a shock…

        • euansmith

          If you think Zen is relaxing, you aren’t doing it hard enough 😀

  • It’s pronounced Row-boat Girly-man.
    Besides, just fall back on the principle of Your Dudes. Maybe this is just how we pronounce stuff in Segmentum Pacifica.

    • lorieth

      … which we pronounce “Pak-ee-fiss-a”.

  • Davor Mackovic

    What no shim-er-a?

    • lorieth

      I honestly used to think the beast was called that when I was in primary school. Took a while to get the chi = “kie” thing. It does make chitin sound less rude and more like something you might like to armour yourself with though.

    • Forgot that one. lol

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    I think this is one of those ‘divided by a common language’ things.

    In the UK we have a history of Latin education (I did Latin at a normal state school when I was a kid) and also of hearing lots of words from European languages pronounced. Most of us learn two foreign languages at school. There are lots of foreign borrow-words in modern English.

    This gives us a big advantage. I suspect Brits come to words like Skitarii or Fenryka armed with a good idea of how to pronounce them without even thinking about it.

    Latin pronunciation is actually pretty simple, all ‘c’s are hard, like a K, double i’s are pronounced ‘ea’ as in leap for example. Google it, you’ll find lots of guides.

    The one exception to the rule is that most Brits don’t pronounce Latin ‘J’s as ‘y’ like in yule, which they should be, or ‘v’s like the w of wind, which really they should be. I suspect GW expects us to pronounce their Gothic following these exceptions and use ‘J’s like John and ‘V’s like vice.

    Hope that helps….

    BTW, lasgun is pronounced laz-gun, the ‘as’ being pronounced like the ‘as’ of Hasbro.

    • euansmith

      I was schooled in the UK too, but sucked at languages. Thankfully, wargaming and roleplaying exposed me to a lot of classical terms. As a result, my High Gothic isn’t too bad.

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        I think there is a surprising amount of Latin heard on radio and TV gardening and history programmes in the UK, even without learning it deliberately we absorb it unconsciously. Not the same in the USA, judging by the USAnian TV we get here.

        • euansmith

          I’m sure that not all Americans are slack-jawed yokels; though the current election campaign points to a high proportion of one-eyed window-lickers in the population. Before we Great Britains get too smug about ourselves, though, I’ve got one word for you, “Brexit“. 😉

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            the terrifying thought is that half the world’s population is of below average intelligence…

          • euansmith

            I think it is worse to imagine that half the world’s population have below average common sense.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            this will doubtless improve since Michael Give and Ofsted insist schools must now all be above average…

          • Andrew Thomas

            It the lack of Iodine in their diet, that’s why all the blue Congressional districts are on the coast.

  • euansmith

    Being an incredibly lazy ready, I always used to pronounce Elric’s home town as, “Mel-na-bone”. It was only after hearing Mike Moorcock reading on the radio that I learned the pale prince hales from “Mel-nib-on-ay”.

    • Nope, you’re wrong. The proper way to pronounce it is “Pymp-crone”. You have really been saying it like that this whole time? Embarrassing. 😀

      • euansmith

        I’ve only been saying it in my head. I would never dare to utter your name out loud, oh, mighty one.

  • Stars

    If you want to know the ‘official’ pronunciation of many of these words check out the BL audio books, for the last few years Laurie Goulding has been writing pronunciation guides for the voice actors.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      someone with a good audio-book collection needs to maintain a blog or something to help us all!

  • Chaosrex

    Interesting article, and its true, not everyone has the same way to pronunce a name.

    Now imagine we french speaking players, where a lot of the units/characters names are in english ( land raiders, predators, dreadnought) while others as been translated( a Libriarian is a “Archiviste” in french, while a Chaplain is still a “Chapelain”), some are litteral like Chaos Lord=Seigneur du Chaos, or Chapter master=Maitre de Chapitre, while for years a Storm bolter was called a” Fulgurant”, but since 7th ed they now call it a ” Bolter d’assaut”= assault bolter.

    With the french version of the game its also always a matter if someone pronounce it in english, or in french, wich can make things interesting.

    Also since the end of 6th, GW decided to not translate the names anymore, so in a french sentence suddenly you have english name, wich kinda ruins the reading.

    Kharn le Félon, became Kharn the Betrayer, and Abbadon le Fléau became Abbadon the Despoiler, now in french Geek culture, its a given that some names sounds cooler in english and so they are kept like that.

    No one says a Predateur, but calls it a Predator, no one calls a Land Raider a Pilleur de Terrain.

    But having the names of units that always where translated suddenly not be, is really strange.

    “Le Chaos Lord est un individu, bien souvent cruel, dangereux et dois faire preuve d’une domination inflexible pour garantire ça position sur les autres Chaos Space Marines”.

    Lets do it the other way to show you how strange it is;
    “The Seigneur du Chaos, is more then often, a cruel and dangerouse individual, that must show infexible dominance over other Space Marines du Chaos”.

    For some reason it feel wrong and unnatural.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      I’m with you there, best to translate all the words if they are words. Land Raider is a false friend though, as its named after Arkham Land, nothing to do with ‘terrain’ 🙂

    • euansmith

      First off, your written English is excellent. This seems to be a common facility among non-English speaking posters, and really puts many of us Monolingual Brits to shame.

      Secondly, “Fulgurant” is an excellent name for a weapon.

    • Wow. It must be extra hard. Being one of those english-speakers, I never gave it much thought.

  • Gauss — is a name, and is pronounced /’ɡaʊs/, [gawss]. People who pronounce it [goass] or similar are almost always Battletech players.

    Heavy Stubbers “heavy stoobers” — your friend has a very strange accent.

    Catachans “katch-a-cans” — your friend either can’t read (this happens with people from Texax A LOT. Ask any one of them to say “Linksys” and it ALWAYS comes out “Lins-keys”) or is dyslexic.

    aquila — Most “High Gothic” is actually bad Latin. I have a history professor friend who actually speaks Latin, and he pronounces it /ˈa.kʷi.la/, [a-kwEE-la] but freely admits that that’s probably only correct for some dialects in some eras.

    ethereal — Unlike most of the list, this is actually an English word, and is pronounced /ɪˈθɪriəl/, [e-THIR-eal].

    Baal — a mythological name. Both /ˈbā(-ə)l/, [bael] and /ˈbäl/ [ball] are correct depending on which version of the story you’re reading. Stargate could never keep this one straight either.

    daemon — both /ˈdiːmən/, [dee-mon] and /ˈdeɪmən/ (day-mon) are correct, though the latter is the older form.

    tyranids — Took their name from the first Imperial world they ate, Tyran, which itself is probably from Middle French (by way of Latin, Greek, etc.) “tyran” /tiʁɑ̃/, [tee-ron]

    Zoanthrope — Zoanthropy /zoʊˈæn θrə pi/, [zo-an’thro-pee] is a delusional monomania in which the sufferer believes he has transformed into an animal. Make of that what you will and extrapolate from there.

    • SupPupPup

      And people complain about Aelves…

      • You’ll notice I largely skipped the ones that either didn’t have a real-language root, or are otherwise GW Trademarkable(tm).

        • SupPupPup

          Aelf is Old English. From Anglo-Saxon I believe.

    • It’s funny you mention dyslexia because the friends who says catch-a-cans claims to have it. But I think he puts it on.

      • Your friend is getting all the right phonological elements of the word, but is mis-ordering them, which is absolutely a possible expression of the language-processing version of dyslexia. If he specifically tends to trip over made-up words (like so many of GW’s terms) but does okay with common English, he may have what’s called phonological dyslexia.

        Like any learning disability, dyslexia comes in an endless rainbow of different flavors and varieties, so not everyone who suffers from it presents the same symptoms. Hollywood likes to depict it as “letters moving around on the page” or similar, and while that is a possible expression (it’s called paralexias), it’s far from the only one.

        Don’t give him too hard a time about it. Even if he makes jokes about it, “invisible” learning disorders like dyslexia can often be a major source of anxiety in those affected.

        • Oh, I don’t make fun of him. That’s why i didn’t give his name. But if you knew him as a friend, you’d suspect he’s putting it on too.

  • Jeramy Bailey

    It’s Fusion, Fwaygun.

  • SonoftheMountain

    as much as this would help, it wont work for everyone. In the Warmachine rulebook there is a pronunciation guide for all the nations and people still pronounce Khador Kha-dor when it should be Khay-dor

  • SupPupPup

    The Imperium is a vast a incomprehensible place. I’m sure we can allow space for a few different dialects.

    Like those grubbers on Morox who still pronounce it “Speece Mariune”.

  • Ty Hayden

    I have heard A-straight-ez, instead of A-start-ez; Adep-tus and Adep-twos; Ar-bite-s to Ar-beet-es. To be fair, I do not know which ones are correct, other than A-start-ez… [I think…]


  • benn grimm

    Pronunciation, particularly of English, is entirely dependant on region; Scots pronounce words differently to the English, as do Americans, Jamaicans, Irish, Australians, Canadians, New Zealander’s etc, Southerners pronounce words differently to Northerners and people from the mid west sound very different to people from the East Coast. Heck, people from Brooklyn sound different to people from Staten Island and North Londoners sound different from South, East and West.

    The official policy when teaching kids to pronounce words even varies from place to place, I’ve seen a 6 year kid told they were wrong for pronouncing a word like their parents do, just because said parents had decided to raise their child in a different part of the country. The Queen of England speaks differently to most people in England, let alone the commonwealth, so the idea that ‘the queens english’ is somehow right, whilst other variations are wrong is just nonsense. Diversity is a wonderful thing and should be embraced and celebrated because, apart from anything else, it’s not going anywhere any time soon.

    It’s also nonsense therefore to think there is a right or wrong way to pronounce a made up word like Tyranids, Tye-ran-ids is just as valid as tih-rah-nids, just as Al-yoo-min-ee-um is just a valid as al-oo-min-um. The root word for Tyranids is Tyran, the first recorded planet they gobbled up, which is basically dropping the t from tyrant. Yet most people pronounce Tyranids with a flat y; is this wrong? Daemons is clearly not the same word as Demons, even though it alludes to pretty much the same thing, Dee-muns or Day-mons, tomah-toes or tomay-toes (let’s call the whole thing off)

    Even if you hear a gw writer/designer pronounce a word they created in a particular way, that’s just their pronunciation, a Midlands/northerner English accented version, it doesn’t make the Texan/Aussie/Brooklynite version any more or less valid.

    • euansmith

      There speaks the voice of reason… BURN HIM!!!

      • benn grimm

        Lol 🙂

  • Dennis J. Pechavar

    Why not Zoidberg!

    • euansmith

      Pronounced, “Xoid-burgh”.;)

  • Heinz Fiction

    “People like me pronounce it “gawss” while I’ve heard other people call it “gouse””

    Neither is correct but “gawss” is probably closer. Necron weapons are names after Carl Friedrich Gauß (sometimes written ‘Gauss’), a famous german mathematician who did some pioneer work on magnetism. For the pronunciation ask Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Friedrich_Gauss

  • Davis Centis

    Well, I have these two that I know I’m saying wrong, but they sound right to me:

    #1 – C’Tan. To me, it’s “sea-tan”. Like the letter “C”. “Kuh-tan” seems to be correct though.

    #2 – Ymgarl Genestealers. I know I’m butchering this one, because my pronunciation on this is “Yah-Mar-Gul”. I mean, it’d have to be spelt “Ymargl” for that to make any sense, but it’s what I call them.

    #3 – Roboute Gulliman. I don’t know if I’m wrong, but I say this “Row-boot Gull-eh-man”, and I’ve never felt ashamed to do so.

    #4 – Zoanthropes are definitely “zone-throw’p”. No questions asked.

    #5 – Emperor help the Ultramarines, I’m really unsure how to say Marneus Calgar. I mean, Calgar is Kal-gar, easy. But Marneus? Is it “Mar-neigh-us” or “Mar-nuh’s”. I tend to say the latter, but really unsure here.

    #6 – Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka. “Gaz-ew-kul may’g ew-ruh’k thra-ka”. Good luck.

    • euansmith

      I tend to go with “C’than”, because when it comes to Elder Gods, I think of “C’thulhu”.

  • Sam Nolton

    Imperial Knnnniggits.

    • euansmith


  • Moonsaves

    Few that I can think of and how I say them…

    Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka – “Gaz-Kull Mag Oo-Ruk Thra-Ka”
    Roboute Guilliman – “Rob-Out Gilly-Mun”
    Marneus Calgar – “Mar-Knee-Us Kal-Gar”
    Ymgarl – “Im-Garl”
    Leman Russ – “Lee-man Russ”
    Aun-Va – “Orn-Var”
    C’Tan – “Kuh-Tan”

  • Xodis

    Totally agree, words are hard lol

    • Xodis

      Also, is it CAR-a-mel or is it CARE-mel?

      • Neither. It’s car-mull. My Southern American influence is showing.

        • Xodis

          Quickest way to start a southern brawl is ask that in the middle of a group….Its always good to amuse one’s self lol.

  • archie d

    Here’s a recent one – Custodes

    The Long War podcast: Cus-toe-dees

    Forge the Narrative podcast: Custoads

    Which one is it?

    • Andrew Thomas

      Neither, is “Kuh-Stow-dess.”

    • I’m a bit on the fence with this one too. I say kus-toads. Not sure if I’m right though.

  • Andrew Thomas

    What’s strange is that the folks I’ve played with have more trouble with actual English then they do with 40k jargon. “War-Sky-the,” and, “Vice-age,” for example.

  • It’s English. In a few years it’ll all change anyways. *shrug*

  • MTF8

    All the pirates I know enjoy a good game of farty-K 🙂

  • Kreoss4u

    I am going to nerd out on Ba’al a bit. In the ancient northwest Semitic languages that apostrophe represents the letter “ayin” and it functions like a guttural, being pronounced in the back of the throat. As a subset of this category, it appears to have also functioned as a glottal stop, which would be a subtle pause between the As. You would thus get a pronunciation like bah-ahl. Pronouncing it as “bail” has become pretty common but I don’t think that is the way it would have originally been pronounced.

    • Yes! I’m correct then! Validation!

  • Deacon Ix

    Chimera – both in 40k and Eve, (there is no correct answer AFAIK)

    My personal one from reading – Quay (and I come from a family of boat builders)

    • Ky-mare-a. I’m willing to fight anybody that says otherwise. 😀 My friend dave who says Chim-er-a pisses me off.

  • Locomotive breath

    a good friend of mine kept pronouncing “astartes” not like a-star-tees but a-stra-tees, like the word “castrati”

    • I’ve az-tarts too. But clearly it is a-star-tees

  • How good it is to be European and have an education. 😉
    BTW, “day-mon” is correct if the speaker doesn’t make a reference to the English language, but to the way the word was originally pronounced in Greek.

    • euansmith

      “MATT DAEMON!”

  • dreamwarder

    Lol – yep, weird Laze people 🙂

  • Djbz

    The one that gets me is how most people say Tyranids.
    (Especially as it makes them sound like such a pathetic thing)
    But then pronounce the following:
    Tyrannofex (Tie-ran-o-fex)

    But If you say Tyranids(Tie-ran-ids) they all think you’re the one pronouncing it wrong.

  • Stephen James Hand

    I knew one guy who had collected 3000 points worth of Orks and was still going round calling them ‘Orcs’