Mathematics Pronunciation Guide

Mathematics Pronunciation Guide

A Megametamathematical Guide of the Proper American English Pronunciation of Terms and Namesfor the for the Diacritally Challenged,


This guide includes most mathematicians and mathematical terms that may been encountered in high school and the first two years of college. Proper names are generally pronounced as in the original language. Some entries are obscure and may be useful only in a game of mathematical trivia, e. g. d'Alembert's mother, the name of the line in a fraction, or who shot Galois. I have not had the time to include most definitions or accomplishments. The curious person may try searching the internet for such information.


(The red dates and purple pronunciations are not links.) Please let me know about any errors. I have tried to find at least two references for each item but sometimes was not able to do so. Comments and suggestions welcomed. Any help with missing dates and pronunciations will also be welcomed.

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author. The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by UW-Waukesha.

Copyright © 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 by Kent Kromarek

Pronunciation Key and Notes:

a as in sat,

g as in go,

oy as in boy,

ah as in bother,

hw as in what,

s as in sat,

air as in pair,

i or ih as in sit,

ss as in case,

aw as in saw,

y, ye, or igh as in tie,

th as in thin,

ay as in lay,

j as in jet,

th as in this,

e as in set,

o as in cot,

u as in put,

ee as in bee,

oh as in toe,

uh as in cup or ago,

er as in bird,

oo as in moon,

uh is also used in place of the schwa,

ehr as in berry,

ow as in now,

[ng] as in ring,



zh as in vision,

The following do not have English equivalents. Consult a fluent speaker of the appropriate language for the proper pronunciation.

[oe] as in French feu or German Schön [ue] as in French tu or German über N is a nasal n as in French bon KH as in Scottish Loch or German ich R is a rolled r

Primary stress is indicated with 'before the stressed syllable. A secondary stress is indicated with ,before the stressed syllable. Italics are used for titles, "nonenglish" words are not marked.

Since English does not contain some sounds from other languages and because I am trying to keep this relatively simple the pronunciations are sometimes only approximate, but, it is hoped, within epsilon.

The bar separating the Guide from these notes is movable if you prefer to make this window smaller.



abacist 'ab uh sist

abacus 'ab uh kuhss abaci 'ab uh sigh or abacuses 'ab uh kuhss uhs

Edwin A. Abbot 1838-1926 'ed wuhn 'ab uht

Niels Henrik Abel 1802-29 nils 'hen rik 'ah buhl (roll the r)

Abelian uh 'beel yuhn

abscissa ab 'sis suh

absolute 'ab suh loot

abundant uh 'buhn duhnt

acceleration ak 'sil uh 'ray shun

Achilles uh 'ki leez

W. Ackerman ? ak uhr muhn

Acta Mathematica 'ahk tah maht he mah 'tee kah

Acta Eruditorum 'ahk tah ay roo dee 'toh rum

acute uh 'kyoot

John Quincy Adams

Had original Pythagorean Theorem proof

1767-1848 jahn 'kwint see ad uhms

add ad

addend 'a dend

addition uh 'di shuhn

additive 'ad uh tiv

ad infinitum ad in fuh 'night uhm Latin: ahd ihn fee 'nee tum

adjacent uh 'jay suhnt

Leonard Adleman fl. 1977

Alfred Adler ? 'al fred 'ahd luhr

Ad locus planos et solidos isagoge (Fermat) ahd 'loh kuhs 'plahn ohs et 'soh lih duhs ihs ah 'goh ge

affine a 'fyn

a fortiori ah for tee 'oh ree

Maria Gaetana Agnesi 1718-99 'mah ree ah ,gah ay 'tah nah an 'yay zee aha (noun) ah 'hah

Ahmes seventeenth century B.C. 'ah mess or 'ah meez Ahmes Papyrus 'ah mess puh 'py ruhs

Alabama al uh 'bam uh

al-Biruni 973-1048 ,al bee 'roo nee (Abu ar-Rayhan Muhammed ibn Ahmad al-Biruni)

Alcuin of York fl.c775 'al kwin yohrk

Jean Le Rond d'Alembert 1717-83 zhahn luh rohN dah lahN ber

aleph 'ah ,lif aleph null 'ah ,lef nuhl (also aleph naught, aleph nought, aleph zero) ( naht, naht, 'zee ,roh)

John Alexander fl. 1928 al eg 'zan duhr

algebra 'al juh bruh

Algebra (Bombelli)

algebraic al juh 'bray ik

algebraist al ju 'bray ist

algorist 'al guh rist

algorithm 'al guh rith uhm

Algorithmi de numero Indorum (al-Khwarizmi)

aliquant 'al uh kwahnt

aliquot 'al uh kwaht

Al-jabr wa'l muqabalah (al-Khwarizmi)

al-Kash of Samarkand fl. 1424

Mohammed ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi c800-c850 al khwahr 'iz mee (also al-Khowarizime) (ahl KHoh wah reez me)

allometry uh 'lahm uh tree

Almagest (Ptolomy) 'al muh jest

al-Mamun 786-833 al mah 'moon (also al-Mamoun)

alpha 'al fuh

alphameric ,al fuh 'mehr ik

alphanumeric ,al fuh ,nu 'mehr ik

amicable 'am uh kuh bel amicable numbers 'am uh kuh bel 'nuhm buhrz

André Marie Ampère 1775-1836 ahN dray maw ree ahN 'pair

ampere 'am pir

analysis uh 'nal us suhs

analytic ,an uhl 'id ik

analytical engine ,an uhl 'id ik uhl 'en juhn

Anaxagoras of Clazomenae ?500-428 an ak 'sag uh ruhs kluh 'zahm uh nee

Anaximander of Miletus c610- c545 an 'ak si 'man dur my 'lee tuhs

George Andrews

angle 'a[ng] guhl

Anders Jones Ångström 1814-74 'an duhsh 'yoo nahs 'aw[ng] str[oe]m English: 'a[ng] struhm

angstrom 'a[ng] struhm (also Angstrom, ångstrom)

annulus 'an yuh luhss

antecedent 'an tuh ,seed uhnt

antiderivative ,an ti di ,riv uhd iv

Antikythera ,an ti ki 'theer uh

antilogarithm an ti 'lahg uh rith uhm

François Apéry fl. 1984

aphelion uh 'feel yun

Petrus Apianus 1501-52 ap i 'ay nuhs or ay pi 'ay nuhs German: ah pee 'ah nus apogee 'ap ah jee

Apollonius of Perga (also Perge) c262-c200 a paw 'loh nee uhs 'per guh (perj)

a posteriori ah 'paw ste ree 'oh ree

apothecary uh 'pawth uh kair ee

apothem 'ap uh them

Kenneth Appel 1932-

apportion uh 'pohr shuhn

approval uh 'proo vuhl

approximate (adjective) uh 'prahk suh mit

approximate (verb) uh 'prahk suh mayt

approximation uh ,prahk suh may shuhn

a priori ,ah pree 'oh ree

Arabic numerals 'air uh bik 'noom ruhls

Domïnique François Jean Arago 1786-1853 daw mee neek zhahn ah rah goh English: 'ar uh ,goh arbelos

arc ahrk

Archimedes of Syracuse c287-12 ahr ki 'mee deez 'sir uh kyooz

Archimedian ahr kuh 'mee dee ahn

Archytas of Tarentum 428-365 ahr 'ky tuhs tuh 'ren tuhm

are (SI unit) ayr

area 'ar ee uh

Jean Robert Argand 1768-1822 ahr gahN

Aristarchus of Samos c310-c250 ar i 'stahr kuhs 'say mahs

Aristotelian ar ,iss tah ,teel yan

Aristotle 384-22 'ar uh stahtuhl

arithmetic (noun) uh 'rith muh ,tik

arithmetic (adjective) ,a rith ,med ik

Arithmetica (Diophantus)

Vladimir Arnold fl. 1960

array uh 'ray

Kenneth Arrow fl. 1952

Richard Askey as kee

Ars Conjectandi (Jakob Bernoulli)

Ars Magna (Cardano) (Artis magne sive de regulis algebraicis)

Arya-Bhata (or Aryabhata) ?476-530 'ahr yuh 'bhut

Aschauliche Geometric (Hilbert and Cohn-Vossen)

astragalus as 'truhg uh luhs

astragali as 'truhg uh lye

astroid 'as troyd

asymmetric ay suh 'me trik

asymptote 'a sim toht

asymptotic ,a sim 'tah tik

Derek Atkins fl. 1994

Attalus c269-197 'a tuh luhs

atto- 'a ,toh

attractor uh 'trak tuhr strange attractor straynj uh 'trak tuhr

augend 'aw jend

St. Augustine 354-450 saynt 'aw gus teen

average 'av rij

avoirdupois ,a vuhr duh 'poyz c.f. Galois

axes (plural of axis) 'ak seez

axiom 'ak see uhm

axiomatic 'ak see uhm 'a tik

axis 'ak suhss

Hannah Ayscough'as koo



Charles Babbage 1792-1871 'bab aj

Claude Gaspard de Bachet de Méziriac 1591-1639

R. Backlund

Per Bak

Henry F. Baker 'bay kuhr

R. Balasubramanian

Michel Balinski

Stefan Banach 1892-1945 'bah nahKH

Leon Bankoff

John Banzhaf

Michael Barnsley

Isaac Barrow 1630-77 'bair oh

Johann Bartels

Eugenio Beltrami fl. 1868

Bishop George Berkeley 1685-1753 'bahr klee or 'berk lee

Bernoulli bur 'noo lee Daniel 1700-82 Jacob (Jacques, James) 1654-1705 Johann (Johannes, Jean, John) 1667-1748 Nicolaus 1687-1759

Bernoulli's law

G. G. Berry Berry's paradox

Joseph L. F. Bertrand

Fredrich Wilhelm Bessel 1784-1846 'bess uhl

beta 'bay duh

bezant 'bez ent

Pierre Bézier 1910-1999 bez ee ay

Bhaskara 1114-c1185 'bhah skur (also Bhaskaracharya) 'bhah skuh rah 'chahr yuh

Ludwig Bieberbach fl. 1916 'bee bur bahk Bieberbach conjecture

bifurcation by 'fuhr kay shuhn

bilateral 'by lad uh ruhl

binary 'by nuh ree

Jacque Binet

binomial by 'noh mee ahl

bit bit

H. F. Blichfeldt

Manuel Blum

Johann Elert Bode 1747-1826 'boh de

Niels Henrik David Bohr 1885-1962 bohr

Ludwig Boltzman 1844-1906 'bohlt smahn

Farkas Wolfgang Bólyai 1775-1856 'bahl yah ee

János Bólyai 1802-60 'bahl yah ee

Rafael Bombelli 1526-72

Napoleon Bonaparte 'boh nuh part

George Boole 1815-64 bool

Boolean 'boo lee uhn

Jean-Charles de Borda 1733-99

Émile Felix-Édouard-Justin Borel 1871-1956 bo rel with o between o in move and o in song

Giovanni Borelli fl. 1680

K. V. Borodzin

Sandro Bottecelli 1444-1510 'boht tee tshel lee English: bawt ih 'chel ee

Pierre Bouguer 1698-1758 pee ,air boo gair

Nicolas Bourbaki late 1920s -199? ,boor ,bah 'kee

Rufus Bowen

Werner Boy

Carl B. Boyer

Robert Boyle 1627-91 boyl

bra brah

brachistochrone (or brachystochrone) brah 'kist o krohn

James Bradley 1693-1762

Tycho Brahe 1546-1601 'tee koh 'brah uh

Brahmagupta 598-after665

Henry Briggs 1561-1630

Louis Victor de Broglie 1892-1987

Lord Brouncker 1620-84

Luitzen Egbertus Jan Brouwer 1881-1966 'brow uhr

N. G. de Bruijn

V. Brun

Geodarno H. Bruno 1548-1600 'broo noh

brute broot

Georges Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon 1707-88 zhawrzh loo ee luh klar kohNt duh b[ue]N 'fohN

Ugo Buoncompagni

Joost (Jobst) Bürgi 1552-1632 'b[ue]r gee English: 'buhr gee

busy beaver 'biz ee 'bee vuhr

Johannes Buteo (Jean Borrel) c1492-c1568

Augusta Ada Byron Countess of Lovelace 1815-52

byte bight


Calcul des Probabilities (Bertrand)

the calculus 'kal kyuh luhss

Chris K. Caldwell

calliope (the musical instrument) 'cal ee ,ohp

Georg Ferdinand Ludwig Philip Cantor 1845-1918 'kahn tawr

cap kap

Girolamo Cardano (or Cardan) 1501-76 ja 'ro lam ,oh kahr 'dah noh (Jerome Cardan, Hieronymus Cardanus)

cardinal 'kahrd nuhl

cardinality ,kar duhn 'al ih tee

cardioid 'kahr dee oid

Sadi Carnot kahr 'noh

Lewis Carroll 1856-98

Cartesian kahr 'tee zhuhn

catastrophe kuh 'tass troh fee

category 'kad uh ,gawr ee

catenary 'katn ,ehr ee

Augustin-Louis Cauchy 1789-1857 coh shee

Bonaventura Francesco Cavalieri 1598-1647 ,kav uh 'lyer ee

Henry Cavendish 1731-1810

Arthur Cayley 1821-95 'kay lee

Anders Celsius 'sel see uhss

centi- 'sen tih

Loudolph von Ceulen 1540-1610 'k[oe] len

Gregory Chaitlin

chaos 'kay ahss

Jacques Alexandre Cesar Charles 1746-1823 shahr

C. V. I. Charlier fl. 1908

Emile du Chatelet 1706-49

R. Chen

chi ky

Chia chang suan-shu

chooser 'choo ,zer

chord kohrd

Chou pei suan ching

E. B. Christoffel kris 'toh ful


David & Gregory Chudnovsky

Chu Shih-chieh c1280-1303

cipher 'sy fuhr

circle 'sur kuhl

circuit 'sur kit

circumcenter 'suhr kuhm ,sen tuhr

circumference suhr 'kuhm fuh renss

circumscribe 'suhr kuhm ,skryb

cissoid 'siss oyd

Alexis Calude Clairaut 1713-65 kluh 'Roh

Rudolf Clausius 1822-88 'klow zee uss

Rudolf Clebsch

William Kingdon Clifford 1845-79

clique kleek or klik

coalition koh uh 'lish uhn

coefficient koh uh 'fish uhnt

Cogitata Physico-Mathematica (Mersenne)

H. Cohen

Paul Cohen 1934-

Frank Nelson Cole

collapsible compass kuhl 'lap suh buhl 'kuhm puhss

collegium kuh 'leej ee uhm Latin: koh 'leg ee uhm

combinatorial ,kahm buh nuh 'tohr ee uhl

compass 'kuhm puhss

compasses (a singular word) 'kuhm puhs ez

Comptes Rendus

concentric kuhn 'sen trik

conchoid 'kah[ng] koyd

Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas Caritat, Marquis de Condercet 1743-94 'cawn der say

cone kohn

confounding kuhn 'fownd i[ng]

congruence 'kuhn ,groo uhns

conic 'kahn ik

conical 'kahn ih kuhl

conjecture kuhn ,jek chur

conjugate 'kahn juh guht


continued kuhn 'tin yood continued fraction kuhn 'tin yood 'frak shuhn

continuous kuhn 'tin yoo uhss

continuum kuhn 'tin yoo uhm or kuhn 'tin yuh wuhm continuum hypothesis kuhn 'tin yoo uhm hy 'pahth uh siss

John Horton Conway

Stephen Cook

coordinate (noun) koh 'ord uh nuht

Copernican koh 'pur ni kan

Nicolaus Copernicus 1473-1543 koh 'pur ni kuhss (Mikolaj Kopernik)

cos 'koh syn


cosecant 'koh ,see kant

cosh ,hy per ,bahl ik 'koh syn

cosine 'koh syn

Cotes 1682-1716

Charles Coulomb 1736-1806 Coulomb's Law

countable 'kownt uh buhl

counterexample 'kownt uhr egs 'am puhl

coyote 'ky oht

Gabriel Cramer 1704-52 'kray mer

August Crelle 1780-1855 'kRel uh

critical 'krid uh kuhl

cross-cap 'krawss kap

cross product krawss 'prah duhkt

csc cosecant

csch hyperbolic cosecant

cube kyoob

cubic 'kyoo bik


e. e. cummings

cup kuhp

curl kerl

curtate 'kuhr tayt

curvature 'kuhr vuh chuhr

curve kuhrv

cusp kuhsp

cycloid 'sy ,kloyd

cylinder 'sil uhn duhr


Karl Dahlke

Jean Le Rond d'Alembert 1717-83 dah lahN 'behr

George Bernard Dantzig 1914-

Gaston Darboux

Leonardo da Vinci dah 'veen chee

deadhead (not about the Grateful Dead)

De analysi (Newton)

Louis de Branges

Louis Victor de Broglie 1892-1987

N. G. de Bruijn

deca- 'dek uh

decagon 'dek uh gahn

decahedron 'dek uh 'hee druhn

deci- 'dess ih

decimal 'des muhl

decreasing di 'kreess i[ng]

Julius Wilhelm Richard Dedekind 1831-1916 'day du kint

De Divina Proportione (Pacioli & da Vinci)

deficient di 'fi shunt

definite 'def uh nit

definition def uh 'nish uhn

degenerate di 'gen uh ruht

degree di 'gree

del del

Charles J. de la Vallée-Poussin M. Deleglise 1866-1962

Scipione del Ferro 1465-1526

delta 'del tuh

deltoid 'del ,toyd

De Mensura Sortis (de Moivre)

Antoine Gombaud, Chevalier de Méré fl. 1654 an twahn gohm bawd shuh 'val "yay de may ray

De methodis fluxionum (Newton)

Democritus c 470-c 357 dee 'mok ri tus

Abraham de Moivre 1667-1754 duh 'mwah vruh

Augustus de Morgan 1806-71 duh 'mawr guhn

denominator di 'nahm uh nayd uhr

dense denss

dependent di 'pen duhnt

depressed di 'prest

De Revolutionibus Orbium Caelestium (Copernicus)

derivative duh 'riv uh div

Gérard Desargues 1593-1662 zhay 'rar day 'zaRg

René Descartes 1596-1650 ren 'ay day kahRt

Descriptio (Napier)

descriptive di 'skrip tiv

De Stella Nova (Kepler)

Chevalier Destouches