Monday, February 21, 2011

D&D Pronunciations

I was reading Limpey's post over at Aldeboran about some of the strange monsters from D&D. It led off with the catoblepas, a monster I've never used, due at least in part to the fact that I had no idea how to pronounce it. That reminded me of a page I came across recently (probably posted on someone else's blog, but I can't remember who at the moment) that had a list of pronunciations for D&D stuff. The link is here, but I'll repost just the pronunciations, since that's all I care about at the moment.

Aarakocra: a-rah-KO-krah
Arquebus: AR-keh-bus
Baatezu: bay-AH-teh-zu or BAH-teh-zu
Bardiche: bar-DEESH
Bulette: boo-LAY
Catoblepus: kuht-OH-bleh-puhs, also kah-TA-ble-pus
Chatkcha: CHAT-k-cha (thri-kreen throwing weapon)
Chimera: ky-MAEE-ruh, or ky-MAIR-ruh (rhymes with "care of")
Chitin: KITE-in
Cuirass: KWEE-rass
Drow: DRAU (as in drowsy; rhymes with now and how)
Dweomer: DWEH-mer (rhymes with "hem her"), or DWIH-mer; sometimes DWEE-mer
Falchion: FAL-chun
Geas: GEE-ass, or GYASS (both with a hard "g")
Gygax: GY-gaks
Halberd: HAL-berd, (not HAL-bread)
Herb: ERB
Ioun: EYE-oon
Iuz: YOOZ or EE-uz
Ixitxachitl: iks-it-ZATCH-i-til or ik-zit-zah-chih-tull
Lich: LITCH (as in ditch), *not* LIKE or LICK
Lycanthrope: LY-kun-throhp, LY-kan-throhp (like lichen rope/my tan rope)
Lycanthropy: ly-KAN-thruh-pee
Mage: MAGE (as in age), *not* MADGE (as in badger)
Melee: MAY-lay
Otyugh: AHT-yuhg
Sahuagin: sah-HWAH-gin
Scythe: syth (rhymes with tithe)
Svirfneblin: svirf-NEB-lin
Tanar'ri: tah-NAHR-ree
Tarrasque: tah-RASK
THAC0: either THAK-oh, or THAKE-oh
Vargouille: var-GWEEL
Vrock: vrahk
Wyvern: WIH-vern (as in did learn), or WHY-vern
Zaknafein: zack-NAY-fee-in

Here are all the ones I pronounce incorrectly:

Baatezu: buh-TEE-zoo
Bulette: boo-LETT
Catoblepus:  cat-o-BLEE-pus
Dweomer: dwee-O-mer
Geas: geez (with hard G, like geezer)
Ioun: eye-OON
Otyugh: OH-tee-oog
Sahuagin: sa-WOG-in
Scythe: I always pronounce it with a K sound, even though I know better.
Vargouille: var-GOO-ee

Did you find anything in here you didn't know about before? Are there any of these pronunciations you would contest? Do you have any that you pronounce differently, and that's just how it is, and you aren't likely to change?


  1. Also, can you find the one in the list that really doesn't fit?

  2. A couple of their pronunciations are wrong.

    Bulette: It's a common misconception that French words ending in -ette should be pronounced to rhyme with "way". Think: cigarette, corvette.

    Dweomer: Old English "eo" is like the sound in the first pronunciation, but with an "o" blended in: DWEH-oh-mer, with the "EH-oh" blended together to almost sound like "aim". Think: Beowulf.

    Geas: Gaelic is weird. It's pronounced "gesh".

    Melee: close enough, I suppose, but it's more like "MEH-lay" or "meh-LAY".

    I also think the stress on "Catoblepas" is wrong, but I'm less sure on that. I'd pronounce it kah-ta-BLEH-puhs, which is your stress pattern, the first half of the second pronunciation, and the second half of the first pronunciation.

  3. I'm glad I'm not alone. I think I'll stick with boo-LETT, because deviating from that kind of offends my sensibilities.

    On a side note, I noticed on the source page that they say OD&D stands for "Old D&D". I got a chuckle out of that.

  4. Lich, in addition to sounding like litch, is also correctly pronounced as 'like' contrary to what they say. It's root is german and old english 'lic' (corpse) which was pronounced 'like.'