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How d'ya pronounce these woods?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Ozzel, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. Just so I don't sound like an ignoramoose when I got shopping for exotic woods at the local custom wood shop, can someone please help me out with the pronounciations of these names? Thanks.

    -Pau Ferro
  2. i'm pretty sure it's - wane-gay, pa-ew fair-oh, and pad-ewk

    at least that's how i pronounce them, haha
  3. Wane-gay for Wenge? hmmm...

    I've heard it pronounced "whenj" and "whenjie". Anyone know which is correct?
  4. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I've heard wen-gee (hard "g", like clarified butter "ghee") and wen-gay (another hard "g"). Either way you'll seem like you know what you're talking about.

    Just call pau ferro "morado" and you'll be okay. ;)
  5. kboyd


    Jul 6, 2002
    I am an expert on wenge:) Wenge...pronounced (when gay).. :) A very hard dense wood worshipped by the east bay congo mufidious bunga tribe. A sharpened piece is used to cut the umbilical cord of all their babies, any self mutilation ritual, and also to kill any invading enemies with a club made of wenge. For those of you who must know, the scientific name........mehituondaheadicus widhardstickitus.
    Shlabotnik likes this.
  6. unharmed

    unharmed Iron Fishes

    May 19, 2003
    London, England
    I studied German for a long time so when I look at it I see: "ven-GEH"
  7. schuyler


    Aug 5, 2003
    Atlanta, GA
    WEN-gay, PA-ow FAIR-o, paa-DUKE. at least round here.
  8. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Anglophones...do you ever try to learn other lingos? :rolleyes:

    Wenge: this is actually diffcult! There are two major (international!) lines: venge (end similar to wrench), or venghe. Seems to be some debate on which is the original, african pronounciation.
    Pau Ferro: come on, US citzens, spanish is your second language! You should know some pronounciation rules of that language! Or learn.
    Padouk: nice word! Say "paddock", but replace the c with a u, and say the u as u, not "yu".

    Or have some lessons in non-english pronounciation. You'll find that there are just three or four main variants among those that use the latin alphabet. Pretty simple, actually. At least for non-anglophones :bag:
  9. pilotjones


    Nov 8, 2001
    Pau ferro is from Portugese, not Spanish. ( +1 for the Anglophones ;) )
  10. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    Pau Ferro means 'ironwood' and it's mostly "pow fairo" with just a little 'oo' on the end of the "pow."

    Padouk is just like it is spelled. the second syllable rhymes with book.

    Wenge is actually a little tricky. It's the most foreign-sounding of the three. I'm told it's also just like it is spelled but with the 'G' sound from go,get,gone. and not the 'G' from huge, strange, ranger. So wen-ge. Not wen-gee.

    Make sense?
    tonmo likes this.
  11. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    Throat-Warbler Mangrove
  12. pilotjones


    Nov 8, 2001

  13. Except it's not spelled like that: it's spelled "padauk." ;) At least, that's the more common, and I'm pretty sure more correct, spelling.

    EDIT: Just found this:

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.


    SYLLABICATION: pa·dauk
    VARIANT FORMS: also pa·douk (-dk)
    NOUN: 1. A southeast Asian tree (Pterocarpus indicus) having reddish wood with a mottled or striped black grain. 2. The wood of this tree, used mainly for decorative cabinetwork. In both senses also called amboyna.
    ETYMOLOGY: Burmese.

    And this:

    PADAUK: Dictionary Entry and Meaning
    Pronunciation: pe'dawk

    WordNet Dictionary

    Definition: [n] tree native to southeastern Asia having reddish wood with a mottled or striped black grain

    Synonyms: amboyna, padouk, Pterocarpus indicus

    See Also: Andaman redwood, genus Pterocarpus, Pterocarpus, tree

    So "pa-DAWK" seems closer to right.
  14. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin

    You're on your own with the other two, but I'm guessing "pow-ferrow" and "pah-dook."
  15. "wung - gay"

    I met an African guy who prounounced it like this (apparantly its a very common timber for carved trinkets at street markets through Africa).

    "pad - ouk" (with the ou sound from "trout", "out" etc.)

    The timber yard guys in my neck of the woods generally pronounce it like this.

    Not sure about the other. I've only heard music shop guys pronounce it, and they're just guessing it from the way it's spelt in Warwick catalogues...
  16. atomic_turtle


    Jun 22, 2003
    Dracut, MA
  17. steebass


    Sep 2, 2011
    I appreciate you asking the question....I've had an SR1306 for almost 20 years, and I've wondered if I was pronouncing the woods correctly....now I know. Thanks.
  18. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    pow FAIR-oh
    puh-DAWK (mostly because it is also spelled Padauk, which is how I saw it the first few times I encountered it)
  19. temmrich


    Jan 29, 2012
    Columbus, Ohio
    apparently you can pronounce it however you want. It seems that nobody here really agrees on the way to pronounce them, so as long as you say it confidently, I'm sure people will get the idea.
    reminds me of the 1972 Olympic Men's Basketball finals. The American announcers said, "hey, how do we pronounce all these Russian names?". The officials said, "Pronounce them however you want, just keep pronouncing em that way for the rest of the game."
    Consistency is the key. Pronounce it wrong to enough people and you'll create as new way to pronounce it.
  20. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments

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