GW Grognard: Can I get a Pronunciation Key, Please?

Hey everyone! Adam, from TFG Radio, here to enunciate my thoughts.

I’ve played a lot of armies over the years. I think, before 7th edition, I had played each army in a tournament or league at least once. Some I have enjoyed, others not so much. All the different units, characters, and vehicles helped to establish the background of the 40K universe into what it is today. One of the bigger issues that seem to be coming up often with all these armies is “What is the proper way to pronounce names, cities, planets, weapons, and such?”

It’s Abadoodle-do!


In the early days it didn’t really matter how they were pronounced. Unless you traveled to other events across the country, or around the world, you never really interacted with people outside of your local community. So within your local area the issue of how certain words are never really came up. As a group it would be decided, usually by basically following the herd, as to what pronunciation of certain words would be the norm. When you came in contact with other groups that pronounced a word differently, you were simply polite towards them, then talk among your friends on how odd they were with their weird pronunciations. There was never any question on how words were pronounced since we were really given no direction on that.

Rowboat Girlyman

Now, thanks to social media, people from around the world get to discuss the minutia of pronunciation. Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and podcasts (listen to TFG Radio!) bombard us with information and expose us to the different ways to pronounce words. Is it “a-BAD-un” or a-bu-don”?* Is it “Row-bout” or “Row bow”? “Wi-vern or Why-vern’? There are hundreds of words that ask this question. Games Workshop is no help, in this regard. I have watched videos and streams where they pronounce a word, or name, one way, then I listen to an audio book and they pronounce that same word, or name, in a completely different way. It certainly doesn’t help the situation. Don’t event get me started on the Tzeentch daemon Aetaos’rau’keres. This even extends to words that Games Workshop doesn’t really control, and is more of a cultural thing.  Examples of this are “Bay-ta” rules or “Bee-ta” rules, “Zee” or”Zed”, and “Me-tə” or “May-ta”**. So this isn’t just limited to the sphere of Games Workshop.  I don’t really expect a pronunciation key from Games Workshop, but if someone happens to make one, or if there is one already out there, I would appreciate it.

That’s all for this week, I hope you enjoyed the read. Let me know your thoughts, and how you pronounce certain words, in the comments section. Don’t forget to visit our Facebook, Twitch, and Patreon pages to stay up to date on what we’re up to and when episodes drop!

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*It’s the second pronunciation, no matter what you say

**It’s the first pronunciation, actually


About Adam

Adam, aka Latin Gandalf, has been gaming since the early eighties and has played 40K since Rogue Trader (among a number of other games). He listens to more podcasts than any healthy person should and is currently the host for TFG Radio. He also is judges for LVO and head judges other major 40K Grand Tournaments.

7 Responses to “GW Grognard: Can I get a Pronunciation Key, Please?”

  1. abusepuppy April 13, 2019 4:00 am #

    If only there were some sort of… online reference that you could use to look up the pronunciations (and variant pronunciations, thank you very much) of some of these words that have real, historical and mythological origins.

    Sadly, such a thing does not exist and never will.

    • Adam April 14, 2019 9:42 am #

      Even then, people refuse to pronounce it the correct way.

      Also, I couldn’t find a place to pronounce “Aetaos’rau’keres”. At least not in the safe part of the web

      • abusepuppy April 14, 2019 5:46 pm #

        “some of”

        I can link you to some unsafe parts of the web that might help. Not in pronouncing anything, but they will make it so that you are no longer concerned with such petty things.

  2. Wayniac April 13, 2019 6:24 am #

    Abaddon is meant to be “A-bad-un”. At first, I thought this was just GW’s pronunciation, but I checked the actual pronunciation of the Biblical name and it’s pronounced the same way. So it really is “A-bad-un”, not “Aba-don”. Roboute is the way they say it for GW stuff, “Row-boo-tay Gill-e-man”.

    • Wayniac April 13, 2019 6:25 am #

      Which also would mean according to how it’s spelled and said, Abaddon’s full name would be pronounced “Eze-kyle A-bad-un”

  3. Rob Butcher April 13, 2019 8:17 am #

    Watch Warhammer Tv, they make it clear there is NO CORRECT, approved PRONUNCIATION – it all depends on individual accents.

    BUT there are definitely some pronunciations that are not near to being correct.

    CUSTODEeS = correct

    CUSTARDS = incorrect

  4. WestRider April 13, 2019 3:51 pm #

    With many Chaos-related names, there’s actually an easy test: If you start growing tentacles or something spontaneously catches fire or whatever after you say it, you’re pronouncing it correctly. That said, most of them aren’t properly pronuncible by mortal tongues, so just go with whatever.

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