How do you pronounce "Gaussian?"

I noticed the other day that I have no idea how to pronounce Gaussian. I say “Gwassian” at the moment, but I think this is probably wrong.

I think it’s “go - see - an”.

I believe it’s GOW-shun.

Gauss was German.

Fastest responce ever! Not conclusive, but fast. Thanks, guys.

Ya I’d say it was pretty freaking conclusive.


Thank you. Sorry I doupted you.

I believe it’s GOW-shun.

Ah, well. I was close.

It’s a mixture of the two. It’s gow-see-un:


Lol, that’s probably the most bizarre pronunciation I’ve seen. It would only be close to that if it was spelled Guassian. Like iguana.


gw in german is pernounced as buuuuu (like butter)
as is pronounced utttttttt (like what)
si is pronouced hoooooo (like hole)
an is pronouced ollllllll (like old)

buuuuuu uttttttt hoooooo olllllllllll

You know what, that was almost funny, almost.

osxrules has it right: it’s gow-see-un

As long as this is a thread about pronunciations of terms encountered by those in 3d graphics, here’s two more that always throw people.

euler: OY-LER
fresnel: FRAY-NELL

I always pronounce that you-ler. I know oy-ler is correct but it sounds odd to me.

Isn’t this one pronounced FREN - ell ?

Gaussian is an anglizism based on a german name, so it’s pronounced the english way. This form does not exist in the german vocabulary. Example: “Gaussian distribution” translates “Gauss- Verteilung” no “ian” at the end. Thats why I try to pronounce Gaussian the english way: Gaw-ssian. If someone english speaking did pronounce it differently i would probably have to ask him to repeat it:)

I can only second that. I always thought that it was quite clear how to pronounce that, but that may be merely because I’m not an native english speaker and therefore just spell it the way I think (and can!).

If you would really try to translate it you could probably say “Gaussisch” but that sounds too awkward in german…

aww crap, and I’ve been pronouncing it GAW-SHUN all the time :frowning:

Granted, you are right that it is a word of English origin, but that doesn’t mean the name should be pronounced in the English fashion. The English part “ian” should be pronounced like English, but I think the name should retain its original pronunciation.
So if I say a piece of music is “Beethoven-ish”, I’m still pronouncing his name the right way, I’m just adding an English suffix.

So valarking,

You are saying that the correct pronunciation should be GOW-shee-in? That is to say, a German “gauss” with the anglo “ian” on the end?

I would think so.

And it should be added, to avoid further confusion, that it is “GOW” as in “COW”, not as in “TOW” (I originally had “bow” then realised, that can be pronounced either way :rolleyes:).

I’ve always pronounced it as in “gauze” even though I knew otherwise. But I do say “de-gowse” when zapping a CRT monitor.

Artists have a similar argument over “Gesso”.