Pronouncing Exotic Wood Names

Does "Wenge" rhyme with "Ben-Gay"? Well, that depends on who you ask. November 23, 2012

There's a bunch of woods that I have a hard time pronouncing. How do you say sapele, mackore, wenge, jatoba?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor J:
It gets hard because different people pronounce them differently. For instance I'm still trying to figure out the correct pronunciation for padauk. Some guys say pa-dook, and some paddock. I think sapele is sap-elly, and wenge is usually wen-gay, mackore is mack-ory... At least around here.

From contributor A:
I looked up padauk at one point and found "puh-DOWK" on the internet, so it must be true. In the Northwest, we say suh-PEE-lee, MACK-o-ray (some say the more Africany-sounding mah-KO-ray), ma-DRONE-uh, WEN-gay, and ja-TOE-buh.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for the advice. I just did a job with sapele veneer and insisted that it was pronounced SA-PAY-LAY. I didn't want to look like a fool so I thought I'd throw it out there.

Oh! What about anegre, bircote, lignum vitae, osage orange?

From contributor L:
-s-g, as in stage. Maclura pomifera, commonly called Osage-orange, hedge-apple, horse-apple, Bois D'Arc, bodark (bow wood).

From contributor G:
This is why I pretty much stick to birch and oak with the occasional bit of jelutong (Dyera costulata) thrown in. ;-)