Pronunciation of


How to pronounce Betelgeuse
Betelgeuse is a red supergiant star that is the tenth brightest star visible from Earth and is part of the constellation of Orion.
The correct pronunciation of Betelgeuse is an object of dispute due to its mistransliteration from its original Arabic form to Latin. The modern name that is commonly used in English, Betelgeuse, came to use through French in the 20th century.
The name Betelgeuse has two probable derivations: Ibṭ al-Jauzā, meaning “the armpit of Orion” or Yad al-Jauzā, meaning “the hand of Orion”.
Prior to the modern use of the name Betelgeuse, the star had been known as Betelgeux and Betelgeuze, which entailed different pronunciations. The final part of its name came to be -elgeuse because it comes from the Arabic al-Jauzā, which is a feminine name. In French, -elgeux would be masculine, while -elgeuse is feminine.
While no strict and universally accepted pronunciation of Betelgeuse exists, it seems that the French feminine pronunciation should be the most consistent.
Following this line of reasoning, the correct pronunciation of Betelgeuse is beh-tell-szuhz.
Both the “e” sounds in the first two syllables of Betelgeuse, beh-tell, are pronounced with a short “e”, which means they produce an open “eh” sound. The first two letters, -sz, produce a sound that is similar to a truncated “j”: it is pronounced like the “s” in the word “pleasure”. The -uh sound is then roughly pronounced with a short “u” that is slightly closed, as you will hear in the audio pronunciation. The final “s” in Betelgeuse is pronounced with a “z” sound, as is common in French.
Betelgeuse also inspired the character of the same name in the movie Beetlejuice, by Tim Burton. In the film, Betelgeuse is pronounced as Beetlejuice, which is similar to one of the pronunciations the star has carried. In fact, Betelgeuse (the star) is often pronounce simply as Beetlejuice.
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