Lapis lazuli is a metamorphic rock that has a deep-blue or purple color. It was used as a precious rock for ornaments and jewellery and was used by artists especially in the Renaissance and Baroque period for the color of clothing.
In Latin, lapis
translates to "stone" and the word lazuli
originally derives from the Persian lājevard
, which was where the stone was mined and which also became the name of the stone. The word lazuli is also related to the color blue, and specifically to the color "azure", which was famously used for the cloud-based service, Microsoft Azure
The correct pronunciation of lapis lazuli is lah-pees LAH-zoo-lee
. This pronunciation is in Latin because the words were directly imported from Latin, so there is really no proper way to say them in English. The first points to keep in mind are that the "i"s are pronounced with an "ee" sound, like in the word "see" and the "a"s are pronounced with an open "ah" sound. Instead, the "u" is pronounced with an "oo" sound. In the second word, Lazuli, the stress is on the first syllable, -LAH and not on the second syllable. Lastly, the "z" is pronounced in a way that isn't very familiar to English speakers; another example of this "z" is in the Italian city of Monza
, next to Milan.