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OT: "Vernier" -- pronunciation??

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  • OT: "Vernier" -- pronunciation??

    You say po-tay-toe, I say po-tah-to......

    B H Jones question about vernier scales prompts me to ask this -- "who give a rats a**? -- question...

    ver-ni-er or ver-near (similar to the wood veneer) --- When I was in the Air Force many (many!) years ago I was taught the ver-ni-er way, but in this area, and many others, its the ver-near way. Since theres a nice broad range of the world represented here, how do you pronounce the word.

    Kinda like the generic words for soft drinks --- in this area its "coke", just west, I've got friends that use "pop", then theres "soda", etc, etc....
    If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........

  • #2
    Interesting question ... I always assumed it was ver-near everywhere. Thats all I've heard in the midwest.


    • #3
      OZ sez .................

      "Ver-knee-ya" so far as I've heard in OZ.


      • #4
        I've always heart Ver-near too, but I live in a town named Grand Blanc, and everyone pronounces it "Grandblank". Lost our regard for the French long ago.
        Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
        ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~


        • #5
          I've always pronounced it vern - e - er, sort of.

          But Pierre Vernier would have said it something line vern -yay, I suppose.
          Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
          Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
          Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
          There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
          Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
          Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


          • #6
            the old boy who taught me so much pronounced it Very Near, usually just before telling me to smarten up and to use a micrometer


            • #7
              same as SGW, three sylables, but then my spoken 'language' is a mongrel mix of pretty much everything, routinely get questioned about a few terms and pronunciations that I grew up with, gotta teach these guys around here how to talk right one of these days.



              • #8
                Pronunciations are regional. Things become very interesting where translations from one tongue to another take place. We have a town here, Issaquah, that is clearly a native language name. It is spelled as I've spelled it. When the French came to north America they produced this: Iroquois, which is often pronounced eer-a-coy, but in the French is ir-o-kwa and is probably closer to how the natives said it at the time, and very close to the way Issaquah is said here.

                Remember when Bejing was pronounced Peking?


                • #9
                  We always use the 3 syllable ver-knee-er pronunciation over here in the UK, but any QA man always refers to them in the same vein that McGyver mentioned.

                  Incidentally, Merriam Webster the American dictionary company has an online pronunciation here that uses the 3 syllables too.



                  • #10
                    Put me down for the correct ver-ni-er pronunciation.

                    What peeves me, however you pronounce it, is those who use vernier and dial caliper interchangeably. If it has a vernier it is a vernier caliper, if it has a dial it is a dial caliper and if it has a digital display it is a digital caliper.

                    Thats my story and I am sticking to it!

                    Errol Groff
                    Errol Groff

                    New England Model Engineering Society

                    YouTube channel:


                    • #11
                      Three syllable

                      I was taught three syllables. Ver-ni-er.


                      • #12
                        years ago I was taught the ver-ni-er way, but in this area, and many others, its the ver-near way.
                        I hope I don't step on any toes with this post; but, it is my observation that some people, especially crusty and unfriendly old-timers, are lazy talkers or they don't like talking at all. They reluctantly communicate in monosyllabic grunts and only on rare occasions will they wax eloquent and use so much as a two syllable word. Three syllables? Forget it.

                        So, that grouchy old journeyman who taught the apprentices was really digging deep into his vocabulary when he said "ver-near."

                        I live in Wawawai Canyon. It is properly spoken as "waa WAA wee" and that is the way all us residents pronounce it; however, many are the times when I've met old-timers--some of whom live only a few miles away--and one of the first things they want to know is where we live.

                        I'll tell them "Wawawai." They'll give me a puzzled look and say, Where?!" I repeat, "Wawawai." After repeating this exchange a half-dozen times and we still are not getting anywhere I finally describe the place and name a few of the residents of yore.

                        It finally dawns on them and their face lights up in understanding, whereupon they'll say, "Oh, you mean Wah-wye!" Then, they'll scowl because that young whipper-snapper doesn't even know how to pronouce the name of the very place where he lives.

                        My step-dad was the same way. Because he was a farmer and weather means everything to farmers, I once gave him a maximum/minimum recording thermometer. He lived another thirty years after that and until the day he died he was utterly incapable of calling it a maximum-minimum thermometer. He would trip over his tongue every time.

                        So, if you were taught "ver-near," now you know why.

                        Oh, BTW, one of my old-time acquaintances who said we lived at Wah-wye just happened to be a machinist. He always used "ver-nears"--had never heard of such a thing as a vernier.

                        So many projects. So little time.


                        • #13
                          My last name is French and ends in "ier" and as SGW surmised is pronounced "yay" or "eyay".

                          However, the original Etruscan pronunciation sounds remarkably like "Gimmeedacaliper".



                          • #14
                            Issaquah; haven't heard that name in many years. Since we left Cashmere in 1944. Lots of native american names down here in Oklahoma also.
                            John Burchett
                            in Byng OK
                            John Burchett
                            in Byng OK


                            • #15
                              It’s VER-nee-air. Usually the guys/gals who call it a ver-near don’t know how to read it either, that's why they invented the dial caliper, easier to say, easier to use.

                              Now would one of you nice fellows pass me the mickey-crom-meter so I can measure the thickness of this wood vernier?
                              By the time one earns a degree from the school of experience, he's too old to practice. Wayne