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View Full Version : How do you pronounce "Kuiper Belt"?



John Dlugosz
2004-Mar-22, 07:36 PM
At [http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/faculty/jewitt] he notes, 'Gerard Kuiper (it is pronounced like "Viper" although a lot of people try it as "Coyper")'.

However, I don't know how the author might be pronouncing "viper", so that's not the last word on it.

What nationality is the name? How is it "properly" pronunced where that name came from? How would someone in the U.S. with that name pronounce it? How is it typically pronounced in the astronomy community?

(I wish I could type IPA here, but the forum is Latin-1 only, not Unicode) The way I hear it on TV, it begins like the "ki" in "kite".

I ask because I want to add some entries to the Wiki open dictionary, [http://wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionary:By_topic#Space_Science_and_Astronomy].

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Hamlet
2004-Mar-22, 07:44 PM
I've always heard it pronounced as a K with a long I. So it sounds like "viper" but with a K. Kuiper was Dutch, so maybe one of our Dutch friends can help out.

calliarcale
2004-Mar-22, 07:47 PM
I've always heard it pronounced as a K with a long I. So it sounds like "viper" but with a K. Kuiper was Dutch, so maybe one of our Dutch friends can help out.

I have a copy of an astronomy-oriented acappella album called AstroCappella by The Chromatics. In it they have a song about the planets which says....

Up at the edge is Pluto, our little caboose
(You know, there're some who say it's really not a planet now)
Maybe a slingshot 'round the giants almost set it loose
(Or it's the giant of the Kuiper Belt)

They pronounced it "Kiper," long 'i'. So that's how I pronounce it, as it's actually the only place I've actually heard it rather than simply reading it.

Ut
2004-Mar-22, 08:28 PM
I've only ever heard it as "Koyper".

FP
2004-Mar-22, 08:31 PM
I had a music professor in college named "Kuipers" and he pronounced it with the long i sound -- K-eye-pers.

informant
2004-Mar-22, 08:39 PM
Kuiper, Gerard 1905-1973
Dutch-born American astronomer best known for his study of the surface of the Moon; discovered Miranda and Nereid, found an atmosphere on Titan. (Dr.Kuiper was solidly Americanized; his name is pronounced to rhyme with "viper.")
source: The Nine Planets (http://www.nineplanets.org/help.html#kuiper)

tracer
2004-Mar-22, 08:42 PM
They left out the fact that he also discovered several binary star systems. (At least, I think that was the same Kuiper.)

chris l.
2004-Mar-22, 08:43 PM
Just like Duane Kuiper, former 2nd baseman for the Cleveland Indians.

informant
2004-Mar-22, 08:47 PM
Now we just need to find out how to pronounce "Belt". ;)

Russ
2004-Mar-22, 08:49 PM
When I was in high school I dated a gal named Louise Kuiper. No relation I'm sure but she pronounced her name so it rhymed with viper. For whatever that's worth.

SciFi Chick
2004-Mar-22, 09:20 PM
I don't know how definitive this is, but I know an astronomer that works at JPL on the Cassini mission, and he did his graduate work on planetesimals in the Kuiper Belt. He always pronounces it K-eye-per. :)

John Dlugosz
2004-Mar-23, 12:18 AM
Thanks everyone. Check out [http://wiktionary.org/wiki/Kuiper_Belt].

And if anyone is interested in adding more astronomical entries... [/url]