Rue Min Oh What???

I thought this was too good not to share. A couple months ago, Tantor Media signed me on to produce an audiobook version of The Potato Hack. Today, an email:

Hi Tim,  I am the Casting Coordinator at Tantor Media.  We are in the Production process for The Potato Hack and the narrator was wondering about some of the Latin pronunciations that you listed.

  • Acidaminococcus intestinalis
  • Bacteroides ovatus
  • Bifidobacterium adolescentis
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Blautia producta
  • Clostridium cocleatum
  • Collinsella aerofaciens
  • Dorea longicatena
  • Escherichia coli
  • Eubacterium desmolans
  • Eubacterium eligens
  • Eubacterium limosum
  • Eubacterium rectale
  • Eubacterium ventriosum
  • Faecalibacterium prausnitzii
  • Lachnospira pectinoshiza
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Parabacteroides distasonis
  • Raoultella
  • Roseburia faecalis
  • Roseburia intestinalis
  • Ruminococcus torques
  • Ruminococcus obeum
  • Streptococcus mitis

Do you have the pronunciations for these?


Oh, crap!  I slept all through high school Latin, and I make up new pronunciations as I go! Here was my reply…how did I do?

Wow, I had not even thought how difficult this part would be for someone, lol.  These words are pronounced differently be everyone!  I have written them out below, if I heard them pronounced this way, I’d understand.

If the narrator would like to call me, I could pronounce them to clarify.

For instance, Escherichia coli. I said: “Esh uh rik ee uh; co’ lye.” says, “esh-uhrik-ee-uh koh-lahy“.  And they even have a sound-bite. If I can find a description like this for others, I’ll include the link.

Hope this is helpful!


  • Acidaminococcus intestinalis  “Acid amino cock’ us; Intestine alice” 
  • Bacteroides ovatus “Back ter roy’ dees; O vat’ us”  
  • Bifidobacterium adolescentis  “Biff’ ido bacterium; adolescent iss”
  • Bifidobacterium longum “Biff’ ido bacterium; long’ um”
  • Blautia producta “Blough’ tia; pro’ ducta”  [rhymes with plow/plough]
  • Clostridium cocleatum “Claw striddy um; co-clee-atom”
  • Collinsella aerofaciens “Collin sellah; aero fashions”
  • Dorea longicatena “Doory ah; longy cat’ enna”
  • Escherichia coli “Esh uh rik ee uh; co’ lye”
  • Eubacterium desmolans “You’ bacterium; dess’ molans”
  • Eubacterium eligens “You’ bacterium; elegans”
  • Eubacterium limosum “You’ bacterium; limo sum” [like limo/limousine]
  • Eubacterium rectale “You’ bacterium; rectal”
  • Eubacterium ventriosum “You’ bacterium; vent’ ry-oh-sum” [like gentry oh some]
  • Faecalibacterium prausnitzii “Fee cally bacterium; prows nitzy eye”
  • Lachnospira pectinoshiza “Lack no spy’ ra; pectin no shy za”
  • Lactobacillus casei “Lacto buh sillus; casey eye”
  • Parabacteroides distasonis “Para backter roy dees; dista so nis”
  • Raoultella “Raoul tellah” [like a person’s name]
  • Roseburia faecalis “Rose burry ah; fee cal’ iss”
  • Roseburia intestinalis  “Rose burry ah; intestine alice”
  • Ruminococcus torques “Rue min no cock’ us; torques”
  • Ruminococcus obeum “Rue min no cock’ us; obey um”
  • Streptococcus mitis  “Strepto cock’ us; my’ tus”

I’m excited to listen to the audio version, I hope they get someone with an Irish accent. Are audiobooks very popular?  I see the pre-sale price is $29.99. I was surprised it was so high, will anyone buy these?



6 Comments on “Rue Min Oh What???”

  1. Wilbur March 3, 2017 at 6:42 am #

    Funny! I need to keep your list because I had no idea how to pronounce even one of these.

    I listen to lots of audiobooks. I would never pay $29.99 for one. Audible has a membership program in which buying in advance lowers the cost significantly. Under the membership, all audiobooks have the same price. I buy 24 in advance, and the cost per audiobook is about $9.50. The average audiobook I buy is about 10-15 hours long, so the cost per hour of entertainment is excellent. Some audiobooks are really long, such as Atlas Shrugged at 63 hours. Still about $9.50! Unfortunately I’m finding it more tedious than entertaining.

    I’m listening to one now in which the narrator imitates an Irish accent:

    You can listen to the audio sample, and he imitates at about the 1 minute remains mark. It’s a fun book, by the way. I wanted to recommend it to Gemma because it has macro-level quantum uncertainty in it – she was interested in that a while back. I lost her email address, so do you mind letting her know?

    The narrator for Life at The Speed of Light does an awesome job with biology terms. He is Bob Souer. Although I do not know the correct pronunciations, one of the reviewers seems to and says he does a great job.


    • Wilbur March 3, 2017 at 6:51 am #

      Oops – I misremembered- he imitates a Scottish accent. I’m sure he could do Irish though. It might not be very different.


    • Gemma March 3, 2017 at 11:11 am #


      I swear I have never ever said something like “macro-level quantum uncertainty”!!! Especially because I have no idea what quantum actually means, haha

      Thanks for the tip and I will shoot you an email 🙂

      You Americans cannot pronounce Latin? So funny.


  2. Jo tB March 4, 2017 at 12:50 am #

    I have always understood whether a vowel is pronounced long or short depends on whether is is followed by a single or double consonant.

    Roseburia = both the o and u would be pronounced long. long as in oh (not short as in clot) U is long as in furious (not short as in curry)

    I still remember the old adage: C before a o u is pronounced k (hard). C before e i or y is pronounced s (soft). Same applies to G (gorgious or george)

    Doing a google search I came across this site.

    It states that English borrowed its alphabet from Latin, the pronunciation of individual Latin letters is close to that of English.

    I can’t help adding the pun: English English and not American English, Irish or Scottish English. We always say the Queen’s English.


  3. thehomeschoolingdoctor March 12, 2017 at 12:06 pm #

    Fun to think about! I guess I take my micro classes for granted! They can call me. 🙂 My rates are good.



  4. Chris March 15, 2018 at 5:41 am #

    I bought it. A very good listen on a long drive


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