Erwin Schrödinger

What is the correct way to say this last name? I’ve been reading science on a layman’s level for many years and am embarassed to say that I don’t know how to pronounce it without sounding like a fool.

I usually just hear it as /shroh-ding-er/, but if you want to be strictly correct, the ö is pronounced as a sort of mixture of /eh/ and /oh/, like the French “dieu”.

Of course, if you’re going to be that precise, you need to pronounce his first name /Er-vin/.

(Is there an easy way to do IPA here?)

There are actually two ways to pronounce his name, but you won’t know which you’ve chosen until after you’ve said it.

Well done!

Yes! very nice.

I’m actually asking because this does come up in my little circles of couch potato philosopher friends. I’m left not knowing the corecct way to say Kim Bassinger. :smiley:

I’ve always rhymed it with “slow zinger”, FWIW.

Of course, I’ve never much been good at pronouncing anything.


As fachverwirrt (there’s a name for you!) posted above, you’re correct as far as most people would hear it. Only the extras he/she added would help you to a native German.

Ervin would be the German pronounciation of “Erwin”. A “w” is pronounced like a “v.”

It took me a second (well, actually it took until I read Polycarp’s reply and thought to look at it again) to get it.


In her appearance on The Simpsons (which was alongside her then-husband Alec Baldwin), she corrects Homer by saying “Base-singer.”

Not true! There is a defined way to pronounce it; it’s just that the card with the correct pronunciation is in your other pants, which are hidden somewhere in the back of your closet, out of reach. It’s unequal, I know, but that’s the way the old Bell rings.


The crux of my confusion is not the schro but the dinger. ding as in bell or dinge as in dicolored?

Ding ding ding. Thanks eveyone.

A native German? Don’t mind if I do!

Or, as a great uncle of mine used to lament when drunk, “All my wees come out like wubble-yous and my wubble-yous come out like wees!”

Ding as a bell - hard g. I can’t recall if there are even soft g’s in German. However, the final “-r” isn’t pronounced : “inguh”, not “ingurr”
Or, for the fluent IPA types (weirdos !) : ˈʃrøːdɪŋɐ

Wow. You make it sound like he was from Long Island. :smiley:

And props out to Richard Feynman, Rock on Far rockaway!

I’ve always pronounced it “Shrow-Ding-Err”. Hard-G.

Then I finally heard some physicist on The Discovery Channel pronounce it with a soft-G. And my entire world-view was thrown into uncertainty.

Alas, I lay in between two undefined states. Even now.

Thank you Werner.

In German -ing is pronounced simular to -ing in English. (if you want to call that a hard-G I’m okay with that, but it is not what I call a hard G).

Not sure if it’s been made entirely clear, but -dinger sounds like singer, not finger (except without the /r/). In German, at least. The Americanized pronunciation might have a light hard /g/.