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In my youth, my father used to read me The Magic of Oz by L. Frank Baum. The magic word that was used to transform, Pyrzqxgl, was very difficult to pronounce. Are there any guidelines on pronouncing it? Where would the accent be, if any?

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This is really too narrow to be germane to the discussions here. Voting to close. –  Robusto Aug 30 '11 at 2:02
Just as it's written, obviously. –  mgb Aug 30 '11 at 2:05
I voted to close, too, but I just can't help upvoting the question... –  Daniel Aug 30 '11 at 2:11
"purrz - quicks - gull" Note that the "u" in "gull" at the end must be very short, almost a schwa. Also, the "quicks" in the middle must be hit very hard. –  David Schwartz Aug 30 '11 at 4:12
+1 @David Schwartz This looks close. –  Spare Oom Aug 30 '11 at 12:42
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closed as too localized by Robusto, Jasper Loy, simchona, z7sg Ѫ, Daniel Aug 30 '11 at 2:10

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1 Answer

up vote 10 down vote accepted

The literary in-joke of Pyrzqxgl is that nobody would know how to pronounce it correctly lest they cause people to transform. There is a page here dedicated to the joke, writing:

No, I mean, what is the correct pronunciation of Pyrzqxgl?

This is a deep secret known to only a few magic users today, and disclosing the exact pronunciation of the word is a deep offense in most planes of existence. Use of the word by irresponsible people could result in a cosmos-wide calamity (hence this convenient Web tool).

"Pyrzqxgl" is the common (unpronounceable) transliteration. Of course, the word would not ever be written in such a fashion to easily convey the true sound of the word - the danger would be far too great.

Even when the correct pronunciation is known, Pyrzqxgl is a very difficult word to say. However, the pronunciation must be perfect. Some people who are missing teeth or who have unusually large or small mouths may not even be able to pronounce it properly. There have been a few cases in which such obstacles in students were overcome, however they are rare. Ancient cultists were known to physically alter their tongues (through magic or brute cutting) in order to more easily pronounce the potent word.

The "correct" pronunciation is unknown, and the only way to know it was "right" would be that the magic occurred. So, you can pronounce it any way you want. The letters are combined in such a way that there aren't other words which a pronunciation can be based on.

My guess at how to pronounce it (which is only opinion) is Peer-zuh-kex-gul.

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Whats more deadly? Pyrzqxgl or Avada Kedavra? :) –  Sȱɳɨȼ Ʈħe ǶḝÐɠḝħȱɠ Aug 30 '11 at 4:52
@simchona This explains it well. I must be one of those whose mouth is too small to pronounce it right. –  Spare Oom Aug 30 '11 at 12:49
In my opinion, I would pronouce it as Peerz-ques-gul. –  Sȱɳɨȼ Ʈħe ǶḝÐɠḝħȱɠ Aug 30 '11 at 23:57
@Chaos We'll know if it's right when someone transforms. –  simchona Aug 31 '11 at 9:02
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