Working in the IT industry I often have to use the word Thawte - the name of a company and its certificates. What is the origin of this word and its correct pronunciation? Does it have its own meaning or is it just a name? A web search result seems to contain IT security stuff only.

2 Answers 2


I believe Thawte constructed its name as a portmanteau of "thought" and "thwart", which would make sense considering their area of expertise. I would imagine that "Thawte" was intended to be pronounced the same way as you would pronounce "thought".

  • Do you have a source for this? Commented Nov 24, 2011 at 17:08
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    @NateEldredge - No, hence my tone - "I believe", "I would imagine".
    – Polynomial
    Commented Nov 24, 2011 at 17:13
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    My South African friend just informed me that Thawte are based in SA, and a lot of South Africans would struggle to pronounce the thw- part of "thwart", and would say "thawt" instead.
    – Polynomial
    Commented Nov 24, 2011 at 17:16
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    @Polynomial, yes that's the initial company of Mark Shuttleworth of Ubuntu/Canical fame. I think he sold it for half a billion usd to Verisign. Commented Nov 24, 2011 at 21:49

I've never heard anyone say it, but all the references I can find say to pronounce the name as "thought".

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