You say ta-mah-to: Guide to pronouncing commonly butchered names of outdoor companies

How to pronounce Nau, Teva, Mammut and 14 other commonly butchered outdoor company and brand names.
Publish date:
Updated on

Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2012 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Aug. 2-5. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update and upload the articles to our searchable archives.

This SNEWS Outdoor Retailer Summer Market recap is brought to you by Cordura:

By now we all know to say nye-kee when referring to Nike, but back in the 1980s it wasn’t unusual to hear friends mention they’d bought a pair of Nikes — as in bikes. Fast-forward to 2012, and it seems almost trendy for companies in the outdoor industry to create names so eclectic their own employees struggle with the pronunciation.

“If we didn’t make [our name] difficult to figure out, we wouldn’t be having this conversation,” chuckled Mark Galbraith of Nau, which sounds like now — not nah as in nautical. “It’s three letters, we could find a web domain, it wasn’t trademarked and Northern Arizona University didn’t have a problem with us using it. Plus, Nau means ‘welcome’ in Maori, and we thought it would be great to have a name that said ‘welcome to my whatever.’” The pronunciation of Nau as now is a bonus, he added. “It’s a subtle reminder that our product is current and fresh.” 

Picking names that mean something in another language is certainly popular. Teva (teh-vuh, not tee-vah) means nature in Hebrew. Elsewhere, companies create wholly new words from phonetic colloquialisms. Pronounced jewel, Juil “means absolutely nothing,” according to a salesperson at the booth.

Hang around Mammut and you’ll hear ma-moot with the emphasis on the first syllable, maybe even mam-mit (like “damn it”). Both are wrong. The true pronunciation of the word that means wooly mammoth is ma-moot, with the emphasis on the second syllable.

Herewith, a list of the most commonly garbled outdoor names along with their correct phonetic pronunciation.



– kush-ee

Guyot – ghee–oh

Katadyn cat–a–dine






Millet  – meeyay


Leki – lay-key

--Jill Adler

Outdoor Research: No more acronym

For years, we knew the Seattle apparel and accessory leader as OR. No longer. Outdoor Research (#A-104) wants everyone know that the company is more than two initials and definitely not a souvenir from the O.R. trade show. “OR doesn’t stand for much outside of our core users,” said PR representative Dave Simpson. “We’re using the whole name now so there’s no confusion.” The rebranding means clothes for 2013 will sport both the traditional OR logo as well as the full company name.


Outdoor: Did You Hear?...

>> The Avalanche Fund, formerly the American Avalanche Advisory Fund, has reorganized to best ensure access to winter backcountry avalanche forecast information. The first meeting will be Saturday, Feb. 1, at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City. Peter Metcalf, CEO of more

Outdoor: Did you hear?…

For the week of Nov. 2-8 >> Mammut and Climb High (the U.S. distributor for Mammut) have issued a recall for approximately 500 Barryvox avalanche transceivers shipped to U.S. retailers since August 2004. According to Mammut, "tension cracks may appear in the red plastic casing of more

Outdoor: Did you hear?...

>> John Kirsch Jr., president of Sportif USA, was in a dirt bike accident on Feb. 14. Kirsch, 37, suffered a severe spinal injury and a collapsed lung and is currently listed by the hospital in fair condition. During Kirsch's recovery, Sportif's executive management team has more

Outdoor: Did you hear?…

>> We were a bit surprised when we read the quote from Base Camp PR's Mike Geraci in the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market daily, then later in Bicycle Retailer, referring to the popularity of the yellow Live Strong bracelets sold to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation: "It's more

Outdoor: Did You Hear?...

>> Hats off to the Outdoor Retailer trade show team! Though exact details are sketchy SNEWS has learned that as an added perk for qualified retailers (that means you have to have a retailer badge or no go), OR will offer free wireless access in the Retailer Lounge located in more

Outdoor: Did you hear?…

For the week of March 29-April 4 >> For the second year in a row, the SIA.06 SnowSports Show is officially sold out, according to SnowSports Industries America (SIA). To date, more than 320,000 square feet has been sold with exhibitors on tap to showcase more than 750 brands at more

It's time to seek common ground

By Marty Grabijas Our day started at dawn, creeping along a rock strewn Jeep trail on a spine of a ridge near the Columbia River. The goal for the day was to reach a spring that lay high up a side canyon, on the ridge opposite us. My companions on the hunt for chukar and huns more