How to say it
December 11, 2019 3:37 AM   Subscribe

How would you pronounce the name ‘Acer’? With a soft c like ‘ace-er’ or a hard c like ‘acre’, and with a long or short ‘a’ (or another way)? I would assume a soft c, but it’s from the Latin for maple tree, so I’m not sure if that would make it a hard c? No idea if Latin would be long or short a. Also related, do you know if it has any negative meanings in languages other than English? Considering it for a middle name.
posted by atlantica to Writing & Language (29 answers total)
 
I've always heard it pronounced "ace-er", like the computer brand name.
posted by Roger Pittman at 3:46 AM on December 11, 2019 [19 favorites]


I also thought of the computer brand and would say Ace-er.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:50 AM on December 11, 2019 [7 favorites]


American botanists say Ace-er when talking about the tree.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:56 AM on December 11, 2019 [6 favorites]


IAABotanist and say "Ace-er", soft c.
posted by pemberkins at 3:57 AM on December 11, 2019 [3 favorites]


In classical Latin, it would be a hard 'c', but people don't use strict classical latin pronunciation for plant and animal classifications, so a soft 'c' it is.
posted by pipeski at 4:37 AM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]


Ace er
posted by chasles at 4:41 AM on December 11, 2019


Plant person here.
Ace-er with a soft C
posted by sciencegeek at 4:45 AM on December 11, 2019


Ace-er. As in this review.

Also in 2020 this isn't that far from naming your kid "Samsung" or "Honda." So I guess that's sort of a negative.
posted by aspersioncast at 4:47 AM on December 11, 2019 [24 favorites]


Ace-air', with the second syllable accented, is how I say it in my head. Former Latin nerd, acer palmatum aficionado, and Acer computer owner who hardly ever says this word aloud.
posted by cocoagirl at 4:57 AM on December 11, 2019


I'd say 'ace-er' unless the person told me to say it differently.
posted by nangar at 5:12 AM on December 11, 2019


if you’re thinking of naming someone this, it doesn’t matter what you intend the pronunciation to be. The person will go through life being called ACE-er. And until people over about 40 now die off, the immediate association will be with a super low end computer brand. Less like “Samsung” and more like “Daihatsu.”
posted by spitbull at 5:15 AM on December 11, 2019 [30 favorites]


Aker is a traditional surname in a few languages, and is guaranteed to be pronounced with a K sound rather than an S sound if that's what you want.
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:23 AM on December 11, 2019 [2 favorites]


I’d say that ‘ace er’ evokes the Latin for maple whereas ‘Aker’ evokes the Swedish/Nordic for ‘field’.
posted by u2604ab at 6:05 AM on December 11, 2019 [2 favorites]


Remember there’s at least three main Latin pronunciation traditions, ecclesiastical/church, classicist/historian, and biology/medical.

I think the consensus here is clear and I support it, but ‘acker’ with a short a and hard c is certainly defensible, but you’d have to be ready to explain it all the time.
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:52 AM on December 11, 2019 [2 favorites]


I'd say ace-er, like it rhymes with racer or pacer.
posted by FencingGal at 7:10 AM on December 11, 2019


I think there’s some bias shown here from asking people on computers about the name Acer. I’d entirely forgotten the brand existed, though I do recall it dimly. Anyway consider that maybe it’s not a household name like Honda, as our computery crowd would seem to suggest, or maybe run it by your IRL networks for a more fair test.
posted by SaltySalticid at 7:38 AM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]


Another vote for rhymes-with-racer.
posted by jquinby at 7:48 AM on December 11, 2019


Would Archer have a similar sound and vibe for you? My only thought about Acer is that a vowel in the middle should be checked, because it can make a weird set of initials, which I have. If I get a monogram, it looks stupid. So, Bogart Acer Dingleberry (B.A.D.) should be assessed.
posted by theora55 at 7:55 AM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]


This guy was once an acquaintance of mine and he pronounced it "Ace-er" with a soft c.
posted by EtTuHealy at 8:29 AM on December 11, 2019


the immediate association will be with a super low end computer brand

I've been in IT all my working life, and I don't think there's anything particularly low-end about Acer. All the gear I've ever bought from them has been well designed, well built, and generally more performant than competitors' comparably priced offerings. As is my Daihatsu, for what it's worth; that little kei car has reliably got me in and out of places I'm sure its designers never anticipated I'd even think about trying to take it.

Of course, if by "high end" you mean "extraordinarily ordinary but needing to be sold at stratospheric prices to recoup the staggering amount of money devoted to marketing it" then I guess neither of those brands is that.

Also related, do you know if it has any negative meanings in languages other than English? Considering it for a middle name.

I would personally not ever choose to give a child an easily recognizable registered trade name for their real name, middle or otherwise, unless it's also a genuine family name and even then I'd need heavy persuasion. If your surname is Ford or Monsanto or Enron there's no avoiding it, obviously, but it's not a burden I'd saddle my child with if it could be avoided.
posted by flabdablet at 8:51 AM on December 11, 2019 [7 favorites]


Yeah I always assumed that the Acer (A-Sirr) computer brand was pretty well regarded. Keep in mind that I know NOTHING about computers, but I both knew that Acer existed and had a general sense of how it's regarded. I honestly think you'd be better off giving the name "Maple" rather than "Acer."
posted by cranberrymonger at 8:57 AM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]


You probably know this already, but the Kingdom of Acer (pronounced AK-er) was the last of the crusader state occupations in the middle east during the 1100s. There is also a modern medieval recreation group called The Kingdom of Acre (hard K) based in the NY/NJ area.

I don't know if either of these are negative, exactly, but if I met an adult called this I'd kind of wonder why they were named for a crusader kingdom.
posted by anastasiav at 9:43 AM on December 11, 2019


If your surname is Ford or Monsanto or Enron there's no avoiding it, obviously, but it's not a burden I'd saddle my child with if it could be avoided.

As someone with such a name, I heartily concur. Also, Acer is the sixth largest computer manufacturer in the world and makes plenty of higher end stuff, as well as chrombooks.
posted by aspersioncast at 9:51 AM on December 11, 2019


Acer (rhymes with "Racer") has kind of a Ford Prefect vibe to it, like a name an alien would choose.
posted by w0mbat at 10:28 AM on December 11, 2019 [3 favorites]


Re: negative meanings
I'd check urban dictionary; there are a number of negative meanings listed for "acer" (not sure how relevant this is for you).
posted by Omnomnom at 1:07 PM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]


I had forgotten about the computer brand but knew about the tree and would say ace-er.
posted by slidell at 8:42 PM on December 11, 2019


(Side note, I always thought salix would make a good tree-based middle name for someone whose parents like willows.)
posted by slidell at 8:44 PM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]


EtTuHealy - no way! He’s where I first heard the name - I used to be a cox, saw his name in the boat race and filed it away for the future. Sorry to hear he passed away.

Thanks all - I probably should have been clearer I was asking about the botanical pronunciation- didn’t want to use it as a name and then 10 years later find out we’d been pronouncing it wrong!
posted by atlantica at 1:53 AM on December 12, 2019


"A" as in "pray", "stay", or "gay".

"Cer" as in "sir", "burr", or "her".

Emphasis on the "A".
posted by escape from the potato planet at 3:15 AM on December 13, 2019


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