Pronunciation Key

Pronunciations and anecdotes provided by
Kari McWest of the American Tarantula Society

Araneae, is pronounced “ah-RAIN-eee” kind of draw out the -ee a bit, some people put two syllables of -ee together like “ah-RAINY-ee”, either is fine, I say it like the last.
Araneidae, the same, but -idae is pronounced like putting “id” and “dee” together: “ah-RAIN-KNEE-id-dee”, and in all examples that follow, -idae is putting id and dee, “iddee”.
Mimetidae, all depends on who you learned it from, or where you learned Greek. I say it like the first part is like a little girl that’s a mime, a “mimette” or “mime-ett” and add your -idae, which raises the accent to the second syllable: “mime-ETT-id-dee”.
Theridiidae, hard “Th-” like in breath (not soft like in breathe or that or these): THAIR-rid-DEE-id-dee, now I bet you’re getting the hang of it. Actually it should be like in “Thailand”, with a hard T, but most people say it this way. “e” as its own vowel, almost sounds like a long “A”, or more like when a Canadian says “Eh”, Good-day, eh? Or “Ehhhh… What’s up, Doc?”
Salticidae, easy: salt iss idae, accent the second syllable, “sal-TISS-id-dee”, the “c” here is soft, but not in every case you see it. C it… get it?… nevermind =)
Deinopidae, is a tough one because it too is Greek and it all depends on where you learned your learned your Greek. People say “day-NOP-idae” others “day-NOPE-idae”, but in true Greek, the two vowels are separate, so it SHOULD sound like “DEH-in-NOPE-idae”, and only purists say it that way. So say it like that if you want to impress a linguist, and I know a few who would be really impressed! Make the DEE almost but not quite like DAY, then their heads will spin, because you nailed it.
Ctenidae, ct is always just the T, but not in the middle of the word. There is debate about this, but you’ll be fine saying either “TEN-id-dee” or TEE-nid-dee”.
Segestriidae, the “g”here is supposed to be hard, like “gate” but a lot of people say it soft, like “gerbil”, accent the second syllable, but again, some accent the first AND second! So, you can have “SEE-jess-TREE-id-dee” or “suh-JEST-tree-id-dee” or “SEE-JESS-tree-id-dee”, and the “g” to “j” sound is interchangeable, but most make it soft like j. The TRUE purist pronunciation is “seh-GESS-tree-id-dee”, again, the “e” is almost like “AY” in hay.


Pronunciations and translations provided by
Laura Redish of Native Languages of the Americas


Kokyangwmana – koh-kyahng-mahn-ah — means “spider maiden”

Kokyangwuti – “koh-kyang-woo-tee” — means “spider woman at middle age” *

Kookyangwhoya – “koh-kyahn-hoy-ah” — means “little spider”

Sikyakookyang – “see-kee-ah-koh-kyahng” — means “yellow spider”

Masikookyang – “mah-see-koh-kyahng” – means “gray spider”

Wishövi – “wee-shurr-vee” – means “spiderweb”

*Reference needed


*All mistakes in this guide are my own.*

Have a question about pronunciation you don’t see answered?
Contact me! I’ll be glad to add it to the key.