There is much controversy and debate over how the word “Absinthe” is pronounced. It’s something you need to know if you’re going to order it in a bar or discuss it with people you want to impress. So, how do you pronounce Absinthe?
How Do You Pronounce Absinthe and other Absinthe Words?
“Absinthe” – Absinthe was an incredibly popular drink in France in the 19th century and early 20th century so the French should be able to pronounce it. It was THE drink of La Belle Epqoque period and even became more popular than wine before its ban in 1915.
The word “Absinthe”, the name for wormwood (artemisia absinthium) was also used as the name of a Summer day in the old French Republican Calendar. This calendar was used in France from 1793 until its abolition from 1st January 1806 by Napoleon. The calendar began at the Autumn equinox and was made up of 12 months of 30 days. Each month was then divided into 3 “weeks” which were actually made up of 10 days each. Days were named after animals, tools or plants and minerals and the names of months were based on Nature.
So, “Absinthe” is a well known word in French and is pronounced “ahb-sant”.
The English tend to pronounce it Ab-sinth like the synth in “photosynthesis”. Some people have been known to pronounce it ab-sint or even, according to wikipedia, as ab-sin-thay!
Absinthe does have many different spellings or variations. The French or Swiss spelling is “Absinthe” but in the Czech Republic it is often spelled “Absinth”. “Absinth” sometimes refers to wormwood bitters which do not contain anise. In Spain, Absinthe is known as “Absenta”, in Italy as “assenzio” and sometimes it is spelled with a “y” – Absynthe.
How Do You Pronounce Absinthe Words
There is also much debate on how to pronounce the word “louche” and what it actually means. “Louche” is a French word and is correctly pronounced “loosh”, although many have been heard saying “louch” as in “couch”! It comes from the French for shady and refers to the milky or cloudy opalescence which is seen when water is added to Absinthe. The drink turns from a transparent green (or clear if you have a La Bleue) to a milky pale green or white. Only good quality Absinthe rich in natural essential oils will louche because the louche is caused by the oils, that were soluble in the alcohol, being “freed” from the alcohol and not being soluble in the water.
“Fee Verte” is also not pronounced correctly by many people. La Fee Verte is the French name for the Green Fairy which is another name for Absinthe. La Fee Verte was muse to many artists and writers who dosed themselves up with Absinthe. “La Fee Verte” is pronounced LA FAY VAIRT.
Thujone is another word that people don’t know how to say. Thujone is the chemical found in worwmood that was once compared to THC in the drug cannabis. Some people say THOO-YONE (as in “own”), others say THOO-HONE but the correct pronunciation seems to be THOO-JOAN as in the name Joan.
So, now you know the answer to the question “How do you pronounce Absinthe” and can surprise your friends with your Absinthe knowledge!