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Poll: How do you pronounce “tuple”?
33 points by minimaxir 7 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 31 comments
160 points
81 points

Like "toople" by analogy with quadruple, quintuple, scruple, duplex, or duplicate.

Tuple, duple, and Quadruple sounds like "oo-ple."

Triple has a short "i" sound.

Every-other "-ple" sounds like "tuh-ple"

I decided to do more research, and it seems the -tuple suffix may have actually come from the word quintuple.

> -tuple 1863, word-forming element abstracted from quintuple, etc.

(from https://www.etymonline.com/word/-tuple)

A dictionary agrees:

> Origin and Etymology of -tuple quintuple, sextuple

(from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/-tuple)

But then the pronunciation of quadruple can go either way. Although the "oo" is listed first, so is probably more common, I guess any of them would be considered OK:

> \ kwin-ˈtü-pəl , -ˈtyü- , -ˈtə- ; ˈkwin-tə- \

(from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quintuple)

The dictionaries seem to attribute the words to Latin, while the -oo sound seems to come from Greek. The root word of both coming from a word for fold, "-plus" in Latin and "-plos" or "-ploos" in Greek.

Greek and Latin have been mixed up enough over the years that it should be acceptable to use either pronunciation regardless of the true origin of the word.

For some reason, I always felt that tuple meant two things, but it's really n-things.

My old CS professor used to talk about unary functions, binary functions, 3-ary functions...

Blew my mind to discover that “arity” is a real word.

I read this word before I ever heard it. It looked like Quintuple to me, so that's how I pronounced it.

I've heard "quintuple" both ways so after reading your comment, I still don't know how you specifically pronounce "tuple" :P

I've also heard "quintuple" pronounced "quin-TUH-ple" when used as a verb and "quin-TOO-ple" when used as a noun or adjective, so there's a part-of-speech distinction as well...

Being mostly self taught I had a few of these. First couple of months working with other developers one would come up every week or so. Luckily not very embarrassing. The new juniors have a few too!

I first saw the word "tuple" when I started learning Python about 4 years ago, and I initially pronounced it "tuh-ple" in my head.

When I got a job doing Python a month in, my co-worker pronounced it "too-ple" and I quickly adopted that pronunciation.

Interesting, I went through the exact opposite. I think I like the "tuh" pronunciation better because "too" sounds too much like "two". That can confuse people since tupples could be any size.

Hidden option c:


Like "tulip"

Yes, I was going to write that and then I thought maybe Americans pronounce it too-lip.

Yes, that’s most common in parts of the United States I’ve frequented. Pronunciation guidance by analogy is hard without taking in to account the region of the reader.

It's always been tee-uh-play for me

Interesting, how do you get 'play' from 'ple'?

tuple → /tuːp(ə)l/

tupple → /tʌp(ə)l/

More examples of the same vowel modification due to the following consonants:

ruble, super, ruby, Sumer (as in Sumerian)

rubble, supper, rubber, summer


But TIL that "too-ple" is more common [98 pts vs 43 pts], apparently.


My college professors pronounced it as too-ple, CJ Date says to pronounce it as tuh-ple (rhyming with couple).

I read the two options as the same pronunciation.

Anyway, didn't there use to be a web app that would search youtube for words and play the part of videos where that word was said?

Like quintuple: tuh-ple

As in: That group of 5 was a real ‘tuple.

I'm with Buckminster on this: t-ewe-pl. I think it may be UK English 'dialect'.



How do you pronounce tupperware?

Like "upperware" with a "t".

ah yeah pronounced like "ooper-wayre" right?

Like tulip?

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