From Citizendium
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This article is developing and not approved.
Main Article
Related Articles  [?]
Bibliography  [?]
External Links  [?]
Citable Version  [?]
To learn how to update the categories for this article, see here. To update categories, edit the metadata template.
 Definition The SI unit of energy (symbol: J) which is a measure of the capacity to do work or generate heat. [d] [e]
Checklist and Archives
 Workgroup category Physics [Editors asked to check categories]
 Talk Archive none  English language variant Not specified

Pronunciation of "joule"

I've never heard anyone pronounce "Joule" as "jowl". Does anyone do that? Anthony Argyriou 11:41, 24 June 2008 (CDT)

Anthony, I first learned of the 'jowl' pronunciation in college, touted as Joule himself pronounced it. Just to ensure it remains in use I confirmed with a couple of dictionaries. But I will explore further and get back to you.
I taught my students to pronounce joule 'jowl' with the pun, "Jowl have a good time doing the homework assignment?" --Anthony.Sebastian 12:10, 24 June 2008 (CDT)
Anthony, I found this in Nature:

nature 152, 354-354 (25 September 1943) | doi:10.1038/152354a0

James Prescott Joule and the Unit of Energy

H. S. ALLEN Top of page Abstract

A CENTURY has passed since Joule read his paper on the relation between heat and work at the meeting of the British Association at Cork on August 26, 1843. It is unfortunate that a difference of opinion has arisen about the correct pronunciation of his name and also of the word joule used to denote a unit of energy (ten million ergs or one Newton-metre). The “Oxford English Dictionary” gives dzaul as the pronunciation of the unit, where au represents the sound in the word loud. In “Webster's New International Dictionary” (1911) is found the statement: “The proper name is pronounced joul (ou as in out) and this is the correct pronunciation for the unit; but the incorrect jool [oo as in food] is very common especially in the United States”. In “Chambers's Technical Dictionary” (first published 1940) we find the contradictory statements joule, jool (Phys.). A unit of energy equal to 107 ergs. (Named after F. [sic] P. Joule, 1918–89; name pronounced jowl.)

Anthony.Sebastian 12:18, 24 June 2008 (CDT)

Life span of Joule (1918-89) wrong in Chambers?--Paul Wormer 12:26, 24 June 2008 (CDT)
Anthony, for fun, see

--Anthony.Sebastian 12:34, 24 June 2008 (CDT)

More on pronunciation. Our physics teacher told us the unit is pronounced jool but he himself called himself jowl. In a book by Asimov (I think) I read the exact opposite. Maybe the vague wording in the article is best. Peter Jackson (talk) 09:15, 4 May 2018 (UTC)


I'm not sure why the newton is getting defined in an article on the joule. Readers could click on the newton link if they wish to. Mark Widmer (talk) 00:07, 6 November 2021 (UTC)