View Full Version : How do you pronounce bokeh?

02-29-2008, 12:48 PM
I sit BO-kuh? As in, Mom and Dad sold their house and now they are moving to BO-kuh.

Is is bo_KAY? As in I gave my wife a boKAY of flowers?

Is it something else?

02-29-2008, 01:09 PM
im pretty sure its like the flowers

02-29-2008, 01:40 PM
Bokeh is an intentional misspelling of the word boke which is a phonetic spelling of the Japanese word for blur. The h was added to give a hint to the proper pronunciation. Of course, the word is not in any dictionary I can find, nor did it make the Encyclopedia Brittanica. It is in Wikipedia, which is where I found this information. First use of Boke was in the mid 60's, and bokeh was introduced around 1996, purportedly by Mike Johnston of Photo Techniques magazine.

You may have noticed that I have side stepped the question of how it is actually pronounced. Even in Wikipedia, they only say the h is supposed to give us a clue, they don't give a dictionary like phonetic spelling. Any japanese work that ends in the AY sound that I've ever seen has actually been spelled with an ay, so I personally doubt that it should be pronounced bo - kay. Bo - keh I think is more like it.

Basically, it's a made up word, so pronounce it however you like. I use Bo - kuh, with emphasis on the first syllable. Nobody who knows anything about photography as ever asked me what that word is, so it seems acceptable.

02-29-2008, 01:45 PM
I say bokeh, but really have no idea if it's right or not.

How about this one...when referring to ISO do you read letters like I-S-O or do you read it like eye-so? I'm sure you older shooter know the answer to this one. I've mostly learned through reading books and online so this one confuses me too. I say eye-so because it's easier. :confused:

02-29-2008, 02:05 PM
I say "shallow DOF" and A-S-A (or D-I-N). But I'm retro.

Actually ISO is an acronym for International Organization for Standardization.

Most people in industry that deal with ISO standards say "eye-so"


02-29-2008, 02:11 PM
Ah,buying 100ASA film. I remember them days.
As to bokeh it's the fuzzy stuff that out of focus so who cares. :D

02-29-2008, 02:13 PM
I say "shallow DOF" and A-S-A (or D-I-N). But I'm retro.


02-29-2008, 02:41 PM
Bo - Keh

Like Co Keh Cola!

03-01-2008, 02:05 PM
I have verbally used the term as BO - keh... Hard 'O' (like boat); soft 'E' (like end) and not received weird looks from other photographers. I don't recall hearing anyone pronounce it otherwise, but heck... I don't specifically recall anyone using the word, though I believe I have.... :eek:

03-03-2008, 09:51 AM
bo-key? as in a key to unlock the door

like that?????:D

03-03-2008, 10:03 AM
bo-key? as in a key to unlock the door

like that?????:D

No, please see my post above with the soda reference. :)

03-03-2008, 02:33 PM

03-03-2008, 03:15 PM
If pronounced in Japanese way, it's BO as in 'bond' and KE as in 'kent'. The H is a silent H.

03-03-2008, 04:03 PM
I pronounce it boca...like as in Boca Burgers! (http://www.bocaburger.com/)

03-03-2008, 05:41 PM
I pronounce it boca...like as in Boca Burgers! (http://www.bocaburger.com/)

Exactly - or Coca Cola!