Disclaimer: I'm not sure this question is on topic on either the main site or the meta site, but the question itself is definitely "meta".

Knuth writes about the canonical pronunciation of TeX at the beginning of his TeXbook. But what about TikZ? How is it meant to be pronounced? Is there some canonical pronunciation for it?

I personally pronounce it "tiks", but all speakers in a podcast I listened to recently were pronouncing it "tik-zee". (Forgive me for not using the International Phonetic Alphabet; I'm no expert.)

Obviously, I'm not asking how you, in particular, pronounce it, but for an authoritative source about some canonical pronunciation of TikZ, if any exists.

  • 18
    It's a secret society: you are not supposed to know. Nov 15, 2014 at 14:48
  • 1
    Since it's German (TikZ ist kein Zauberprogramme), you should use German pronunciation rules. Nov 15, 2014 at 14:59
  • 1
    Yes, it's German, but it's not "Zauberprogramme" but "Zeichenprogramm": "TikZ ist kein Zeichenprogramm" which means "TikZ is not a drawing software". I usually say "Tiks". Nov 15, 2014 at 15:07
  • @David Carlisle; Do you also not want to belong to any club that will accept people like you as a member?
    – Bernard
    Nov 15, 2014 at 15:07
  • 3
    @MarkWibrow perhaps all the others know and they are just not telling you. Nov 15, 2014 at 17:12

1 Answer 1


Even though the functionality of TikZ is somewhat magical, the Z it is not referring to a Zauberprogramm (magic tool) but to a Zeichenprogramm (drawing tool).

The maintainers of TikZ are German and the meaning of "TikZ" is German so I would pronounce it as in German. I just looked up the IPA for my way of pronouncing it and it is the same as each first letter of the four words written in IPA. So I guess, I should be more or less right.

If you can't read IPA: I would describe the pronunciation as tikts.

% arara: lualatex

\setmainfont{Linux Libertine O}

TikZ [tɪkʦ] ist [ɪst] kein [kaɪ̯n] Zeichenprogramm [ˈʦaɪ̯çn̩pʀoˈɡʀam]

\emph{TikZ ain't no drawing tool}

enter image description here

  • 1
    A useful link to listen the pronunciation... Nov 16, 2014 at 1:44
  • 1
    The answer is consistent with the TikZ reference manual: section "Part III TikZ ist kein Zeichenprogramm" states that 'TikZ means "TikZ ist kein Zeichenprogramm."' --- this is just to provide the reference Nov 16, 2014 at 15:44

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