How to Pronounce Kratom? Do You Say It Right?

how to pronounce kratom

The debate on whether we should keep kratom legal or not isn’t the only one that revolves around this Southeast Asian herb. How to pronounce kratom correctly is another topic many can’t agree on.

If you go online and search for the correct pronunciation of kratom, you’ll find numerous sources and discussions. Many people try to determine what the right kratom pronunciation is. Yet, they are unable to reach an agreement.

We know you’re eager to know how to pronounce kratom. But first, shall we take a look at the basics?

What Is Kratom?

Kratom is a raw botanical product that comes in fine powder form. It’s native to Southeast Asia and grows across Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Myanmar. Kratom has been popular in these countries for centuries but is relatively new to the western world.

Kratom leaves are rich in beneficial alkaloids that have a wide range of properties that depend on the leaf vein color. There are three distinct vein types – red, white, and green.

Red vein kratom strains tend to have relaxing and soothing properties. White vein kratom’s properties are energizing and invigorating. In the meantime, green vein kratom offers a moderate mix of both worlds. Its properties are soothing and relaxing at the same time.

Now, let’s delve in and learn how to pronounce kratom once and for all!

Fresh and consistently potent kratom powder in a bowl available for purchase with text about its qualities

How to Pronounce Kratom?

The two most common ways to pronounce kratom are “KRAY-tum” which rhymes with “Tatum” and “KRAH-tum” that rhymes with “atom.” The Oxford Dictionary states both ways. In Southeast Asia, however, it’s often pronounced as “kra-TOM” which sounds like “a Tom”.

While much more uncommon, some people Americanize the kratom pronunciation. They typically say “kra-TOME” which sounds similar to “a home” or “kray-TOME” that rhymes with “pray home.” None of these forms of pronouncing the word kratom appear in the Oxford Dictionary, though. At least not at the moment.

The confusion around kratom pronunciation is due to the rules of vowel pronunciation in the English language. According to the rules of English pronunciation, the “KRAY-tum” version would be the correct way. This is also the pronunciation that the American Kratom Association uses.

Yet, kratom isn’t an English word; it originated in Thailand. Like many foreign words, Thai words don’t always comply with the standard rules of English phonetics. “Bon voyage” that we frequently use is one of such examples.

Pronunciation also can differ based on different regions and dialects. In addition to that, there are multiple words in the English vernacular that have different ways of pronouncing them.

For instance, “data,” “status,” “route,” “either,” and more are pronounced in at least two different ways. Yet, they usually do not impede our ability to communicate effectively.

The Scientific Name of Kratom

Kratom isn’t the only name that this beneficial tropical herb has. The scientific Latin name of kratom is Mitragyna speciosa. You may sometimes see M. speciosa which is an abbreviated version of its scientific name.

This is how scientists refer to kratom, as well as the term you will find in most scientific studies.

What does Mitragyna speciosa mean?

“Mitragyna” refers to mitragynine, the primary alkaloid in kratom, yet the origin of this name is unclear. Many speculate that it is due to the fact that the kratom flower resembles a bishop’s mitre.

Meanwhile, “speciosa,” translated from Latin, means “brilliant,” “spectacular,” “impressive,” or “splendid.” That’s quite an accurate description of kratom, isn’t it?

Kratom Names in Other Cultures

In the West, we refer to the plant as “kratom,” and this name is also rather popular in Southeast Asian countries. However, locals use various pronunciations as well as other words when referring to kratom. These are a few examples:

  • The word kratom originated in Thailand. So, if you’d like to sound like a native, use the pronunciation “KRAHtome.” Keep in mind, though, that the “k” in Thai has a unique pronunciation that’s much softer than it is in English.
  • Most kratom available in local and online American shops comes from Borneo Island in Indonesia. It became the primary exporter of kratom after Thailand banned it in the 1940s. In Indonesia, locals refer to kratom as “krahTHOM.”
  • In Malaysia, locals drop the “r” and use a distinct pronunciation. They refer to kratom as “ketum” and pronounce it as “kehTOM.”
  • In addition to the above, people of Thai, Malay, and Indonesian origin may also call kratom “biak-biak,” “thang,” and “kakuam.”

So, What’s the Right Way to Say Kratom?

Ultimately, it does not really matter important how you pronounce kratom as long as those around you can clearly understand you.

Many kratom enthusiasts also emphasize that it is unnecessary to correct the pronunciation others use. It may cause unnecessary conflict, and it’s best to let it go unless it’s completely off. But even in such instances, it’s best to correct respectfully or not say anything at all.

How do you pronounce kratom? Do you have any reason why choose this specific pronunciation? Let us know!

And if you are looking for fresh, premium-quality kratom, check us out. You can buy kratom powder that comes directly from Indonesia.

Fresh and consistently potent kratom powder in a bowl available for purchase with text about its qualities

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