I grew up pronouncing them "CAL-er-men" and "CAL-er-mean", but I've increasingly heard "cuh-LOR-men" for both instead, which I like better. Did C. S. Lewis ever say which he used, or does someone (such as Douglas Gresham, his step-son) remember him pronouncing the words?

2 Answers 2


I emailed Douglas Gresham two days ago and asked him which pronunciation was correct.

I've heard two pronunciations of "Calormen/Calormene": "CA-lor-men/CA-lor-meen" (the one I grew up using/hearing) and "cuh-LOR-men" for both (the one Focus on the Family Radio Theatre uses). Could you let me know which pronunciation Jack Lewis intended and used?

He wrote back yesterday:

The correct pronunciation of Calormen is as the Focus on the Family Radio Drama cast pronounce it, among other things, I was the pronunciation consultant to the production and I learned the Narnian pronunciations from Jack (C.S.Lewis) himself. :-)

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    Okay. But how was it pronounced in the Focus on the Family Radio Drama version?
    – trlkly
    Aug 2, 2014 at 6:43
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    I can't find a youtube clip, but I know a couple people who own it, and have heard it consistently as "cuh-LOR-men".
    – Daniel
    Aug 2, 2014 at 14:05
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    And now I feel stupid because I can see that in your answer, in the email you sent Gresham. Seems like now we have the creator vs. popular problem that GIF has.
    – trlkly
    Aug 7, 2014 at 2:39
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    That doesn't answer the question of "Calormene". Oct 31, 2014 at 20:27
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    If all the FOTFRT pronunciations are correct, that means that Jadis is Jah-diss, rather than Jade-iss, which I more commonly hear. Interesting. Apr 9, 2015 at 21:21

I don't know about C. S. Lewis, but WikiNarnia says:

A Calormene (pronounced "KAH-luhr-meen") is any inhabitant of the Calormene Empire in the Narnian World.

It doesn't give a prononciation for "Calormen".

And Wikipedia says:

In C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia series of novels, Calormen ( /ˈkɑːlɔrmɛn/) is a large country to the southeast of Narnia. Lewis derived its name from the Latin calor, meaning "heat". When used as an adjective Lewis spelled the name with an 'e' at the end (e.g. a Calormene (/ˈkɑːlɔrmiːn/) soldier).

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    I am wondering where the writers of these wiki articles got the pronunciation from. I would pronounce them /'kælɔmɛn/ and /'kælɔmi:n/, with the first vowel as in 'calorie' (or 'cat'), and I would have expected Lewis to have done so too.
    – Colin Fine
    Jan 26, 2012 at 22:58

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