Across the four screen/game adaptations I'm familiar with, I've heard the name "Ra's" pronounced as "Raz", "Rah-z" and "Ray-sh" - often times, differing even within the same work.

Is there an official or intended (by creators, editors) pronunciation of the name?

WARNING: massive Arrow spoilers for the most recent episode in the this linked video. (Even the title of the video contains a spoiler).

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    What I found so far - the arabic pronunciation is "Raw-Uss". The hebrew pronunciation is "Raysh" and then "al gool" – Huangism Mar 2 '15 at 19:58
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    @KSmarts Ra's and the League of Assassins have been a major part of the show for a season and a half now. – phantom42 Mar 2 '15 at 20:02
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    @Huangism is correct to refer to the Arabic pronounciation here; see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algol#Names - "The name Algol derives from Arabic رأس الغول ra's al-ghūl : head (ra's) of the ogre (al-ghūl)". – user8719 Mar 2 '15 at 20:10
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    I speak arabic. Ra'ss el Ghul literally means the head of the monster, perhaps the ogre but not always, we don't have ogres in our culture. As for the pronunciation: Ra's = Ra'ass, EL = elle, Ghoul = Ghoul. In arabic there are plenty of letters that sadly don't have equivalent in English. Such as the GH. – yondaime008 Mar 2 '15 at 20:38
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    Maybe one day he’ll be played by Raaaahlph Fiennes. – Paul D. Waite Jul 21 '15 at 14:41

It has been stated by many that correct Arabic pronunciation would be 'Raas.'

The correct Arabic pronounciation is Ra-us, though Ras is close enough. wiki

This is this bit from Batman Beyond in which Terry says "Raas" and is subsequently corrected by Talia to say "Raysh." This made it a sore spot for me when new Batman trilogy decided to use "Raas."

There are several unsubstantiated (or cited) claims that the creator used and intended 'Raysh.' Indicating a preference for the Hebrew pronunciation for the word.

The correct [Arabic] way is closer to 'rahs', the way Denny O'Neil (the writer who created the character) intended it to be said is 'raysh'. The the DCAU went with 'raysh', the Nolan movies went with 'rahs'. reddit

On the embedded video there is also a dubios comment which states:

The creator of the character meant for the pronunciation to be the Hebrew pronunciation Raysh, probably because of the whole Lazarus [pit].

Then there is this quote from Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim from Arrow.

One key issue I wanted to bring up, because it came up last season when I wrote about that third episode, is the pronunciation of Ra's al Ghul's first name, which has traditionally been something close to "Ras" or "Ross" when referred to colloquially, but becomes something closer to "Resh" or "Reesh" when savvy fans discuss him.

"The beauty part of what you guys do is you just have to type it and it's the same spelling even if it's a different pronunciation," Guggenheim laughed. "Basically what we decided to do, and I think you sort saw this in Episode 2.13 when Nissa came to town, is we basically honored the two different pronunciations, some of our characters saying 'Ras' and the ones sorta more in-the-know say 'Resh' and that struck us as a very reasonable compromise. There are clearly two different schools of thought and we wanted both to be represented."

So he seems to think 'Resh' (or 'Raysh') is the more correct pronunciation for the name.


At a recent San Diego Comic Con panel there was some discussion about "Raz" versus "Rayche" from David Ramsey and Stephen Amell.

He explained why some characters pronounce "Ra's" "Raz" while others say "Rayche." "If you are part of the League of Assassins, you say 'Rayche.' It's a sign of respect and the proper way to pronounce it. If you are outside the League and you're rogue, as a sign of disrespect, you say 'Raz.'" That understanding came about because the actual pronunciation was not clarified on the set until episodes with the "Raz" pronunciation had aired, so, "we had to create a mythology."

Final Verdict

At least for Arrow, "Raysh" (or "Rayche") is the correct pronunciation, while "Raas" (or "Raz") is a more derogatory version. In the DCAU, "Raysh" is also the correct version.

For the cinematic Dark Knight trilogy, the correct pronunciation is "Raas."

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I know this question already has an accepted answer, but the incorrect pronunciation in the Batman movie has always bugged me.

It's the equivalent of calling Bruce Wayne, Broose Wine...

But like with so many other questions in life, the answer is found in Batman: The Animated Series :


Possibly the first time his name is said aloud outside a DC building.

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Every person has their own way of saying the name. Like Stan Lee stated of Thor's mystical hammer, there is technically no wrong way to say it.

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    Nope... that's not how names work. My name is my name, if your pronounce it wrong, you're not saying my name. – Ingu Shama Jul 21 '15 at 15:53

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