How to pronounce "Mecanum"

This has been bugging me for a long time: How do you pronounce Mecanum?

Pronunciations I’ve heard:




Which is right?

I’ve always said it meh-can-um.


I’ve always said and heard “mek-uh-num,” and sometimes “meh-can-um”

The spelling of mecanum is a pet peeve of mine. I’ve seen “mecnum,” “mekanum,” “mecanun,” “mecannum,” “mecum,” and of course “mechanum.”

In fact, I encourage you to do a simple experiment the next time a mecanum debate comes up. I hypothesize that the more single-mindedly supportive of mecanum wheels a poster is, the more likely they are to misspell it.

Swiss drive.

I guess the true pronunciation would come from the inventor of the mecanum wheel. I personally pronounce it like EricH and it sounds like fingernails on the chalkboard when I hear it pronounced mek-uh-num. I wonder if it’s a regional thing, or just how you start hearing it is how you pronounce it.

Not. It would come from the name of the company that the inventor was working for at the time.


That is funny. You made my day.

I always said it meh-cuh-num. Then I heard our lead engineering mentor pronounce it meh-can-um so to sound more professional I started saying it like that for a while and now I mix it up between the 2.

The actual pronunciation is “we should really have stuck with 6 wheel tank” or at least that’s how most people ended up pronouncing it by the end of the season last year.


From good ol’ Wikipedia:

The Mecanum wheel is one design for a wheel which can move in any direction. It is sometimes called the Ilon wheel after its Swedish inventor, Bengt Ilon, who came up with the idea in 1973 when he was an engineer with the Swedish company Mecanum AB.

Get a Swedish person’s advice on the pronunciation. Anybody know a Swede?

The swedish chef?


I’ll propose a solution even better than a Swede: Andy Baker.

He says “muh-CAN-um”