Pronunciations of common R terms

Inspired by this post:

There are way more terms that are pronounced differently. I wanted to collect some info on how people say things out loud.
Add your examples in comments!
(Pardon me not using IPA symbols!)

  • CRAN: is it krun, kran, see-ran, see-run, or C-R-A-N
  • dplyr: dee-ply-R (dee-playa) or dee-ply-er (deep liar)
  • purrr: do you really roll your r's? :slight_smile:
  • stringr: string-R? stringer? :blush: (all the other words ending in "r" go here, too, basically)
  • UseR: user or use-R?
  • broom: broom or bee-room?
  • ggraph: gee-graph or gee-gee-graph? (redundant G, but in line with ggplot)

These are a few examples where I heard more than one version.


I don't think I've ever heard anyone else say these aloud, so here is how I read them:

CRAN: kran like cranberry
dplyer: dee-ply-er
stringr: stringer
UseR: use-R


I am also curious about this. Haha leave it to us R-users to get caught up in the logistics of things. It's good for the community to decide on things like this. haha.

Things I'm curious about:

  • ggplot2 - is obvious (gee-gee-plot-two) but what about...
  • ggraph - is it (gee-gee-graph) or (gee-graph)
  • mostly anything pertaining to the the ggFamily of libraries.

Every time I work with a "gg" package (which is, like, every day), I always briefly think of GG Allin :rofl::laughing:

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I can't wait to use library(ggallin) including dependencies from the punkR package. It's the best package to use when you want to write ugly, scummy R code! lol

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Ugh. Feel free to kill the GG Allin image, and let users search for their own discretion.


Since useR2017 in Brussels and the great keynote about "20 years of CRAN" by Uwe Ligges I think we can say it is pronounced "see-ran" not "kran"

You can see this keynote online

CRAN means comprehensive R archive network and there are also a CTAN for Tex, a CPAN for Perl and surely others. I think this is the source of the pronunciation.

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Interesting. But "comprehensive" starts with a 'k' sound, doesn't it? :wink:
Are we getting into another GIF <-> JIF flame war? :smile: I hope not!

May I also refer to the wisdom of the crowd? :wink:
Polled by @mine a while back, with 76% for K-ran :raised_hands:

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I pronounce CRAN like cranberries too. But don't look at me for correct pronunciation of anything. I can't pronounce the word semicolon properly, and that's why I love R, you don't need semicolons at the end...


As a Perl user, I'm familiar with see-pan. I don't think I've ever heard that pronounced (at all), but see-pan is what I see it as. Hence see-ran also for me.

I'm currently teaching a course that is an intro to R and SAS. Imagine the semicolon confusion!


Sometimes even the authors of the packages themselves throw a red herring at us :slight_smile:

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I have expanded the list! Thanks!
Bee-room... Who'd guess...

ggraph: gee-gee-raff
httr: hitter or h-t-t-r (I like the latter, though I feel that's unpopular amongst people I know)
CRAN: cran (one word)
lapply: el-apply (not la-ply)


I work with someone on the core developer team and he pronounces it "see-ran," which is consistent with the explanation given by @cderv.

As for the pronunciation of the "pipe" operator (%>%), my guess is that the name comes from Unix/Linux shell scripting, where the pipe operator is the | (vertical bar). It has been a while, but when I worked exclusively in Unix terminals with a team of researchers, we would say, "pipe it to." For example, the Unix expression "ls -lt | more" would be "ls minus lt pipe it to more." So now I say "output pipe it to input" for "output %>% input" in R.

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My usage for what I've said out loud:

  • CRAN as in cranberry
  • dplyr is de-ply-er, where it's "de" as in "death"
  • purrr as vapply :stuck_out_tongue:
  • stringr as stringer
  • %>% as "piped" (because who even uses the others?)

From basic R:

  • vcov as "vee coh vee"
  • eapply is "ee-ah-ply", but lapply is "la-ply" (with "la" as in "laugh")

The most fun to say:

  • Sys.which, because it makes me think "system sandwich"
  • YAML as "yeah-muhl" (as in "multiply") because it just is