I just noticed in the battery swap video - during which I had the five-minute Tesla grin, as a Sig owner since Oct. - that Elon says "TeZla" and not "Tess-la."

Have I been pronouncing it wrong all this time?

JAFIC | 23 giugno 2013

A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet

RZitrin1 | 23 giugno 2013

True that!

I'm interested in Tesla - the original dude, very smart, interesting and weird, and wondering how HE pronounced it.

JAFIC | 23 giugno 2013

What if he pronounced as Tees La ? XD

Well, to be honest, alot of stuff we have now, wouldn't have existed without him.

MarkV | 23 giugno 2013

Keep in mind Elon is from South Africa, he probably pronounces a lot of words slightly differently than typical American English.

Captain_Zap | 23 giugno 2013

In previous discussions the appropriate pronunciation of Nikola Tesla's name, when considering its origin, is with and S.

Elon might like pronouncing it different or it may be an artifact from his origin.

Dr. Bob Reinke | 23 giugno 2013

While Elon may stammer a bit (thought conversion from foreign speech) I have no trouble following his thought-line. I have never heard him say, "YAH KNOW?" or, "I MEAN." or, "LIKE." or any of a thousand other immature conversation fillers that grate like scratching fingernails on the blackboard to Professor Evins, PhD. English-Lit.

Captain_Zap | 23 giugno 2013

When I hear him stammer I interpret it as gears turning or self-censorship. It makes me believe he is really evaluating what he is about to say.

He has mentioned some big things in very subltle ways on many occsaions. That is why I enjoy listening to him speak. You can catch some gems here and there.

Dr. Bob Reinke | 23 giugno 2013

How Elon pronounces the name of his car and company, is his, because he owns the company and the trade-mark. "The Golden Rule." Who has the gold makes the rules.

AmpedRealtor | 23 giugno 2013

Elon's Tesla is not the only Tesla company in the world… :)

The above is from my home country. They make all sorts of things, but not cars. In CZ, we pronounce it as "thessla" - soft T and soft S. I believe Elon is saying it wrong. It may be his trademark, but the name came from Serbia.

info | 23 giugno 2013

Fort heir 40th anniversary, I sent my parents to Hawaii. My mom and dad had a disagreement about the way to pronounce the state. My mom insisted it was "Ha-why-ee" and my dad said it was "Ha-vie-ee". The first thing they did, after getting their luggage was to ask the taxi driver how to pronounce the state. He responded, "Ha-vie-ee." My dad, since he had been victorious issued a robust, "Thank-you." The taxi driver replied, "You're velcome."

Yeah, I know it's an old joke, but I'm an old man.

jonesxander | 23 giugno 2013

I say Tezla. It just sounds cooler. Tessla. Sounds too much like tessalation.


now that sounds nice!

AmpedRealtor | 23 giugno 2013

I heard that in September the tech package is going to be upgraded to include a Tesla Coil atop the vehicle. Using their 3G GPS network, each Model S will automatically know and track the location and direction of travel of every other Model S in the area. You will have a new option in your settings to donate your excess battery charge to any other Model S owner within a 1/4 mile radius. The Tesla Coils on top of our vehicles will handle the power transfer between vehicles across a 1/4 mile distance.


ppape | 23 giugno 2013


On a personal note: Zdravo!... Kako si?

Zaklina :-)

Alex K | 23 giugno 2013

This topic has already been covered in this forum: HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE TESLA? TEZLA? TESSLA?

bradslee | 23 giugno 2013

Dictionary says "tes-luh".

hsadler | 23 giugno 2013

Cuz they took the ZZZ's out of 'Zoom Zoom Zoom'

The result -




very relaxing, but faster.

michael1800 | 23 giugno 2013

@Amped, fun fact: Tesla actually is credited for part of 3G technology (CDMA's Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum coding). He was more focused on torpedo application than wireless, but still...DSSS--thanks Nik!

Back on topic--regardless of dictionary or Elon, I'd go with however a Serbian pronounces Никола Тесла. I speak Korean, Farsi and Dari, but no Cyrillic languages. No idea. Any 'Scroats' or Serbian speakers able to chime in on this?

Brian H | 23 giugno 2013

Ja, it sounds like "Tejjshhhklyiiuuuaakkjjj". Or maybe not. ;) ;p

RZitrin1 | 23 giugno 2013

Well, all this is VERY enlightening. I understand it so much better now. ;)

I'm interested in Tesla the Guy, and it seems appropriate that the car should be pronounced the same as the Guy, since it was named for him. I'm ready to go with the Serbian pronunciation, if I could just read the Cyrillic.

I named my car "Wardenclyffe 2" [lic plate WRDNCF2] so I am a Tesla Believer. My house runs on AC, and I'm ready for my Tesla Coil on the roof!

mcx-sea | 23 giugno 2013

Perhaps one of the lucky early EU owners could drive to Tesla's home village. Then without saying anything, point to the lettering across the back while carefully recording just how the most senior citizens pronounce the word.

HenryT2 | 23 giugno 2013

IMHO, the spelling should be the first indicator of how to pronounce a company name. Then, then if there are multiple ways to pronounce, the namer should have the final authority.

If spellings didn't matter, you could completely ignore any spelling and claim the pronunciation to be something completely different. For example: A Russian might name a new company: BUCHEP Inc. because his name is spelled 'BUCHEP' (made up name but real spelling). In Russian, this is pronounced VISNYER. Would you expect that an American should call this company VISNYER when it's spelled BUCHEP? There are a number of languages that share some of the letters in the Roman alphabet and yet have different sounds.

In the case of Tesla, an argument could be made for the pronounciation Tez-la. OK, then I would default to namer's prerogative.

HOWEVER, Elon Musk himself has said that either pronunciation is correct. In that case, I would then default to the common pronounciation of the original word. In original Serbian, it's TESS-LA (or TESS-LA with a soft T - but there's not really a good English equivalent of a soft T).

I personally think TESS-LA sounds better. TEZ-LA sounds a little pretentious to me. And most Americans are going to see this name and pronounce it TESS-LA. Do we really want to become the guys who start correcting pronounciations?

"Love your PORSH!"
"It's pronounced POR-SHUH!"

Captain_Zap | 24 giugno 2013

Tesla Motors was named before Elon joined the company. He embraced the company and ultimately came to lead it.

I decided that I'll pronounce the name as I imagine Nikola Tesla would have pronounced it with his known heritage. That's with a soft "S".

TFMethane | 24 giugno 2013


I'm not sure, but I think you might have mixed up your historical fun facts. It was actually (and even more unbelievable) actess Hedy Lamarr from the 1940's who filed the original patent (with a musician) for the spread spectrum torpedo guidance system that ultimately became part of CDMA and 3g.

here is an amazon book about it:

and here is the wikipedia link for hedy lamarr, which has this story in the first paragraph:

Nikola Tesla came up with a lot of stuff. I think it's far more interesting that this woman who was known only for being "the most beautiful woman in the world" secretly invented secure torpedo guidance and 3g.

michael1800 | 24 giugno 2013

Hedy got a patent and a contract I believe, but she wasn't the first to apply DSSS to torpedos. He had it figured out with his remote control boat and pitched the tech a good 40 years before her. The source info is on both Hedy's and Tesla's Wikipedia entry, though I remember it from telecomm theory training.

chrissam42 | 24 giugno 2013

I remember reading about how Steve Jobs always pronounced "Jaguar" as Jag-WIRE. Perhaps brilliant entrepreneurs are just wired differently.

RZitrin1 | 24 giugno 2013

CapZap +1

Tess'-la it is.

JAFIC | 25 giugno 2013

@amprealtor Please, no more about the coils. People and some vested interest (we know exactly who we speak of) will start blah blah about unproven and baseless claims about radiation, privacy, etc etc

Random : I hereby submit a name for Gen 3 ...Tesla Pulse

HenryT2 | 25 giugno 2013

I think Tesla is probably going with Model T for the Gen III. But straight Model T a little boring. Maybe Model T^2 (read T squared)? Considering how often how often the Model S has been called the most significant car development since the Model T, I think the Gen III will be the "real" second coming of the Model T.

JAFIC | 26 giugno 2013

I can "S"

(Man of steel reference)

Car t man | 13 aprile 2014

The correct way is Tesla, with an S. Not Z. As for Tesla's patents, I think he patented the wireless torpedo control system in 1927..

sule | 13 aprile 2014

I am of the same nationality as Nikola Tesla was and (still) speak the same language.

Tesla is pronounced with an "S", not a "Z", like "Tess-luh".

If you happen to care know it actually means, click here

sule | 13 aprile 2014

... to care *to* know *what* it actually means...

Need to read what I type before posting...