How to Pronounce the Constellations Like a Pro

Have you ever looked up at the night sky and marveled at the countless stars and constellations above, and then looked them up on an app only to wonder, “How on Earth do you pronounce these names?”

Don’t worry fellow stargazers, we’ll guide you through on this celestial linguistic adventure as we have included a table with key categories associated with each. It’s honestly not that tough to learn.

Get ready to impress your fellow campers with your newfound celestial eloquence as we learn how to pronounce the constellations.

Understanding the Categories

Let’s take a closer look at what each category means:

Abbr. (Abbreviation)The abbreviation represents the shortened form of the constellation’s name. It serves as a convenient reference point for stargazers and astronomers.
NominativeThe nominative form is the primary or official name of the constellation. It often originates from ancient mythology or historical references, carrying with it the essence of the celestial story it represents.
GenitiveThe genitive form comes from the Latin possessive case and is used in astronomy to indicate the constellation’s association with a particular star within it. It reflects the possessive relationship, as if the star belongs to that constellation.
English NicknameSome constellations have English nicknames that offer a more relatable way of referring to them. These nicknames can provide insight into the constellation’s characteristics or appearance.
Nominative PronunciationThis category shows into how the nominative form of the constellation’s name is correctly pronounced. It guides us in saying the name as it was intended.
Genitive PronunciationSimilar to the nominative pronunciation, the genitive form’s pronunciation is crucial for those who wish to dive into the astronomy of stars within constellations. It ensures that we correctly identify and discuss stars within the constellation.

List of Constellations

Abbr. Nominative Genitive English Nickname Nominative Pronunciation Genitive Pronunciation
And Andromeda Andromedae The Chained Maiden an-DRAH-mih-duh an-DRAH-mih-dee
Ari Aries Arietis The Ram AIR-eez, AIR-ee-yeez uh-RYE-ih-tiss
Aur Auriga Aurigae The Charioteer aw-RYE-guh aw-RYE-ghee
Boo Boötes Boötis The Herdsman bo-OH-teez bo-OH-tiss
Cae Caelum Caeli The Engraving Tool SEE-lum SEE-lye
Cam Camelopardalis Camelopardalis The Giraffe cuh-MEL-oh-PAR-duh-liss cuh-MEL-oh-PAR-duh-liss
Cnc Cancer Cancri The Crab CAN-ser CANG-cry
CVn Canes Venatici Canum Venaticorum The Hunting Dogs CANE-eez (CAN-eez) ve-NAT-iss-eye CANE-um (CAN-um) ve-nat-ih-COR-um
CMa Canis Major Canis Majoris The Great Dog CANE-iss (CAN-iss) MAY-jer CANE-iss (CAN-iss) muh-JOR-iss
CMi Canis Minor Canis Minoris The Lesser Dog CANE-iss (CAN-iss) MY-ner CANE-iss (CAN-iss) mih-NOR-iss
Cap Capricornus Capricorni The Sea Goat CAP-rih-CORN-us CAP-rih-CORN-eye
Car Carina Carinae The Keel cuh-RYE-nuh, cuh-REE-nuh cuh-RYE-nee, cuh-REE-nee
Cas Cassiopeia Cassiopeiae The Seated Queen CASS-ee-uh-PEE-uh CASS-ee-uh-PEE-ye
Cen Centaurus Centauri The Centaur sen-TOR-us sen-TOR-eye
Cep Cepheus Cephei The King SEE-fyoos, SEE-fee-us, SEF-ee-us SEE-fee-eye, SEF-ee-eye
Cet Cetus Ceti The Sea Monster SEE-tus SEE-tie
Cha Chamaeleon Chamaeleontis The Chameleon cuh-MEAL-yun, cuh-MEAL-ee-un cuh-MEAL-ee-ON-tiss
Cir Circinus Circini The Drafting Compass SER-sin-us SER-sin-eye
Col Columba Columbae The Dove cuh-LUM-buh cuh-LUM-bee
Com Coma Berenices Comae Berenices Berenice’s Hair COE-muh BER-uh-NICE-eez COE-mee BER-uh-NICE-eez
CrA Corona Australis Coronae Australis The Southern Crown cuh-ROE-nuh aw-STRAL-iss cuh-ROE-nee aw-STRAL-iss
CrB Corona Borealis Coronae Borealis The Northern Crown cuh-ROE-nuh bor-ee-AL-iss cuh-ROE-nee bor-ee-AL-iss
Crv Corvus Corvi The Crow COR-vus COR-vye
Crt Crater Crateris The Cup CRAY-ter cruh-TEE-riss
Cru Crux Crucis The Southern Cross CRUCKS, CROOKS CROO-siss
Cyg Cygnus Cygni The Swan SIG-nus SIG-nye
Del Delphinus Delphini The Dolphin del-FINE-us, del-FIN-us del-FINE-eye, del-FIN-eye
Dor Dorado Doradus The Dolphinfish duh-RAH-do duh-RAH-dus
Dra Draco Draconis The Dragon DRAY-co druh-CONE-iss
Eql Equuleus Equulei The Little Horse eh-QUOO-lee-us eh-QUOO-lee-eye
Eri Eridanus Eridani The River ih-RID-un-us ih-RID-un-eye
For Fornax Fornacis The Furnace FOR-naks for-NAY-siss
Gem Gemini Geminorum The Twins JEM-uh-nye, JEM-uh-nee JEM-uh-NOR-um
Gru Grus Gruis The Crane GRUSS, GROOS GROO-iss
Her Hercules Herculis Hercules HER-kyuh-leez HER-kyuh-liss
Hor Horologium Horologii The Clock hor-uh-LOE-jee-um hor-uh-LOE-jee-eye
Hya Hydra Hydrae The Water Snake HIGH-druh HIGH-dree
Hyi Hydrus Hydri The Male Water Snake HIGH-drus HIGH-dry
Ind Indus Indi The Indian IN-dus IN-dye
Lac Lacerta Lacertae The Lizard luh-SER-tuh luh-SER-tee
Leo Leo Leonis The Lion LEE-oh lee-OH-niss
LMi Leo Minor Leonis Minoris The Lesser Lion LEE-oh MY-ner lee-OH-niss mih-NOR-iss
Lep Lepus Leporis The Hare LEEP-us, LEP-us LEP-or-iss
Lib Libra Librae The Scales LEE-bruh, LYE-br LEE-bree, LYE-bree
Lup Lupus Lupi The Wolf LOOP-us LOOP-eye
Lyn Lynx Lyncis The Lynx LINKS LIN-siss
Lyr Lyra Lyrae The Lyre LYE-ruh LYE-ree
Men Mensa Mensae The Table MEN-suh MEN-see
Mic Microscopium Microscopii The Microscope my-cruh-SCOPE-ee-um my-cruh-SCOPE-ee-eye
Mon Monoceros Monocerotis The Unicorn muh-NAH-ser-us muh-NAH-ser-OH-tiss
Mus Musca Muscae The Fly MUSS-cuh MUSS-see, MUSS-kee
Nor Norma Normae The Carpenter’s Square NOR-muh NOR-mee
Oct Octans Octantis The Octant OCK-tanz ock-TAN-tiss
Oph Ophiuchus Ophiuchi The Serpent Bearer OFF-ee-YOO-kus, OAF-ee-YOO-kus OFF-ee-YOO-kye, OAF-ee-YOO-kye
Ori Orion Orionis The Hunter oh-RYE-un, uh-RYE-un or-eye-OH-niss
Pav Pavo Pavonis The Peacock PAY-vo puh-VOE-niss
Peg Pegasus Pegasi The Winged Horse PEG-us-us PEG-us-eye
Per Perseus Persei The Hero PER-see-us, PER-syoos PER-see-eye
Phe Phoenix Phoenicis The Phoenix FEE-niks FEE-nih-siss
Pic Pictor Pictoris The Painter’s Easel PIK-tor PIK-tor-iss
PsA Piscis Austrinus Piscis Austrini The Southern Fish PIS-sis aw-STRY-nuss PIS-sis aw-STRY-nye
Psc Pisces Piscium The Fishes PY-seez PIS-kee-um
Pup Puppis Puppis The Stern PUP-pis PUP-piss
Pyx Pyxis Pyxidis The Compass PIK-sis, PIK-suh PIK-si-dis
Ret Reticulum Reticuli The Reticle ruh-TIK-yuh-lum ruh-TIK-yuh-lye
Sge Sagitta Sagittae The Arrow sa-JIT-uh sa-JIT-eye
Sgr Sagittarius Sagittarii The Archer sa-JIT-uh-rye-us sa-JIT-uh-rye-eye
Scorpius Scorpius Scorpii The Scorpion skor-PEE-us skor-PEE-eye
Scl Sculptor Sculptoris The Sculptor SKULP-tor SKULP-tor-iss
Sct Scutum Scuti The Shield SKYOO-tum SKYOO-tye
Ser Serpens Serpentis The Serpent SUR-penz SUR-pen-tiss
Sex Sextans Sextantis The Sextant SEKS-tanz SEKS-tan-tiss
Tau Taurus Tauri The Bull TAW-russ TAW-rye
Te Telescopium Telescopii The Telescope tel-uh-SKO-pee-um tel-uh-SKO-pee-eye
Tri Triangulum Trianguli The Triangle try-ANG-gyuh-lum try-ANG-gyuh-lye
TrA Triangulum Australe Trianguli Australis The Southern Triangle try-ANG-gyuh-lum aw-STRAY-lee try-ANG-gyuh-lie aw-STRAY-liss
Tuc Tucana Tucanae The Toucan too-KAH-nuh too-KAH-nee
UMa Ursa Major Ursae Majoris The Great Bear UR-suh MAY-jer UR-see muh-JOR-iss
UMi Ursa Minor Ursae Minoris The Lesser Bear UR-suh MY-ner UR-see muh-NOR-iss
Vel Vela Velorum The Sails VEE-luh VEE-luh-rum
Vir Virgo Virginis The Maiden VER-go VER-gin-iss
Vol Volans Volantis The Flying Fish VOE-lanz VOE-lan-tiss
Vul Vulpecula Vulpeculae The Fox vul-PEK-yuh-luh vul-PEK-yoo-lee

As you can probably tell from the table, each constellation carries with it a unique history and pronunciation that connects us to the cosmos. So, the next time you find yourself gazing at the stars, hopefully you’ll be able to pronounce their names with confidence.

Try our stargazing campground map if you would like to find a spot to see the constellations.

Takacs Family in front of Jayco RV
The Takacs Family

About the Authors

We are avid stargazers Jason and Alison Takacs also known as Roadtrippin’ with Takacs. With our two boys Preston and Grayson, we seek out some of the darkest skies in the country while also going on many incredible hiking and other outdoor adventures. As part-time RVers, we try to see as much of this amazing world as possible in our spare time and hope you will join us through this blog on RWT Adventures and other forms of social media as we explore the night sky and other natural wonders as hardcore astrotourists.