In very old German watches, from the 16th century, there is a mechanism called the "stackfreed". It is also called by that name in German and indeed it is a German word. But how is it pronunced? There might be an ethymologic expanation of this odd word with its odd spelling, but I'll save that for later, as not to bias the opinions of pronunciation.

"Schtackfre:d" "Stackfre:d" "Stackfried" or Stackfried"

Maybe not in any of these ways? Even if you, most probably, have never heard the word, it would interest me to learn about your "feel" of the word and how it might or should be pronunciated

2 Answers 2


Wikipedia explains the function and use of the "Stackfreed" using that exact term. It also continues to explain:

Das Stackfreed fand hauptsächlich im süddeutschen Raum von ca. 1510 bis ca. 1650 Verwendung

The way the word is used here (and the fact that there's no spelling given on Wikipedia) lead me to the conclusion that the word is pronounced like "Schtackfreht".

The following may be interesting

Herkunft und Bedeutung der Bezeichnung Stackfreed sind ungeklärt. In der Encyclopédie von Diderot und d’Alembert (Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers) wird der Mechanismus Stackfreed unter der Bezeichnung „stochfred“ beschrieben.

I also found this list, which contains the pronounciation for the word. The Google screenshot shows this better:

Google screenshot for Stackfreed

  • Thanks alot both Thorsten and Raketenolli, for confirming my suspicions of how it should be pronunciated ☺I haven't been abeble to find any of the mentioned lists myself. As of the ethymology some old litterature on horology say it might come from "starke Feder" oder "Starkfeder" in wich case the pronunciation would be consistant
    – Beta
    Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 5:31

Never heard of it before, but if I actively ignore the strong resemblance to English I would intuitively go for "Schtackfre:t" (d at the end of a word is pretty much pronounced like a t).

The only source I could find confirms this: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/marytts/marytts/master/marytts-languages/marytts-lang-de/lib/modules/de/lexicon/de.txt I gather from the file header that the list was compiled by the Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz (DFKI; German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence) for use in a text-to-speech synthesis software called MaryTTS. I would consider the DFKI to be a reputable source, not necessarily for language in general, but I'm sure they put some effort and care into compiling this list, considering it contains this word.

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