It's spelled f-u-c-h-s-i-a

Fuchsia is often misspelled in English due to the odd pronunciation it’s been given. In fact, I’ve collected almost twenty variants. Spelling bee contestants especially, beware!

letter jumble 300 x 300I have the theory that the English pronunciation of “fewsha” (which ultimately derives from a similar French mispronunciation) took hold in stuffier Victorian times to avoid accidentally rhyming fuchsia with a naughty word thereby causing the ladies to faint and the horses to bolt.

It helps keep the spelling straight if you remember the genus was named for the eminent 16th-century German physician and botanist, Leonhart Fuchs (1501-1566). Fuchs taught medicine at the University of Tübingen in Germany and published the sumptiously illustrated herbal, De historia stirpium commentarii insignes, in Latin in 1542 to aid in the identification of the medicinal plants and herbs of his time. The diversity of local common names was as much of an issue in his time as in ours.

Fuchs' name just means Fox in German and rhymes somewhat with Books. That’s close enough if you don’t speak German. Though the name is often pronounced "Fyooks" by current bearers in the English=speaking world. Again to keep it at a safe distance from that afore-mentioned naughty word.

So it’s spelled FUCHS+ia.

This has been a public service announcement.

Fuchs portarait cartoon