Dippy, the Diplodocus skeleton cast, has returned to the Natural History Museum in London following its tour of the UK It’s the ‘scone’ vs ‘scone’ of the palaeontology world; how do you correctly pronounce ‘diplodocus’? A dinosaur expert from the National History Museum in London has finally settled the debate, and revealed the phonetically accurate way to say the long-necked beast’s name. Brits tend to say ‘diplo-docus’, splitting the word into two sounds that rhymes with ‘lip-low-focus’. But Americans will splice the word after the first syllable, using softer vowel sounds and pronounce it as ‘di-plodocus’ – rhyming with ‘lip-lod-uh-cus’. However, according to Professor Paul Barrett, a senior dinosaur expert at the museum, neither are technically right. Instead, he says that the correct was to pronounce diplodocus is ‘dip-low-DOCK-us’. The question was asked once more as Dippy the Dinosaur returned to the Natural History Museum yesterday for a brand new installation. Dippy is a plaster cast replica of a of Diplodocus carnegii skeleton found in Wyoming, Colorado in 1898. The word diplodocus is formed from two Greek words, and thus the c in ‘docus’ is actually a ‘k’ – the Greek letter kappa. This would mean a soft ‘o’ is what was originally intended in the word – making the correct pronunciation as ‘dip-low-DOCK-us’. Professor Barrett told The Telegraph: ‘Technically it’s two Greek words so the “c” in docus is actually a “k”- a Greek kappa. ‘So no one is getting it right.’ The word was first coined by US palaeontologist Othniel C. Marsh in 1878, who merged the Greek words ‘diplos’ meaning ‘double’ and ‘dokos’ meaning ‘beam’. This refers to a set of unusual two-pronged bones on the underside of Dippy’s tail called chevrons, which are different to other dinosaurs. The ‘carnegii’ is a reference to Andrew Carnegie who founded the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh in 1896, where the first discovered Diplodocus skeleton is housed. Carnegie funded the excavation of the original skeleton and gifted the replica to King Edward VII. The king and trustee of the British Museum, requested the plaster skeleton after he became enamoured with a sketch of the real bones. He paid £2,000 for the 292 cast pieces, which were sent to London in 36 crates. Dippy was displayed in the Natural History Museum from 1905 until 2017, when it was replaced by the huge skeleton of a diving blue whale, named Hope. The 85ft-long skeleton has been touring Britain for the past three years but is back in a special exhibition where it will remain until January. The new installation, Dippy Returns: The Nation’s Favourite Dinosaur will share all the places Dippy visited on his national tour, where over two million people visited the dinosaur. The Natural History museum said that Dippy’s national tour was a success as it boosted local economies in eight regions where fans flocked to see the marvel. The word “diplodocus” is formed from two Greek words, and thus the c in “docus” is actually a “k” — the Greek letter kappa, and making the correct pronunciation as “dip-low-DOCK-us” Museum director Dr Doug Gurr said: ‘We are beyond thrilled to welcome Dippy home to the Natural History Museum. ‘Always proving popular and having just completed a smash-hit tour where over two million people around the UK visited our Jurassic giant, we are certain Dippy will bring a smile to visitors’ faces this summer at the Natural History Museum. ‘While on tour Dippy encouraged people to engage with nature and inspired them to protect it, and we hope that our new installation will continue to do just that. ‘At a time when biodiversity is under threat, it is more important than ever to protect the natural world and build a future where both people and planet thrive.’ Before the installation opens on May 27, London schoolchildren visited Dippy at the museum and were given a talk about the diplodocus to learn about Dippy’s prehistoric and more recent history. Dippy Returns will highlight visitors’ reflections after meeting the dinosaur on his UK tour and how it inspired them to reconnect with the nature around them. The impressive dinosaur visited Dorchester, Birmingham, Belfast, Glasgow, Newcastle upon Tyne, Cardiff, Rochdale and Norwich Cathedral on his tour of the nation. The installation will be on show in the Natural History Museum’s Waterhouse Gallery, where it was previously displayed in the 1970s. Dippy has been displayed in many different areas of the museum, including the Reptiles Gallery and Hintze Hall, as well as a brief stint in the basement to protect the impressive cast during the Second World War. The Natural History Museum is currently seeking a new partner to host Dippy on a long-term loan at the end of the installation in January, applications are now open.