Hello everybody. I've been away a long, long time, but the nerve problem that stopped me from building three years ago has calmed down some, so I've come back. I'm glad to be back in the company of people who love doing what I love doing.

It's okay if you don't remember me. I'm very minor ...

But, I have a question about the two terms, Luthery and Luthiery?

What do these two normally refer to?

I thought that I read somewhere that Luthery refers to the practice of being a luthier... the creating of guitars ...while Luthiery refers to a place where guitars are built.

My question is, is my memory correct? Or do I have it bass-ackwards? Or, can the two words be used interchangeably?

I'm asking because I'm writing the description for a book I've just published and I want it to be correct.

Can anyone weigh in on this?

Thanks to all ..


Tags: books, luthery, luthiery, usage

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There must be a Lex Luthor(y) for that ;-)

I've never seen the word Luthery. Are you sure it's not just a misspelling of Luthiery?

Hi Steven - Thanks for the reply. I've discovered since I posted that the two words I should've mentioned are actually "Lutherie," and "Luthiery." On Edward Victor Dick's (Victor Guitars) site, the word Lutherie is used to denote the practice of building guitars. Luthiery is mentioned as a sometimes-used alternate, but i can't find a real discussion of it.

I remember, years ago, on the OLF the discussion about the terms, but I can't remember what the consensus was. 

But I'll keep looking.

Thanks --

Hey Bill.  If you do find an answer - please be sure to let us know.  I love getting pedantic about semantics, almost as much as I love luthery (or whatever). 



Hi Mark -- If I ever find a definite answer, I'll post it.

Thanks -


LUTHERIE  is the craft

LUTHIERY is the place where the craft is performed

The Roberto-Venn School of LUTHIERY is an exception  - it's a U.S. trademark - the  name of a federally accredited trade school.

Thank you Frank! I thought that was the case, even though I had the spelling wrong.

Glad to be on board again!


I have a 1960 printing of the Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary, Unabridged, Second Edition.  This tome is 2300 pages long, and is 6-1/2" thick.

It does not have any of these words in it.  No luthery, no lutherie, no luthiery. no luthier even.  There is lute, lutanist, lutenist, luter, and  lutestring.

Lots of Lutheran stuff.

How can this be if even stupid Wikipedia has luthier, a maker, and lutherie (sometimes luthiery) as the craft of making.

I think we can make it up here!


my understanding is to be a Luther in other country's you have to be working at the trade to be one and making a living at it!  That is not me! The place I build is called my shop.  B ut what do I KNOW I HAVE BEEN BUILDING SINCE I WAS 13 years old.


How did Luther Burbank fit into this?


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