Sometimes, we have people and customers who ask us why we spell ipe, i-p-e. We’ve even had a competitor call to gloat over the fact that our site was riddled with spelling mistakes, “You also forgot to spell epay wood correctly!” He was actually serious. When we tried to correct him, he actually scoffed at us. We’re not trying to call anyone out, but it actually makes sense that people would think we are making a mistake. After all, when you see the letters i-p-e in a word, the common pronounciation is “eye-p” (in dictionaries, “ahyp”).
So, let’s set the record straight, epay wood is really spelled ipe wood:-)
Here’s a fun fact: The word “ipê” itself comes from what people believe to be from the language of native the South American Tupi-Guaraní. This indigenous people have lived in Brazil and throughout South American countries like Paraguay for centuries. Given that fact and the influence of the Portugese in the area, it wouldn’t be surprising if, upon discovering this fabulous and extremely hard tree, the Portuguese would consult with the local people to find out what they named such a unique wood. Ironically, there is a Guaraní words that deal with trees: ypekũ, when translated into English means “woodpecker.” Is there a connection? Possibly. It’s still pretty much a mystery.
I hope this clears up the confusion. If anything, you learned something pretty cool about the strongest and most versatile decking option in the world today, ipe wood.
5 thoughts on “Epay Wood – What’s in a Name, Anyway?”
Do you sell 2×4, 4×4, etc. to individuals? Can your company e-mail me a list of prices for Ipe lumber? Or can you mail me a size and price list to my home? Juan R. Diaz 13177 Central Road Apple Valley, CA. (760) 247-6914. THANKS!!!
If you would like to hear the Portuguese pronunciation of ipê go here:
I like the deep rich color of ipe and would like it to stay that way. What is the best product to use on ipe?
I’ve used several including marine varnish, sickens, Olympic stain and none of them work, penetrate, and look terrible.
We always recommend going with Ipe Oil. This is a penetrating oil formulated specifically to seek deep into Ipe’s dense fibers. However, not that it is something that needs to be reapplied as it fades out due to sun exposure.
Hope this helps!
I use IPE (eye-pay) wood all the time on decks and flooring. While it’s not the easiest wood to work with, the finished product looks fantastic and lasts forever. It makes all the dulled saw blades and blunted drill bits worth it. 👁-pay.