Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have wondered for a while about how I should pronounce "AJAX" (asynchronous JavaScript and XML). I usually say "I-acs", as in the Amsterdam football club, but should I say "a-jacs" (as it looks in English) or simply as the acronym "A-J-A-X"? Or does it not matter?

share|improve this question
2  
I think the traditional English pronunciation is the latter, and that's how I'd say it. –  Shinrai Feb 3 '11 at 22:06
    
The "official" spelling is Ajax (like the popular transliteration of the name of the Greek hero Αἴας), not AJAX, per the term's inventor. –  chaos Feb 3 '11 at 22:58
    
So, by popular vote so far, it seems to be "Id-ʒacs" (with ʒ being like plea<b>s</b>ure). –  James Wood Feb 4 '11 at 0:41
    
Not really, no: the first A is like in ABC - closer to the Canadian "eh" than to the pronoun "I". And the J consonant can't really be separated into two parts like that: it's the sound of the j in jack and the dg in lodge. –  Marthaª Feb 4 '11 at 0:41
add comment

migrated from superuser.com Feb 3 '11 at 22:07

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

5 Answers

up vote 12 down vote accepted

The traditional pronunciation for the detergent brand (and I think also the Greek hero, contrary to FX_'s answer) is /ˈejdʒæks/ (often written /ˈeɪdʒæks/), which can serve as guidance.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 for using IPA –  OscarRyz Feb 4 '11 at 22:09
    
+1 as well ... but you'd normally use the digraph ʤ rather than separate d and ʒ characters. Which is probably why I so rarely use IPA -- it can get to be rather like typing Chinese, even when your font includes the appropriate glyphs. –  bye Feb 22 '11 at 13:50
    
@Stan I use IPA all the time and rarely use the diagraph ʤ rather than the separate d and ʒ characters unless I am needing to emphasize that it is an affricate. –  Peter Olson Apr 6 '11 at 20:20
add comment

You pronounce it Ay-Jacks.

My answer is a better version of the version on the answer later found here.

share|improve this answer
    
I always considered it a derivation of the name of the household cleaner. Eye-acks is very much a Dutch pronunciation of the spelling. –  ijw Feb 3 '11 at 22:45
2  
I live in Holland, use both daily and pronounce the javascript one ai-jacks with the ai like in aide and the stress on the first syllable. Being Danish, I pronounce the detergent I-yacks possibly out of old habit. –  mplungjan Feb 4 '11 at 7:20
    
@JamesWood, is my answer what you are looking for? If so, would you be able to "Accept" it by clicking the check mark to the left of my answer since this is my first answer on this SE site and it would give me a few achievements. –  David Feb 4 '11 at 20:27
    
It should be Ay-Jacks to be more precise. –  Synetech Feb 22 '11 at 2:01
    
@Synetechinc. there you go... Just to make you happy! I'm not a pronunciation spelling guru, so when I typed it like A-Jacks, I was inferring that you would pronounce the "A" like you say the letter. What you said makes sense, which is why I changed it. –  David Feb 22 '11 at 13:06
show 3 more comments

The traditional pronunciation for the Greek hero is ˈeɪdʒaks, which can serve as guidance.

share|improve this answer
    
as msh210 notes below, you probably mean æ not a, for the a sound as in “jacks” –  nohat Feb 3 '11 at 23:16
    
The New Oxford American Dictionary has what I pasted for Ajax, and |dʒak| for jack. It appears they don't employ strict IPA notation, then. –  F'x Feb 4 '11 at 8:04
add comment

The pronunciation I find on the NOAD is /ˈeɪˌdʒæks/, which matches as a friend of mine (who is American) pronounces the word, independently from the meaning of the word.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Both eɪdʒaks and aɪ.əs are right because AJAX is referred to the mythological Greek hero. I prefer to say aɪ.əs because is more similiar to the latin word Aiax and to the italian word Aiace.

share|improve this answer
add comment

protected by RegDwigнt Mar 14 '12 at 19:31

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.