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How do you pronounce "GUID?" Is it one syllable or two?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by tchrist, kiamlaluno, Mari-Lou A, NVZ, curiousdannii Apr 25 at 1:55

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Four syllables. – ShreevatsaR Feb 4 '11 at 5:45
I personally pronounce it in 4 syllables, but most of people pronounce it in one syllable. – Manoochehr Feb 4 '11 at 9:21
Perhaps this should be asked over at programmers.se. After all, they are the ones who say it. – FumbleFingers Feb 22 '12 at 22:23
@FumbleFingers: oh make no mistake, it did get asked on SO (closed), and then on Programmers (probably deleted, this is the only one I can find right now, but it's closed as well), and then who knows where else. – RegDwigнt Feb 22 '12 at 22:36
@RegDwight: Oh dear! I suppose now we'll get bombarded with more of the same re Linux, GUI, SQL, etc. All effectively "unanswerable", because different people pronounce them differently. And if anyone tells me again we should pronounce Linux in a Linus Torvalds accent, I shall scream! – FumbleFingers Feb 22 '12 at 22:43

10 Answers 10

Wikipedia's article aside, I think it is more common in the IT industry to hear GUID pronounced as:

GOO-id (/ˈguːɪd/)

with a hard G sound (at least in Australia, the UK and Canada).

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In a wide variety of IT contexts all around the US this is by far the most popular pronunciation I've heard. Gee yoo eye dee is the next most, and the couple of times I've heard gwid everyone turned to stare and try to figure out what the speaker was saying. – Matthew Frederick Aug 26 '11 at 21:34
I suspect the two-syllable pronunciation is common due to the two-syllable pronunciation of GUI, goo-ee. Goo-ee, goo-id, goo-ee, goo-id. – Matthew Frederick Aug 30 '11 at 7:50
I - and all of my IT colleagues - pronounce it like this. Any other version would be most odd. – Schroedingers Cat Feb 22 '12 at 21:42

I go with the 1-syllable version (gwid) that rhymes with squid and liquid and that matches the pronunciation of "languid" http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/languid.

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+1 I eventually settle on this if I have to say it enough times to one person in one day. I normally start with G-U-I-D, but I drop to Goo-Id after a while (instantly if the other person says that first). But by late afternoon if I'm still talking about them, they're definitely "Gwids". I know it's only three syllables saved, but "life's too short" and all that! – FumbleFingers Feb 22 '12 at 22:49

According to Wikipedia:

pronounced /ˈɡuːɪd/ or the preferred pronunciation /ˈɡwɪd/

So, the single-syllable pronunciation is preferred.

I'll probably continue to spell it out when I come across it despite that fact. :)

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I don't really trust Wikipedia here, who prefers it? I was always more familiar with goo-id and it's also in the top-voted relevant answer over on Stack Overflow – user1951 Feb 4 '11 at 6:35
Initially tempted to vote down because I completely disagree, but won't because the source is listed. In my not inconsiderable experience, it is either spelt out our G-U-I-D, or is pronounce goo-id. My main experience is in the UK, but I've seen dozens of American presentations/seminars/etc, and in each case, these two options have been prevailent. I have never heard it pronounced gwid. – CJM Feb 4 '11 at 12:05
Sorry, I used to link to the relevant Stack Overflow question but then edited and reposted the commennt. – user1951 Feb 4 '11 at 12:48
Interestingly, the "preferred pronunciation" comment was only added to the Wikipedia article two weeks ago, with no citation. I'm inclined to treat it as a bit suspect. – Dexter Feb 4 '11 at 13:12
...and it is now no longer listed as preferred. – Marcin Jun 4 '11 at 13:52

I pronounce it with four syllables, as the alternatives sound a little weird to me.

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I try not to pronounce it at all. – Mitch Apr 25 '11 at 17:47
@Mitch , ? How do you try not to pronounce it in a speech? – Pacerier Apr 23 at 5:08
@Pacerier I give a sad little choking sound – Mitch Apr 23 at 20:40

You can pronounce it as four syllables (/ˌdʒi ju ˈaɪ di/), or like a single syllable (/ˈɡwɪd/).

I don't know if there is a preference between the two pronunciations, but I would expect that the second pronunciation will become the most used one.

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Right, it's Italian to have /ui/ as valid syllable. Sometimes I make the mistake of writing the pronunciation as Italian (my first language). – kiamlaluno Apr 23 at 4:22
It's the same sound as in languid. I am not so good with comparing the pronunciation of two words. – kiamlaluno Apr 23 at 4:34
/ˈlaŋɡwɪd/ is the pronunciation of languid given from the Oxford Dictionary of English, so it should definitively be /ɡwɪd/. – kiamlaluno Apr 23 at 4:49
(In American English, it would be /ˈlæŋɡwəd/, basing on the NOAD.) – kiamlaluno Apr 23 at 4:53
Hmm. I guess it might be. I'm an American English speaker and I identify the vowel in words like this with /ɪ/, but it doesn't really contrast with /ə/ for me. Sorry, I keep on making comments but I just noticed one more thing! I think the normal stress on acronyms is actually secondary stress on the first syllable (actually, maybe even on all the syllables) and primary stress on the last syllable. So I would say /ˌdʒi.ju.aɪ ˈdi/, definitely not /ˌdʒi ju ˈaɪ di/. – sumelic Apr 23 at 4:57

I've heard several pronunciations of this. The frequency I've heard (in London, GB) would be:

  1. /ˈɡuːɪd/ (two syllables)
  2. /ˈɡwɪd/ (one syllable; my preference)
  3. /ˌdʒiː juː ˈaɪ diː/ (four syllables)
  4. /ˌɡu(w)ɪ.ˈdiː/ (three syllables: gooey-dee)
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I've heard it pronounced with in the same four ways in Michigan, US, and Arizona, US. Popularity IMX seems to be 3., 2., 1., 4. – Bacon Bits Jun 4 '11 at 18:36

I like the version that rhymes with squid (hey, I'm a Southerner), but I understand that it can rub people the wrong way like Bush's pronunciation of nuclear. It seems to me that this may be based both on the linguistic region as well as the technology used. I first heard about this back in the early 1990s from a Microsoft class and they used the squid-guid.

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+1 for the term squid-guid. – Owen Blacker Feb 25 '12 at 20:46

All versions sound a little weird. I hear people say "in using the global ID"; "referencing the globally unique ID" more than I hear G-U-I-D; or quid (squid); or goo-id.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) there doesn't seem to be a consensus.

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The purpose of shortening something to an acronym is for ease-of-use. It seems logical that it's easier to say a one-syllable word (squid/guid) than endure the agony of having to pronounce a distinct two syllable (fluid/guid). Since GUIDs are in the realm of programming and programming is all about logic, it seems the most logical pronunciation is the single-syllable squid/guid.

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In the same way as how the USA is pronounce (y)oo-sa, the UK is uhk, an Operating System is oss, the Internet Protocol is ipp, and Active Server Pages are a type of tree? No. That's not how language works. It may seem the most logical, but it remains by far the least common in actual usage. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 25 '15 at 22:40

On the off-chance there is any interest in the actual traditional word "guid" of Scots English, the pronunciations /ɡyd, ɡɪd/ are given in this dictionary entry: guid, though to me, judging from the pronunciation recorded here, it sounds like [ɡɨd] or [ɡɯd].

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