Sign up ×
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.

How does one pronounce the acronym CMYK, in the color model sense.

If there is more than one pronunciation, how popular is each of them?

share|improve this question
I usually pronounce it /smik/ (to rhyme with ‘stick’), but that might be influenced by my working with printers and designers who speak Danish and therefore pronounce it /smyk/. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Dec 16 '13 at 18:12

3 Answers 3


I just asked the designers here and they do nothing other than pronounce the letters. If they need to term it they use "Four colour process".

share|improve this answer

I think this kind of acronym is usually pronounced as separate letters - "C, M, Y, K". I've also found a source (first speaker) where after conventional pronunciation another variant is given - /smaɪk/.

share|improve this answer
+1 for separate letters, smaik, I have yet to come accross. – Preetie Sekhon Dec 16 '13 at 17:19

I have always told my students to pronounce it as the letters indicate, in other words as: c-mike (CMYK). This seems to help them remember the four process colors.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.