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I'm a native speaker, and I would naturally read the word VAY-guh-ri.

I've never actually heard anyone say the word, I only ever see it in writing.

But I also know that you can pronounce it vuh-GARE-i. Does anyone actually pronounce it like this? Where does this weird pronunciation come from?

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I've never heard the latter either. The Wiktionary article agrees with "formerly /ˌvəˈɡɛɹi/, now commonly /ˈveɪˌɡəɹi/". –  Tim N Jul 5 '11 at 8:30
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The Oxford English Dictionary gives /ˈveɪˌɡəɹi/ first, /ˌvəˈɡɛɹi/ second (never heard /ˌvəˈɡɛɹi/ myself). –  Cerberus Jul 5 '11 at 8:42
    
I've never heard this pronounced vuh-GARE-i - so as far as I'm concerned this pronunciation came from you! –  Bill Jul 5 '11 at 8:50
    
W.S.Gilbert's "Iolanthe" (1882) requires the second: "A plague on this vagary / I'm in a nice quandary / .. " going on to rhyme it with "chary", "fairy", "library" and "seminary". Of course, some of the other rhyming words need unconventional pronunciations too. –  Colin Fine Jul 5 '11 at 13:45
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2 Answers 2

It used to be pronounced vuh-GARE-i, but it's changed. As @Tim above stated:

(GenAm) IPA: formerly /ˌvəˈɡɛɹi/, now commonly /ˈveɪˌɡəɹi/

It's usually pronounced VAY -guh-ri, but there are still people who pronounce it the "other way", as can be seen here

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As a native english speaker who has often had occasion to use the word, I can confirm that the usual pronunciation is VAY-guh-ri.

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