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?

  • 2
    I think the traditional English pronunciation is the latter, and that's how I'd say it.
    – Shinrai
    Feb 3, 2011 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, 2011 at 22:58
  • So, by popular vote so far, it seems to be "Id-ʒacs" (with ʒ being like plea<b>s</b>ure).
    – mudri
    Feb 4, 2011 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, 2011 at 0:41

7 Answers 7


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.

  • +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, 2011 at 13:50
  • 2
    @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. Apr 6, 2011 at 20:20
  • The answer is correct but AJAX is an acronym, so detergent, greek, football whatever, those nouns have no relevance here.
    – jim smith
    Jan 6, 2017 at 16:45

I believe the correct pronunciation is Ay-Jacks.

My answer is a tweaked version of the answer found here.

  • 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, 2011 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, 2011 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, 2011 at 20:27
  • It should be Ay-Jacks to be more precise.
    – Synetech
    Feb 22, 2011 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, 2011 at 13:06

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

  • as msh210 notes below, you probably mean æ not a, for the a sound as in “jacks”
    – nohat
    Feb 3, 2011 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, 2011 at 8:04
  • @F'x: Oxford's notation of /a/ is still IPA: it's meant to reflect pronunciation changes that have occurred for many British English speakers since the symbol /æ/ was standardized as representing the vowel phoneme in the word "trap." A list of the main differences between Oxford's scheme (devised by Clive Upton) and the older scheme used by e.g. Gimson is outlined in the following webpage by John Wells: phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/wells/ipa-english.htm
    – herisson
    Nov 13, 2016 at 7:34

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.


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.


"A" like in "way" and "asynchronous." "JAX" like "jacks" or "Jack's." This comes from my experience as a programmer and a computer science student. Since it's an acronym and it's not very common in speech, multiple pronunciations could be acceptable.


The Longman Pronunciation Dictionary suggests ['eɪdʒ æks] or ['aɪ æks].

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