When pronouncing the word vagueries, is the U silent or pronounced as in the British pronunciation of jaguar?

The context is the sentence ”The rebuttal was replete with so many vagueries as to be utterly unsubstantiated.”

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    @sumelic: it's in Wiktionary. Of course, that doesn't mean it's a real word. – Peter Shor Oct 24 '18 at 1:28
  • @PeterShor Sigh. Wiktionary is not a trustworthy site. If 'vaguery' is in fact found in the literature, it is obsolete, and Wiktionary gives no such indication. – Mitch Oct 24 '18 at 1:32
  • @Mitch: Wiktionary gives citations, the most recent of which is from 2003. I don't think "obsolete" would be an appropriate description. It just seems to be very rare, and probably has been so from the beginning. Obviously it's possible to object to its use, but it doesn't look like it's a hoax word or an unattested word. Wordnik provides more examples: wordnik.com/words/vaguery – sumelic Oct 24 '18 at 1:34
  • @sumelic it's not standard then, would be changed by any editor to 'vagaries'. – Mitch Oct 24 '18 at 1:36
  • @Mitch: or vaguenesses, which is what Wiktionary says it means when it's not an error for vagaries. – Peter Shor Oct 24 '18 at 1:37

"Vaguery" is an uncommon word, so I haven't been able to find any sources that give its pronunciation. Nevertheless, it can be inferred that it is pronounced /ˈveɪgəri/ (and so the plural "vagueries" would be pronounced /ˈveɪgəriz/). The U would not be "pronounced" any more than it is in the base adjective vague.


  1. The more common word vagary is often pronounced /ˈveɪgəri/ (although in the past, a different pronunciation with stress on the second syllable was used) and the spelling "vaguery" seems in some cases to be used as a (nonstandard) representation of this word. In a comment, Peter Shor linked to the Wiktionary entry for vaguery, which is as follows:

    1. (uncountable) Vagueness, the condition of being vague.
    2. (countable) A vagueness, a thing which is vague, an example of vagueness.
    3. (countable, in the plural) An eggcorn for vagaries.

    Wiktionary gives a few example quotations for each usage (incidentally, the quotations for 1) and 2), along with the examples from Wordnik, also illustrate that "vaguery" is not only used as a misspelling of vagary, in case anyone else thought that when first viewing this question).

  2. The addition of the suffix -ery regularly adds /əri/ (optionally reduced to just /ri/ for some speakers by the process of schwa syncope) to the pronunciation of the base word. It doesn't cause a "silent" U in the spelling of the base word to become pronounced. Compare the word roguery, which is pronounced as /roʊgəri/ (AHD, MW, OD).

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