General Question

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

How do you pronounce the Shakespearean name Iago?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (34874points) September 5th, 2012
22 responses
“Great Question” (1points)



Another way?

And please, tell us what kind of English you speak (British, US).

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YARNLADY's avatar

I pronounce it ee-ah-go – U. S. English

Brian1946's avatar

I would say ee-ah-go, and I speak So Cal Pseudo-Surfer English. ;-p

Jeruba's avatar

I’ve always heard it as ee-ah-go too, accent on the second syllable. U.S.: East Coast and West Coast.

_Whitetigress's avatar

ee ah go, Formal English, U.S.A.

(I’m thinking of something from Aladdin for some reason now… Disney’s version…)

harple's avatar

My immediate thought was yah-go – with a temptation to elongate the yaaah. British.

Brian1946's avatar


My immediate thought was yah-go – with a temptation to elongate the yaaah.

I have a temptation to say that’s how Shakespeare would have pronounced it. ;-)

Incoherency_'s avatar

Eye-a-go. Chaucerian English.

Bellatrix's avatar

British – yah-goh.

Brian1946's avatar

@Incoherency_ Remedial =/= Chaucerian.

nebule's avatar

the same as @Jeruba

bookish1's avatar

I am inclined to say ee-yah-go but I’ve never heard anyone pronounce it in real life. American English. It has the same origin as the names Jacques and Santiago, no?

zenvelo's avatar

ee-ah-go is how my Shakespeare professor pronounced it. And how Merriam-Webster pronounces it.

It’s an Italian name.

I’m in the US.

glacial's avatar

ee-ah’-go. I’m in Canada.

filmfann's avatar

I was taught I-A-Go. Sometimes I wonder how much teachers teach when they don’t know.

wundayatta's avatar

I’ve heard both, but my instinct is to say Yahgo. American.

I think that when you say Yahgo, a lot of people will hear a kind of swallow “ee” in front of the y sound, so there isn’t so much difference between Yahgo and iYahgo. It’s just a tiny breath and you get the ee sound in there.

janbb's avatar

I read it as Shakespearean name “logo”!

Ee-ah-go – Northeastern U.S.

zensky's avatar

I always thought it was E I E I O. And on his farm he had some…

Just messing with ya buddy. Learned Jellies have already pronounced it to death.

keobooks's avatar

When you are classically trained in choral music, the Y sound is almost always pronounced “ee-AH” So that it sounds more clear on stage. The name could be pronounced “Ya-go” in Shakespearian times but they said “ee-AH-go” onstage for the same reason choral musicans do. Remember that they were onstage with no modern microphones and the original theater was open air. That’s part of why actors used to have these odd affectations in the early 20th century. They were still being trained to pronounce things so they were clear in theaters without sound systems.

Also remember that Shakespeare liked to play with pronunciation to fit things into Iambic pentameter. I am not sure, but I think at that time moved had one syllable – and two only when it made iambic pentameter work better. It wouldn’t surprise me if Shakespeare drew out the name to add an extra syllable now and then to fit the meter better.

gailcalled's avatar

It’s a diphthong (ea) and thus comes with the flexibility of pronunciation that all diphthongs have. But the beat falls on the (ee) AH (go).

Think of Yahoo! (or perhaps, don’t).

@keobooks; Lovely answer. The early English poets took the same liberties with other verbs that end in “ed,” just as they shortened things, such as e’er or ne’er, to accommodate the metrical considerations.

Nullo's avatar

It was Ee-yago in the production that I saw, emphasis on the ‘ya.’ Central Midwest.

marinelife's avatar


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