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For as long as I've known, I and everyone I've encountered pronounces BIOS as bi-Ohs. Since listening to the Stackoverflow podcast I'm still surprised to hear Jeff say bi-Ahs. Just when I thought it was an Atwoodism, Michael Pryor made the same enunciation on episode 51.

Right or wrong, how is it more commonly pronounced?


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Wow, it's never even occurred to me that there might be another pronunciation besides bi-Ahs. I guess I've never heard anyone say bi-Ohs before. – mmyers May 13 '09 at 16:56
I pronounce it "pro-nun-see-ae-shun-not-zee" – Adam Davis May 13 '09 at 18:11
up vote 31 down vote accepted

I pronounce it bi-Ohs (bī'ōs)

Winner by popular vote. – spoulson Jun 4 '09 at 19:20

In German (my native language) I pronounce it BEE-os, in English I pronounce it By-os.

In any case, with an O-sound.


We pronounce it "Throatwobbler Mangrove."

Despite the fact that it's spelled "Raymond Luxury Yacht." – Electrons_Ahoy May 13 '09 at 23:52

In Italy we pronounce it be-ohs, and I believe that every language has it's own pronunciation of english acronyms.


Generally when I use an acronym, I use the same sound for a letter that I would have used in the word it replaced. Since the word is Output, I say bi-Ohs.

It is good to say generally, as many use this argument as a certain rule. Then we'd have oddities like: CAPTCHA - Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. C-ah-p-t-ck-h-uh – davebug May 13 '09 at 16:43
@Zoredache: Do you pronounce laser "lasser" then? – mmyers May 13 '09 at 16:56

Where I live, bi-Ahs is the common pronunciation.


I've heard both regularly for decades. Probably, regional dialects help select one of the two pronunciations, which may be why you haven't heard anything other than the way you say it. (Which is how I say it.)

Think of it like the word "data" which can be pronounced day-tuh or dah-tuh.


In my travels around the USA I have always heard BĪŌS (BY-OHS). As far as pronunciation of acronyms go I generally follow the same rule that Zoredache described in his comment.


eheh we in Italy forget that "I" is pronounced "ay" and thus say bee-ohs. but I guess it's not so authoritative...:)


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