How do you pronounce "lei"?

susanna76

Senior Member
Romanian
Anyone from Hawaii?:) How do you pronounce "lei" (the wreath)? [ley] or [ley-ee]? And the plural is with a [z], right? [leyz] or [ley-eez].

Thanks!:)
 
  • Momerath

    Senior Member
    British English
    I'm not from Hawaii (or Polynesia), but the recorded pronunciation on the Webster's site is exactly the same as for "lay". The vowel is a diphthong: leɪ.

    The ODO gives leɪ, ˈleɪi
     

    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    I was going to suggest Oxford Dictionary Online, but that only gives the first pronunciation (and uses a different phonentic alphabet).

    Anyway, I've always heard "lay" as well. Making for many, many bad jokes, given that "lay" is a euphemism for "have sex" ("Hey! I see you got lei'd in Hawai'i!").
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    ODO does stand for Oxford dictionary online and it gives both pronunciations on my computer, even if I use your link. :)
    This website has two branches and you have to go back to the first page to switch between them.
    The US English branch of the website says: /lā, /
    The World English branch says : /leɪ, ˈleɪi/
    Since there's a comma and a space in the US English version, it seems there might be a missing pronunciation there.
     

    Momerath

    Senior Member
    British English
    This website has two branches and you have to go back to the first page to switch between them.
    The US English branch of the website says: /lā, /
    The World English branch says : /leɪ, ˈleɪi/
    You're right. Strange that clicking on pob14's link (to the US English section presumably?) takes me to the World English section.
     
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