How to pronounce Segoe, the font or typeface


In Windows 8 and Windows Phone, you’ll see widespread use of a typeface called Segoe.  I’ve always wondered exactly how to pronounce this.  It could be SEE-goh, see-GOH, SEG-oh, seg-OH, etc.  I took a look at its Wikipedia page, and learned that the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) pronunciation is /ˈsɡ/.  According to my understanding of the IPA, I concluded that its pronunciation is SEE-goh, with emphasis on the first syllable.  It sounds a little like the English word seagull.

However, I often hear it pronounced seg-OH, with emphasis on the second syllable.

Being the curious type that I am, I decided to do some detective work.  I poked around Bing and learned that the font is named after Segoe Road in Madison, Wisconsin.  On Yelp, I found a yoga studio which was near there and called them up.

Them: “Hello, this is Inner Fire Yoga.”

Me: “Hello, my name is Matt Harrington, calling from California.  I have a strange request.  I see on Yelp that you’re near Segoe Road.  How do locals pronounce that name?”

Them: “SEE-goh.”

Me: “So it would sound funny if I pronounced it seg-OH?”

Them: “Yes.”

So there you have it.  The font, or more correctly the typeface, was named after Segoe Road in Madison, Wisconsin, and locals definitely pronounce it SEE-go.  If English is your second language, start by learning to pronounce the English word seagull, and then change the last part from gull to go.

Comments (9)

  1. Master Devwi says:

    Good to know! I've always pronounced it SEE-goh, but it's fascinating to learn where the name came from.

  2. ST says:

    WTG.  Nice research, and glad I don't pronounce it like Segue!

  3. Alan Le says:

    Just heard you pronounced it as "seagull" at the devcamp and looked up this post. Honestly, I prefer "see-GO" because it sounds and flows better. "see-GOH U I" sounds more elegant than "SEE-gull U I"  Language and pronunciation can change with usage. I hope in this instance it has changed to the better sounding Segoe.

  4. Yousif says:

    I was pronouncing it like the Japanese word Sugoi. I liked it, and was kind of disappointed to learn that this was the right to pronounce it. lol.

  5. Timwi says:

    Funny, I seem to be the only one who pronounced it /ˈsɛgoʊiː/, i.e. kinda like the given name Zoë. Now I know how to pronounce it properly, thanks 🙂

  6. tmecham says:

    sugoi (すごい) is Japanese for awesome.  So I always end up saying it like this … really hard habit to break now that I know the real pronunciation. SEE-go just isn't awesome like sugoi 🙂

  7. TanTek says:

    Great job Matt!  SEE-Go it is for me then.  Appreciate your research – and clear blog.

    This reminds me of the word Adobe – some say "uh-doe-b", but it seems most pronounce it correctly like the locals where it originates – "uh-doe-bee".

  8. Mike says:

    Hmmm – I had consistently thought there was some ulterior motive behind using that particular font.  Because, I thought it was pronounced "segh-way" like the little two wheeled transport vehicle.  I, evidently incorrectly, thought it must have had european origns…  

  9. Mike says:

    Thank you for saving me the leg-work. Feels good to know I'm not the only one that will go way out of my way to find the correct way of something. Would love to have you on my team! Good work 🙂

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