Which is more common pronunciation of "buoyancy" in AmE?http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/buoyancy?q=buoyancy In the dictionary above, there are two pronunciations. One is /ˈbɔɪənsi/ and the other is /ˈbuːjənsi/. Which one is more common in AmE?

  • 1
    (AmE) To be honest, I can hardly tell the difference between the two. Although the first one does sound more natural to me.
    – DJMcMayhem
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 12:33
  • In this case, "buoy" should be pronounced same as "boy". Is it correct? Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 12:39
  • 1
    Yes, that is correct.
    – DJMcMayhem
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 12:56
  • 2
    Bare buoy exhibits the same variation in pronunciation, /bɔɪ/ vs /ˈbuːi/. Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 13:14
  • Related at EL&U: The pronunciation of buoy
    – choster
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 14:03

2 Answers 2


To me, I had to listen to them several times before I could tell the difference. It sounds more natural to say "BOY-in-cee", like the first recording. In the second recording, it sounds like she says "BO-yin-cee". However, since the "y" comes right after the "o", it's a very subtle difference. I bet most people would hardly notice a difference unless you put an exaggerated pause between the first two syllables, or if they were listening very closely.


You'll hear both, and I don't think either would be perceived as erroneous by any hearer, regardless of her own pronunciation. I suspect that in most cases the difference wouldn't be perceived at all, as DJ McMayhem's answer suggests.

I suppose if you had a very large corpus of recordings, or had the funds to design and carry out a focused research program, you could determine which pronunciation is more common. But I cannot imagine that it would be worth the effort.

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