How is "cyan" pronounced and where is the stress?

Note that the question covers both the pronunciation of the vowel and the position of the stress. I edited this post to quote dictionaries, so it shows the necessary amount of research.

I'm guessing then that the close-voters think it is a "question that can be answered using commonly-available references" but in fact, the dictionary entries are known to present an incomplete picture of the situation because there are evidently various people who pronounce this word with stress on the second syllable. You can see some of them in the comments and the answer to this question; I also added links to some examples which were then edited out in a later revision of the question.

Even if the pronunciation with stress on the second syllable is non-standard (which seems very likely), I think it deserves some explanation, and the question should be re-opened so that it's possible for the original poster to get an explanation.

Edit: I edited the question and it is now re-opened. Thanks to everyone for voting on this.

  • There's a lot of controversy over the pronunciation. So I think it warrants an answer (I voted to reopen). But do you have an answer to give? Also, those references are singleton claims, not particularly authoritative.
    – Mitch
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 16:29
  • @Mitch: I don't know. I wanted to do some more research, but part of the reason I wanted the question re-opened is because I don't have an answer yet, so I would also like it if someone else posted an answer.
    – herisson
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 16:32
  • 1
    I can't see any reason for the question as currently framed to be closed. It certainly shows research effort.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 16:57
  • I dunno. I already reöpened it once.
    – tchrist Mod
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 19:19

1 Answer 1


The timeline available to moderators shows that the question was closed with five votes, then you edited it and it was reopened with five votes. It's now had five different people vote to close again, starting eight hours after your edit.

Bear in mind that the "research" reason requires that basic sources do not answer the question. You have found that the sources provide three different pronunciations, so they answer the "How is it pronounced?" question — it's pronounced at least three different ways.

ODO and OED both also put the stress on the first syllable. However, along with Jim, who commented, I've only ever heard the stress on the second. That introduces a fourth option, presumably valid, but is that valuable enough to give as an answer?

Note that "Where is cyan pronounced..." and "Why is it so" are different questions to the "How is it pronounced?" which was originally asked and answered by common references.

  • 1
    I can see this viewpoint. My argument is: look at how common the pronunciation with stress on the second syllable is! And the dictionaries don't mention it. The dictionaries "answer" the question in the sense that that they provide some valid pronunciations, but they don't provide a complete description of the pronunciations that are used.
    – herisson
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 16:21
  • Actually, I was hoping that someone would find a citation about the pronunciation with stress on the last syllable... It doesn't seem unlikely to me that somebody would have noted this in some linguistics text or pronunciation manual, even if it's not in general-use dictionaries.
    – herisson
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 16:21
  • I think in that case the deficiency should be noted in the question. The common references do not answer it, because they omit to mention a pronunciation attested to by two independent speakers.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 16:24
  • Thanks, edited and we'll see what other voters think. It has one re-open vote now.
    – herisson
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 16:30

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