How is Doge pronounced?
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Doge!
Victoria McNally of Geekosystem has us covered:
From what we can tell, there are five major variants that have been floating around our collective meatspaces. First there’s “Doh-j” with a long O, a soft G and a silent E. This pronunciation is widely believed to have originated with a Tumblr user who submitted a computer-read audio file of a “chose your own adventure” to a site called “Your Daily Doge,” though it’s also been attributed to a 2005 puppet episode of Homestar Runner, in which Homestar misspells “dog” as D-O-G-E and Strongbad corrects him.
However, it’s also the same way that one pronounces the name of the chief magistrate of Venice, so it’s entirely possible that this pronunciation just feels older and more secure to the people who use it. In the interest of full disclosure, this is my preferred pronunciation, probably because I’m also the type of person who uses a soft G in GIF. So take from that what you will.
If you’re a hard-G GIF pronouncer, there’s also the alternate form of the same basic structure above, which is “Doh-g” with a long O, hard G and silent E. My brother uses this, and when I asked him about it, he said that it’s because the original word “dog” has a hard G, so the e only modifies the vowel, not the consonant — sort of like how “slop” becomes “slope” and “mop” becomes “mope.” So “dog” becomes “doge,” which is pronounced like “rogue.”
Then there’s “Doh-geh,” with a long O, hard G, and spoken “e” sound like at the end of “ballet.” This is a pronunciation preferred by Susana Polo over at The Mary Sue, who explains that she uses it because it sort of sounds like a bastardized version of “doggy.” According to other sources, because the meme’s origins are supposedly based in Weeaboo culture (which, if you’re not familiar, is when White North American kids get really creepily obsessed with a stereotype of Japanese culture), it’s meant to be pronounced as if it were written in Japanese.
Finally, we have people who pronounce it like “dog” or “doggy.” These people are boring. Let us speak no more of them.
It might seem a bit ridiculous to be debating over the pronunciation of a totally made-up word that has nothing to do with anything, but as we said earlier, the invention of the dogecoin and the current fascination over cryptocurrency in general is causing this meme to be elevated up much higher into the zeitgeist than anybody on Tumblr could possibly have anticipated. In fact, just this morning we heard pundits on NPR talking about the proper pronunciation of the word. (We can’t recall which they settled on, but they were definitely oscillating between all the ones we’ve described) And even Congress is getting worked up over it now.
tl;dr : There are five pronunciations.
1. "Dohj" with a soft G -- 40%
2. "Dohg" with a hard G -- 30%
3. "Doh-geh" --16%
4. "Doggy" -- 8%
5. "Dog" -- 3%