Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A frequently asked question about ogam

A question that I get asked all the time is why I pronunce the word "og-um."

The name of the early Irish alphabet can be properly spelled two ways.

The more commonly seen modern spelling is ogham, pronounced "oh-am." The Old Irish spelling, ogam, is pronounced "og-um." Both are correct. You can use either or both. I prefer the "ogam" version, but that's purely a personal preference. It doesn't reflect on a person's knowledge of the system at all (unless they try to tell you you're wrong when you use one of those spellings or pronunciations).


  1. I was always taught that it was "Ohh-am". It is a pleasure to read that you are of an open interpretation, so much can be lost in the rigid observance of so called definitives :)

  2. Thanks! I honestly don't think there's any need to be particularly rigid about anything where there are multiple correct answers.

    One thing about early Irish sources -- they're famous for telling us "and other versions say..."