Some people pronounce it "LAS-so" and some "las-SOO" (from the rope cowboys throw to catch cows). Which way is "the right one"?

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ I and most people I know also pronounce the rope thing a "LAS-so". Then again I've never even touched a real lasso in my life so what do I know. $\endgroup$ Jul 31 '14 at 1:17
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The intent is to relate it to the rope thing, so presumably it should be pronounced the way you pronounce the rope-thing, but the rope-thing is pronounced either way in different varieties/dialects of English (e.g. see here which lists both). So please yourself. $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Jul 31 '14 at 2:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Obviously you should pronounce it L-A-S-S-O. Trust me, I'm a statistician. $\endgroup$
    – Hong Ooi
    Jul 31 '14 at 6:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Related question: is it spelled "LASSO," "Lasso," or "lasso?" It should strictly be the first option, but Tibshirani uses "L" on his webpage and "l" in the original paper. See also: LO(W)ESS. $\endgroup$ Jul 31 '14 at 6:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @ssdecontrol Hastie & Tibshirani spell it "lasso" in their newest (2015) book on the topic. See here stats.stackexchange.com/questions/200416, and in particular my comments under the answer there, I give some quotes from this book. $\endgroup$
    – amoeba
    Apr 12 '16 at 20:49

Rob Tibshirani pronounces it the first way ("LAS-so"), which seems fairly definitive to me. However, Trevor Hastie pronounces it the second way ("las-SOO") and is from South Africa, so I'd agree with @Glen_b and say that any common local pronunciation of the word would be appropriate.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.