The Proper Pronunciation of "Rodeo"

Blurred motion view of cowboy riding horse with American flag in rodeo
Jeremy Woodhouse / Getty Images

What is the proper pronunciation for "rodeo"? Technically, either "ro-day-oh" or "ro-dee-oh" is correct. The word we use to describe cowboy competitions comes from the Spanish word "rodear," which means "to surround." Pronouncing rodeo like "ro-day-oh" retains the Spanish flavor and origin and is preferred by certain events, like the California Rodeo in Salinas. However, most modern events prefer "ro-dee-oh."