Eebster the Great wrote:I think I was misreading the IPA. I would pronounce it [bæg] as in "bad", unless I'm still reading it wrong. I was interpreting æ like eɪ, having "bag" rhyme with "vague," which would be weird.
Nope! that is absolutely correct. That's how most of my family pronounces it. When trying to produce it with the short a of bad, my mother could lower the first component but could not drop the glide from her speech. Bag rhyming with vague is standard in many northern plains states, my family from the Dakotas and Minnesota all do it. Beg has this same diphthong, as does egg, so for the speakers all three rhyme. I only have it in beg/egg, not bag, which indeed has the same vowel as bad for me.