Travel

US Cities You're Pronouncing Completely Wrong

Published On 04/27/2016 Published On 04/27/2016

Because Americans aren't just adept at butchering the names of foreign places, here are 20 cities in our OWN DAMN COUNTRY that we still don't know how to pronounce.

Flickr/Kent Kanouse (edited)

Not: Lah-FEY-et
Given that we bought this state from the French, it makes perfect sense that the city's name is nothing like its French pronunciation.

Flickr/SD Dirk (edited)

Not: La HOLLA
Yeah, and holla at us if you've ever heard someone call it "La JOL-LA." Us too.

Henryk Sadura/Shutterstock (edited)

Not: Hel-AY-na
There are a hell of lot worse places in Montana, but none that are as easy to mispronounce.

Wikimedia/Charles Knowles (edited)

Not: BOY-zee
And just to mess with you a little more, its racetrack -- Les Bois -- is pronounced "Lay Bwah."

William Silver/Shutterstock (edited)

Not: KISS-a-mee
They probably didn't want their town name to sound like Super Mario trying to get to first base.

Flickr/Patrick Gensel (edited)

Not: Wilks-BAR
Who would name a town in PA after the Golden State Warriors' two best players from 1975-1977: Jamaal Wilkes and Rick Barry?

Flickr/M01229 (edited)

Not: Nor-FOKE
But if you ask folks from Norfolk a question, do they answer "yea" or "naw"?

digidreamgrafix/Shutterstock (edited)

Not: Spo-KANE
C'mon people, you can get this right!

Not: WOR-ches-ter and WOR-sess-ter
This IS New England, however, so you'll probably hear it called WUSS-tah. Or even WISS-tah.

Flickr/B (edited)

Not: SEE-kwim
Yes, it has a funny name, but does make up for it by being one of the best beach towns on the West Coast.

Flickr/ David Wilson (edited)

Not: See-NEK-ta-dee
The Mohawk tribe of the Iroquois Nation originally called this area "Schau-naugh-ta-da," which means "over the pine plains," but isn't any easier to say.

Wikimedia/Kenneth C. Zirkel (edited)

Not: Wah-KESH-a
... or Wah-KE$HA for that matter, even though when you ask people why they pronounce the name of the town like that, they're all, "We R Who We R."

Bryan Busovicki/Shutterstok (edited)

Not: LOUEY-vill
And it is definitely not LOU-iss-vill.

Wikimedia/US Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library (edited)

Not: SALT-saynt MA-ree
Soooooo, it doesn't sound anything like it looks? Gotcha.

RogersPhotography/Shutterstock (edited)

Not: DES Moyns
... or DES-money for that matter. Even though everybody does know that Des Moines makes it rain.

Flickr/johnwilliamsphd (edited)

Not: Scan-EAT-ells
If you said you knew how to pronounce this place, it's probably time to eat your words. Come on, that was clever!

Flickr/Neil Hodges (edited)

Not: Poo-ya-lup or Pooh-Y'all-up
The second one sounds like what Christopher Robin probably said whenever he went into the Hundred Acre Wood.

Wikimedia/Intelligentlove (edited)

Not: Pat-cha-goo
How to pronounce this place is yet another thing you only know if you're from Long Island.

Flickr/Jennifer (edited)

Not: Beth... um, followed by something else, presumably.

EdgeOfReason/Shutterstock (edited)

Not: CALL-uh-ROD-o
OK, not a city, but it'd still be cool if you stopped screwing up the name of this state. Locals already have enough other things to explain to you.

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Bradley Foster is a former Thrillist editor who lives in WAR-shing-ton... err, dammit (!) WASH-ing-ton State.

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