Traditional recipes

You’re Probably Pronouncing These 30 Food Words Wrong Slideshow

You’re Probably Pronouncing These 30 Food Words Wrong Slideshow

Some menu items are harder to pronounce than others

You’re Probably Pronouncing These 30 Food Words Wrong

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There’s no better way to make a fool of yourself in a fancy restaurant than by horribly butchering the pronunciation of a menu item.

Bouillabaisse

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This traditional French fish stew is about as difficult to pronounce as it is to spell, but once you get the hang of it it’s pretty easy. It’s pronounced “BOO-yah-base.” Boo yah!

Bruschetta

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While we tend to think of bruschetta as toast with diced tomatoes on it, “bruschetta” is actually the name for the toast itself, and it can be topped with pretty much anything. While plenty of people pronounce it “brush-etta,” (and some would even argue that that's perfectly acceptable) the proper Italian pronunciation is “bruce-KAY-tuh.”

Caipirinha

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At first glance, the name of Brazil’s national cocktail (a combination of a sugar cane-based liquor called cachaça, sugar, and lime) is just a jumble of letters, and that H in there doesn’t help either. But keep in mind that “ha” in Portuguese is pronounced “yah” and it becomes a little easier to say. It’s “kye-peer-EEN-yah.”

Charcuterie

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The overarching name given to all prepared meat products, like salami, pâté, and cured ham, charcuterie is another French tongue-twister. It’s pronounced “shar-koo-tuh-REE.”

Espresso

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You can tell just by looking at this word that there’s no X in it, but some people still pronounce it “expresso.” It’s pronounced “es-PRESS-oh,” just what it looks like.

Chipotle

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We’re not sure why some people still insist on pronouncing this smoked jalapeñochip-ole-tey,” but if you do, stop it right now. It’s “chip-oat-lay,” and it’s really not that difficult.

Gnocchi

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Remember Curly from the Three Stooges’ “nyuk nyuk nyuk”? Just remember that next time you see this on a menu and you’ll be fine. Don’t even attempt to pronounce the G; you say the word “NYUK-ee.”

Guanciale

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This Italian cured pork cheek or jowl is nothing short of delicious, but certainly tricky to pronounce. It may take a little practice, but it’s pronounced “gwan-chee-AH-lay.”

Gyro

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Most people still pronounce this Greek dish of meat roasted on a vertical spit (or a sandwich made with said meat) like it’s shorthand for “gyroscope,” but it’s actually pronounced nothing like that. Pronounce it “YEE-roh” instead.

Haricots Verts

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These French-style green beans (which are usually thinner and more “beany” tasting than their North American counterparts) can be horribly mispronounced simply because there are so many “silent” letters. It’s pronounced “arr-ee-co-vair,” and the singular “haricot vert” is pronounced essentially the same way.

Huitlacoche

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This Mexican corn fungus (officially called corn smut but sometimes generously referred to as a “corn truffle”) has its roots in pre-Spanish Aztec language, so its pronunciation isn’t exactly obvious. It’s properly pronounced “weet-lah-KO-chay.”

Mille-Feuille

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Also known as a Napoleon, this French pastry is usually made with alternating layers of puff pastry and pastry cream. You most likely won’t be able to pronounce this perfectly unless you have a flawless French accent, but “meal-foy” is certainly close enough.

Niçoise

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The term Niçoise can refer to anything from the French city of Nice (which is pronounced like niece, by the way), but it usually refers to a saladcomposed of lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, green beans, potatoes, and tuna or anchovies. That little squiggly thing under the C is called acedilla, and connotes that it should be pronounced like S. So Niçoise would be pronounced “nee-swazz.”

Phở

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Most people pronounce this Vietnamese noodle soupfoe,” which is what the word looks like, but the proper way to pronounce it is “fuh.”

Vichyssoise

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This creamy potato leek soup is usually served cold, and its invention is usually credited to a French chef at New York’s Ritz-Carlton who grew up near the French town of Vichy. Should you find yourself in need of a bowl, pronounce it “vishy-swozz.”

Açai

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Bánh Mì

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The first word in the name of this popular Vietnamese sandwich doesn’t rhyme with the name Ron. It’s actually pronounced “bun.”

Endive

You can keep calling this popular salad component “END-dive” if you want to, but know that it’s actually pronounced “ON-deev.”

Farro

This trendy grain isn’t pronounced “pharaoh;” it’s actually “FAR-ro.”

Foie Gras

Jícama

This cool and crunchy vegetable is a great salad addition, but it can be tricky to pronounce. The J is actually pronounced as an H (or similarly, at least), so it should be pronounced roughly “HEE-kuh-muh.”

Macaron

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You need a French accent to really pronounce this word correctly, but keep in mind that it’s not macaroon; that’s a sweet made from coconut and condensed milk. It’s actually pronounced “mack-uh-HRON.”

Maraschino Cherries

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Mascarpone

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Paella

One of Spain’s greatest culinary creations, this rice dish is pronounced “pa-EH-ya.”

Poke

This super-trendy Hawaiian food, made with cubes of raw fish, isn’t pronounced “poke” like you’re poking somebody, nor is it pronounced “pokey” like you’re doing the Hokey Pokey. It’s pronounced “POH-kay.”

Pommes Frites

Prosciutto

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Worcestershire

This jumble of letters is the name of a popular umami-rich sauce that’s been around since the 1830s. It’s named after a county of the same name in the West Midlands of England. It’s pronounced “WUSS-ter-sheer.”


WATCH: Southern Places You're Probably Mispronouncing

If you want to get a "you're not from around here" eye roll, take a shot at pronouncing these GPS coordinates without asking a local.

There&aposs an old, old joke about Kissimmee, Florida, which goes something like this:

A frustrated tourist walks up to the counter of a local eatery in Kissimmee. "Now see here!" he demands. "I keep asking people how to pronounce this dang place, and everybody tells me something different. So once and for all, say it for me—say it clearly and slowly so I can understand!" And the guy behind the counter says, "Okay—Piz-zaaaaa Huuuuuut."
[BTW, it&aposs ka-SIM-me. Say it the other way, and you&aposll sound like you&aposre begging for affection from total strangers: KISS-a-me!]

Southerners love wreaking havoc with town names. It&aposs who we are. It&aposs what we do. Imagine how many tourists have taken selfies next to road signs in Crapo, Maryland. (That&aposs CRAY-poe, people, not—well, the other way.) In Arkansas, a perfectly lovely Spanish name like Diaz becomes "DYE-as," while Kentuckians pronounce Cadiz like "Katy&aposs." And locals in one Georgia burg won&apost know what you&aposre talking about when you tell them how impressed you are with ALL-buh-nee because they live in ALL-binny.

We also have commitment issues, refusing to reach any kind of consensus on town names. That&aposs why we have Lafayette pronounced la-FAY-et in Alabama and Arkansas, but LAF-ee-ET in Louisiana. It&aposs why Nacogdoches, Texas, is pronounced nack-a-DOH-chis, while the dangerously similar Natchitoches, Louisiana, sounds totally different: NACK-a-tish.

Occasionally, you have to suspect foul play among the namers of our towns. Gruene, Texas, for example, has a mysterious stray "u"—no doubt, intentionally put there by Texans so the rest of us wouldn&apost know it&aposs pronounced just like the color—"green." Lone Star locals will also give each other a conspiratorial wink if they hear you say Mexia without the required Spanish flair: ma-HAY-ah. Sometimes, though, we&aposre all about flair removal. Alabama takes the exotic ring slap out of Arab and Cairo, pronouncing them AY-rab and KAY-row. And folks in Maryland don&apost see any need to get all Parisian with Havre de Grace—it sounds like "haverty-grace."

Speaking of the French, we have them to thank for many a tongue-twisting town𠅊nd many a befuddled tourist in states like Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Behold their handiwork:


WATCH: Southern Places You're Probably Mispronouncing

If you want to get a "you're not from around here" eye roll, take a shot at pronouncing these GPS coordinates without asking a local.

There&aposs an old, old joke about Kissimmee, Florida, which goes something like this:

A frustrated tourist walks up to the counter of a local eatery in Kissimmee. "Now see here!" he demands. "I keep asking people how to pronounce this dang place, and everybody tells me something different. So once and for all, say it for me—say it clearly and slowly so I can understand!" And the guy behind the counter says, "Okay—Piz-zaaaaa Huuuuuut."
[BTW, it&aposs ka-SIM-me. Say it the other way, and you&aposll sound like you&aposre begging for affection from total strangers: KISS-a-me!]

Southerners love wreaking havoc with town names. It&aposs who we are. It&aposs what we do. Imagine how many tourists have taken selfies next to road signs in Crapo, Maryland. (That&aposs CRAY-poe, people, not—well, the other way.) In Arkansas, a perfectly lovely Spanish name like Diaz becomes "DYE-as," while Kentuckians pronounce Cadiz like "Katy&aposs." And locals in one Georgia burg won&apost know what you&aposre talking about when you tell them how impressed you are with ALL-buh-nee because they live in ALL-binny.

We also have commitment issues, refusing to reach any kind of consensus on town names. That&aposs why we have Lafayette pronounced la-FAY-et in Alabama and Arkansas, but LAF-ee-ET in Louisiana. It&aposs why Nacogdoches, Texas, is pronounced nack-a-DOH-chis, while the dangerously similar Natchitoches, Louisiana, sounds totally different: NACK-a-tish.

Occasionally, you have to suspect foul play among the namers of our towns. Gruene, Texas, for example, has a mysterious stray "u"—no doubt, intentionally put there by Texans so the rest of us wouldn&apost know it&aposs pronounced just like the color—"green." Lone Star locals will also give each other a conspiratorial wink if they hear you say Mexia without the required Spanish flair: ma-HAY-ah. Sometimes, though, we&aposre all about flair removal. Alabama takes the exotic ring slap out of Arab and Cairo, pronouncing them AY-rab and KAY-row. And folks in Maryland don&apost see any need to get all Parisian with Havre de Grace—it sounds like "haverty-grace."

Speaking of the French, we have them to thank for many a tongue-twisting town𠅊nd many a befuddled tourist in states like Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Behold their handiwork:


WATCH: Southern Places You're Probably Mispronouncing

If you want to get a "you're not from around here" eye roll, take a shot at pronouncing these GPS coordinates without asking a local.

There&aposs an old, old joke about Kissimmee, Florida, which goes something like this:

A frustrated tourist walks up to the counter of a local eatery in Kissimmee. "Now see here!" he demands. "I keep asking people how to pronounce this dang place, and everybody tells me something different. So once and for all, say it for me—say it clearly and slowly so I can understand!" And the guy behind the counter says, "Okay—Piz-zaaaaa Huuuuuut."
[BTW, it&aposs ka-SIM-me. Say it the other way, and you&aposll sound like you&aposre begging for affection from total strangers: KISS-a-me!]

Southerners love wreaking havoc with town names. It&aposs who we are. It&aposs what we do. Imagine how many tourists have taken selfies next to road signs in Crapo, Maryland. (That&aposs CRAY-poe, people, not—well, the other way.) In Arkansas, a perfectly lovely Spanish name like Diaz becomes "DYE-as," while Kentuckians pronounce Cadiz like "Katy&aposs." And locals in one Georgia burg won&apost know what you&aposre talking about when you tell them how impressed you are with ALL-buh-nee because they live in ALL-binny.

We also have commitment issues, refusing to reach any kind of consensus on town names. That&aposs why we have Lafayette pronounced la-FAY-et in Alabama and Arkansas, but LAF-ee-ET in Louisiana. It&aposs why Nacogdoches, Texas, is pronounced nack-a-DOH-chis, while the dangerously similar Natchitoches, Louisiana, sounds totally different: NACK-a-tish.

Occasionally, you have to suspect foul play among the namers of our towns. Gruene, Texas, for example, has a mysterious stray "u"—no doubt, intentionally put there by Texans so the rest of us wouldn&apost know it&aposs pronounced just like the color—"green." Lone Star locals will also give each other a conspiratorial wink if they hear you say Mexia without the required Spanish flair: ma-HAY-ah. Sometimes, though, we&aposre all about flair removal. Alabama takes the exotic ring slap out of Arab and Cairo, pronouncing them AY-rab and KAY-row. And folks in Maryland don&apost see any need to get all Parisian with Havre de Grace—it sounds like "haverty-grace."

Speaking of the French, we have them to thank for many a tongue-twisting town𠅊nd many a befuddled tourist in states like Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Behold their handiwork:


WATCH: Southern Places You're Probably Mispronouncing

If you want to get a "you're not from around here" eye roll, take a shot at pronouncing these GPS coordinates without asking a local.

There&aposs an old, old joke about Kissimmee, Florida, which goes something like this:

A frustrated tourist walks up to the counter of a local eatery in Kissimmee. "Now see here!" he demands. "I keep asking people how to pronounce this dang place, and everybody tells me something different. So once and for all, say it for me—say it clearly and slowly so I can understand!" And the guy behind the counter says, "Okay—Piz-zaaaaa Huuuuuut."
[BTW, it&aposs ka-SIM-me. Say it the other way, and you&aposll sound like you&aposre begging for affection from total strangers: KISS-a-me!]

Southerners love wreaking havoc with town names. It&aposs who we are. It&aposs what we do. Imagine how many tourists have taken selfies next to road signs in Crapo, Maryland. (That&aposs CRAY-poe, people, not—well, the other way.) In Arkansas, a perfectly lovely Spanish name like Diaz becomes "DYE-as," while Kentuckians pronounce Cadiz like "Katy&aposs." And locals in one Georgia burg won&apost know what you&aposre talking about when you tell them how impressed you are with ALL-buh-nee because they live in ALL-binny.

We also have commitment issues, refusing to reach any kind of consensus on town names. That&aposs why we have Lafayette pronounced la-FAY-et in Alabama and Arkansas, but LAF-ee-ET in Louisiana. It&aposs why Nacogdoches, Texas, is pronounced nack-a-DOH-chis, while the dangerously similar Natchitoches, Louisiana, sounds totally different: NACK-a-tish.

Occasionally, you have to suspect foul play among the namers of our towns. Gruene, Texas, for example, has a mysterious stray "u"—no doubt, intentionally put there by Texans so the rest of us wouldn&apost know it&aposs pronounced just like the color—"green." Lone Star locals will also give each other a conspiratorial wink if they hear you say Mexia without the required Spanish flair: ma-HAY-ah. Sometimes, though, we&aposre all about flair removal. Alabama takes the exotic ring slap out of Arab and Cairo, pronouncing them AY-rab and KAY-row. And folks in Maryland don&apost see any need to get all Parisian with Havre de Grace—it sounds like "haverty-grace."

Speaking of the French, we have them to thank for many a tongue-twisting town𠅊nd many a befuddled tourist in states like Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Behold their handiwork:


WATCH: Southern Places You're Probably Mispronouncing

If you want to get a "you're not from around here" eye roll, take a shot at pronouncing these GPS coordinates without asking a local.

There&aposs an old, old joke about Kissimmee, Florida, which goes something like this:

A frustrated tourist walks up to the counter of a local eatery in Kissimmee. "Now see here!" he demands. "I keep asking people how to pronounce this dang place, and everybody tells me something different. So once and for all, say it for me—say it clearly and slowly so I can understand!" And the guy behind the counter says, "Okay—Piz-zaaaaa Huuuuuut."
[BTW, it&aposs ka-SIM-me. Say it the other way, and you&aposll sound like you&aposre begging for affection from total strangers: KISS-a-me!]

Southerners love wreaking havoc with town names. It&aposs who we are. It&aposs what we do. Imagine how many tourists have taken selfies next to road signs in Crapo, Maryland. (That&aposs CRAY-poe, people, not—well, the other way.) In Arkansas, a perfectly lovely Spanish name like Diaz becomes "DYE-as," while Kentuckians pronounce Cadiz like "Katy&aposs." And locals in one Georgia burg won&apost know what you&aposre talking about when you tell them how impressed you are with ALL-buh-nee because they live in ALL-binny.

We also have commitment issues, refusing to reach any kind of consensus on town names. That&aposs why we have Lafayette pronounced la-FAY-et in Alabama and Arkansas, but LAF-ee-ET in Louisiana. It&aposs why Nacogdoches, Texas, is pronounced nack-a-DOH-chis, while the dangerously similar Natchitoches, Louisiana, sounds totally different: NACK-a-tish.

Occasionally, you have to suspect foul play among the namers of our towns. Gruene, Texas, for example, has a mysterious stray "u"—no doubt, intentionally put there by Texans so the rest of us wouldn&apost know it&aposs pronounced just like the color—"green." Lone Star locals will also give each other a conspiratorial wink if they hear you say Mexia without the required Spanish flair: ma-HAY-ah. Sometimes, though, we&aposre all about flair removal. Alabama takes the exotic ring slap out of Arab and Cairo, pronouncing them AY-rab and KAY-row. And folks in Maryland don&apost see any need to get all Parisian with Havre de Grace—it sounds like "haverty-grace."

Speaking of the French, we have them to thank for many a tongue-twisting town𠅊nd many a befuddled tourist in states like Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Behold their handiwork:


WATCH: Southern Places You're Probably Mispronouncing

If you want to get a "you're not from around here" eye roll, take a shot at pronouncing these GPS coordinates without asking a local.

There&aposs an old, old joke about Kissimmee, Florida, which goes something like this:

A frustrated tourist walks up to the counter of a local eatery in Kissimmee. "Now see here!" he demands. "I keep asking people how to pronounce this dang place, and everybody tells me something different. So once and for all, say it for me—say it clearly and slowly so I can understand!" And the guy behind the counter says, "Okay—Piz-zaaaaa Huuuuuut."
[BTW, it&aposs ka-SIM-me. Say it the other way, and you&aposll sound like you&aposre begging for affection from total strangers: KISS-a-me!]

Southerners love wreaking havoc with town names. It&aposs who we are. It&aposs what we do. Imagine how many tourists have taken selfies next to road signs in Crapo, Maryland. (That&aposs CRAY-poe, people, not—well, the other way.) In Arkansas, a perfectly lovely Spanish name like Diaz becomes "DYE-as," while Kentuckians pronounce Cadiz like "Katy&aposs." And locals in one Georgia burg won&apost know what you&aposre talking about when you tell them how impressed you are with ALL-buh-nee because they live in ALL-binny.

We also have commitment issues, refusing to reach any kind of consensus on town names. That&aposs why we have Lafayette pronounced la-FAY-et in Alabama and Arkansas, but LAF-ee-ET in Louisiana. It&aposs why Nacogdoches, Texas, is pronounced nack-a-DOH-chis, while the dangerously similar Natchitoches, Louisiana, sounds totally different: NACK-a-tish.

Occasionally, you have to suspect foul play among the namers of our towns. Gruene, Texas, for example, has a mysterious stray "u"—no doubt, intentionally put there by Texans so the rest of us wouldn&apost know it&aposs pronounced just like the color—"green." Lone Star locals will also give each other a conspiratorial wink if they hear you say Mexia without the required Spanish flair: ma-HAY-ah. Sometimes, though, we&aposre all about flair removal. Alabama takes the exotic ring slap out of Arab and Cairo, pronouncing them AY-rab and KAY-row. And folks in Maryland don&apost see any need to get all Parisian with Havre de Grace—it sounds like "haverty-grace."

Speaking of the French, we have them to thank for many a tongue-twisting town𠅊nd many a befuddled tourist in states like Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Behold their handiwork:


WATCH: Southern Places You're Probably Mispronouncing

If you want to get a "you're not from around here" eye roll, take a shot at pronouncing these GPS coordinates without asking a local.

There&aposs an old, old joke about Kissimmee, Florida, which goes something like this:

A frustrated tourist walks up to the counter of a local eatery in Kissimmee. "Now see here!" he demands. "I keep asking people how to pronounce this dang place, and everybody tells me something different. So once and for all, say it for me—say it clearly and slowly so I can understand!" And the guy behind the counter says, "Okay—Piz-zaaaaa Huuuuuut."
[BTW, it&aposs ka-SIM-me. Say it the other way, and you&aposll sound like you&aposre begging for affection from total strangers: KISS-a-me!]

Southerners love wreaking havoc with town names. It&aposs who we are. It&aposs what we do. Imagine how many tourists have taken selfies next to road signs in Crapo, Maryland. (That&aposs CRAY-poe, people, not—well, the other way.) In Arkansas, a perfectly lovely Spanish name like Diaz becomes "DYE-as," while Kentuckians pronounce Cadiz like "Katy&aposs." And locals in one Georgia burg won&apost know what you&aposre talking about when you tell them how impressed you are with ALL-buh-nee because they live in ALL-binny.

We also have commitment issues, refusing to reach any kind of consensus on town names. That&aposs why we have Lafayette pronounced la-FAY-et in Alabama and Arkansas, but LAF-ee-ET in Louisiana. It&aposs why Nacogdoches, Texas, is pronounced nack-a-DOH-chis, while the dangerously similar Natchitoches, Louisiana, sounds totally different: NACK-a-tish.

Occasionally, you have to suspect foul play among the namers of our towns. Gruene, Texas, for example, has a mysterious stray "u"—no doubt, intentionally put there by Texans so the rest of us wouldn&apost know it&aposs pronounced just like the color—"green." Lone Star locals will also give each other a conspiratorial wink if they hear you say Mexia without the required Spanish flair: ma-HAY-ah. Sometimes, though, we&aposre all about flair removal. Alabama takes the exotic ring slap out of Arab and Cairo, pronouncing them AY-rab and KAY-row. And folks in Maryland don&apost see any need to get all Parisian with Havre de Grace—it sounds like "haverty-grace."

Speaking of the French, we have them to thank for many a tongue-twisting town𠅊nd many a befuddled tourist in states like Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Behold their handiwork:


WATCH: Southern Places You're Probably Mispronouncing

If you want to get a "you're not from around here" eye roll, take a shot at pronouncing these GPS coordinates without asking a local.

There&aposs an old, old joke about Kissimmee, Florida, which goes something like this:

A frustrated tourist walks up to the counter of a local eatery in Kissimmee. "Now see here!" he demands. "I keep asking people how to pronounce this dang place, and everybody tells me something different. So once and for all, say it for me—say it clearly and slowly so I can understand!" And the guy behind the counter says, "Okay—Piz-zaaaaa Huuuuuut."
[BTW, it&aposs ka-SIM-me. Say it the other way, and you&aposll sound like you&aposre begging for affection from total strangers: KISS-a-me!]

Southerners love wreaking havoc with town names. It&aposs who we are. It&aposs what we do. Imagine how many tourists have taken selfies next to road signs in Crapo, Maryland. (That&aposs CRAY-poe, people, not—well, the other way.) In Arkansas, a perfectly lovely Spanish name like Diaz becomes "DYE-as," while Kentuckians pronounce Cadiz like "Katy&aposs." And locals in one Georgia burg won&apost know what you&aposre talking about when you tell them how impressed you are with ALL-buh-nee because they live in ALL-binny.

We also have commitment issues, refusing to reach any kind of consensus on town names. That&aposs why we have Lafayette pronounced la-FAY-et in Alabama and Arkansas, but LAF-ee-ET in Louisiana. It&aposs why Nacogdoches, Texas, is pronounced nack-a-DOH-chis, while the dangerously similar Natchitoches, Louisiana, sounds totally different: NACK-a-tish.

Occasionally, you have to suspect foul play among the namers of our towns. Gruene, Texas, for example, has a mysterious stray "u"—no doubt, intentionally put there by Texans so the rest of us wouldn&apost know it&aposs pronounced just like the color—"green." Lone Star locals will also give each other a conspiratorial wink if they hear you say Mexia without the required Spanish flair: ma-HAY-ah. Sometimes, though, we&aposre all about flair removal. Alabama takes the exotic ring slap out of Arab and Cairo, pronouncing them AY-rab and KAY-row. And folks in Maryland don&apost see any need to get all Parisian with Havre de Grace—it sounds like "haverty-grace."

Speaking of the French, we have them to thank for many a tongue-twisting town𠅊nd many a befuddled tourist in states like Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Behold their handiwork:


WATCH: Southern Places You're Probably Mispronouncing

If you want to get a "you're not from around here" eye roll, take a shot at pronouncing these GPS coordinates without asking a local.

There&aposs an old, old joke about Kissimmee, Florida, which goes something like this:

A frustrated tourist walks up to the counter of a local eatery in Kissimmee. "Now see here!" he demands. "I keep asking people how to pronounce this dang place, and everybody tells me something different. So once and for all, say it for me—say it clearly and slowly so I can understand!" And the guy behind the counter says, "Okay—Piz-zaaaaa Huuuuuut."
[BTW, it&aposs ka-SIM-me. Say it the other way, and you&aposll sound like you&aposre begging for affection from total strangers: KISS-a-me!]

Southerners love wreaking havoc with town names. It&aposs who we are. It&aposs what we do. Imagine how many tourists have taken selfies next to road signs in Crapo, Maryland. (That&aposs CRAY-poe, people, not—well, the other way.) In Arkansas, a perfectly lovely Spanish name like Diaz becomes "DYE-as," while Kentuckians pronounce Cadiz like "Katy&aposs." And locals in one Georgia burg won&apost know what you&aposre talking about when you tell them how impressed you are with ALL-buh-nee because they live in ALL-binny.

We also have commitment issues, refusing to reach any kind of consensus on town names. That&aposs why we have Lafayette pronounced la-FAY-et in Alabama and Arkansas, but LAF-ee-ET in Louisiana. It&aposs why Nacogdoches, Texas, is pronounced nack-a-DOH-chis, while the dangerously similar Natchitoches, Louisiana, sounds totally different: NACK-a-tish.

Occasionally, you have to suspect foul play among the namers of our towns. Gruene, Texas, for example, has a mysterious stray "u"—no doubt, intentionally put there by Texans so the rest of us wouldn&apost know it&aposs pronounced just like the color—"green." Lone Star locals will also give each other a conspiratorial wink if they hear you say Mexia without the required Spanish flair: ma-HAY-ah. Sometimes, though, we&aposre all about flair removal. Alabama takes the exotic ring slap out of Arab and Cairo, pronouncing them AY-rab and KAY-row. And folks in Maryland don&apost see any need to get all Parisian with Havre de Grace—it sounds like "haverty-grace."

Speaking of the French, we have them to thank for many a tongue-twisting town𠅊nd many a befuddled tourist in states like Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Behold their handiwork:


WATCH: Southern Places You're Probably Mispronouncing

If you want to get a "you're not from around here" eye roll, take a shot at pronouncing these GPS coordinates without asking a local.

There&aposs an old, old joke about Kissimmee, Florida, which goes something like this:

A frustrated tourist walks up to the counter of a local eatery in Kissimmee. "Now see here!" he demands. "I keep asking people how to pronounce this dang place, and everybody tells me something different. So once and for all, say it for me—say it clearly and slowly so I can understand!" And the guy behind the counter says, "Okay—Piz-zaaaaa Huuuuuut."
[BTW, it&aposs ka-SIM-me. Say it the other way, and you&aposll sound like you&aposre begging for affection from total strangers: KISS-a-me!]

Southerners love wreaking havoc with town names. It&aposs who we are. It&aposs what we do. Imagine how many tourists have taken selfies next to road signs in Crapo, Maryland. (That&aposs CRAY-poe, people, not—well, the other way.) In Arkansas, a perfectly lovely Spanish name like Diaz becomes "DYE-as," while Kentuckians pronounce Cadiz like "Katy&aposs." And locals in one Georgia burg won&apost know what you&aposre talking about when you tell them how impressed you are with ALL-buh-nee because they live in ALL-binny.

We also have commitment issues, refusing to reach any kind of consensus on town names. That&aposs why we have Lafayette pronounced la-FAY-et in Alabama and Arkansas, but LAF-ee-ET in Louisiana. It&aposs why Nacogdoches, Texas, is pronounced nack-a-DOH-chis, while the dangerously similar Natchitoches, Louisiana, sounds totally different: NACK-a-tish.

Occasionally, you have to suspect foul play among the namers of our towns. Gruene, Texas, for example, has a mysterious stray "u"—no doubt, intentionally put there by Texans so the rest of us wouldn&apost know it&aposs pronounced just like the color—"green." Lone Star locals will also give each other a conspiratorial wink if they hear you say Mexia without the required Spanish flair: ma-HAY-ah. Sometimes, though, we&aposre all about flair removal. Alabama takes the exotic ring slap out of Arab and Cairo, pronouncing them AY-rab and KAY-row. And folks in Maryland don&apost see any need to get all Parisian with Havre de Grace—it sounds like "haverty-grace."

Speaking of the French, we have them to thank for many a tongue-twisting town𠅊nd many a befuddled tourist in states like Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Behold their handiwork:


Watch the video: Phonics Song 2 (December 2021).