Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Pronunciation Guide

When discussing Hurricane Katrina, please follow this guide to pronouncing place names on the Mississippi Gulf Coast even if the word doesn't look as if it would be pronouncedt this way:

Basic Level Pronunciation Guide
Waveland Pronounce as one word
Bay St. Louis You got this one right! Congrats~
Pass Christian (pass Christy Anne or pass Chris-t ann)
Long Beach Correct again! Congrats~
Gulfport (guff' port)
Biloxi (Buh Lux Eeeee)
Ocean Springs Correct Again! Congrats~
Gautier (Go Shay)
Pascagoula (Pass Cah Ghoul ahhh/short "a"; or alternately "Pass Pah Boul ahhh"

Expert Level Pronunciation Guide

Kiln (The Kill) note: home of Brett Farve
Saucier (Sew' Shure)
DeBuys (Duh Bees)

Thank you for your attention to this guide. If I hear one more news person say Bil LOX eee, I am going to take them off my Christmas Card List forever. I mean it.

St. Casserole ( Saint Cass ER roll)


cheesehead said...

This makes me laugh. Though I live near the far, far other end of the river, we too have many unpronounceable names, mostly of the French and Native American variety. The Weather Channel gets us wrong all. the. time. They put in just too darn many syllables.

cheesehead said...

Oh-- and you KNOW I know Kiln!

reverendmother said...

"Pass Pah Boul ahhh" makes my day.

Sophia said...

Good to know! I've heard a lot of "creative" pronunciations in the media! :-)

Okay, try these from my corner of the world -

Schuylkill River - skoo kill

Manayunk - man ee yunk

Conshohocken - con shuh hock in

Bala Cynwyd - bala (easy) kin wood (more challenging)

Janvier - (forget everything you know!) jan veer

Oh, and by the way, H2O around here is wooder, not water. :-)

Songbird said...

At my college, there is a dorm called Taliaferro, pronounced "Tolliver." I kid you not.

Mary Beth said...

Here in Texas we have Bexar ("bear") and Mexia ("muh-hay-uh"), and also Palestine ("pah-luh-steen," don't you say "pah-luh-styne!")

Lorna said...


I won't even start on names in rural England. Finnish is phonetic that's the ONLY thing that's manageable about that crazy language.

Swedish - which I'm just staring - bishop: "Lorna, Swedish is mandatory. That means it's not optional" :(

cheesehead said...

Okay, now I feel as if I've been challenged.

Oconomowoc (Uh-CUN-uh-mwoc)

Waukesha (WOK-uh-shaw)

Mukwonago (Mug-WANna-go)

Cudahy (CUD-a-hay)

Menomonee (Mu-NOM-uh-nee)

Kinnickinnic (Knik-knik) also pronounced (Kay-kay) ;-)


Racine (Ruh-SEEN) It is not RAY-seen, no matter what Oprah said last week. She really should know better.

Sophia said...

Wow Revmom, those are probably some of the best I've ever seen.

In the area where I attended undergrad we had Rappahannock and Tappahannock - not hard to figure out, just unusual.

jo(e) said...

I'm going to start practicing now because I want to be on your Christmas card list.

Sue said...

Wow, these are great. I'm trying to think of some interesting pronunciations around these parts, and I honestly can't think of any. What you see is pretty much what you get.

The East Coast of Canada has some fun Acadian names for smaller towns, and the West Coast has some interesting aboriginal roots...but around here, not so much.

Now I'll be watching all those CNN reporters to make sure they are pronouncing correctly!

reverendmother said...

I don't know if Songbird has been around here, but I heartell there's a lake in Maine that's something like

CHAU-ga-gog MAN-chau-ga-gog chau-ga-GON-ga-maug.

And I'd really like to know if it's real, or if my in-laws are putting me on.

the reverend mommy said...

One of my family names is Taliaferro, pronounced "Tolliver" -- Huh. I suppose that is confusing.

Monroe -- MON roe not mon ROE

Marietta -- May RETT ah

Songbird said...

reverend mommy, you have "Tolliver" in your family? Cool. I've never known one in real life.
rm, I think they're pulling your leg, but I'll look into it.
A friend from Atlanta told this story about her little niece:
Little Niece--"Ah'll cay-ree it!"
Friend--"Where's she from?"
And by the way, I would have said it was Saint Cass-UH-role.