The Hard To Pronounce Town In Every Single State

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Hawaii: Kaumalapau

TATIANA AYAZO
This one might be more about spelling than about pronunciation, although that tends to mean that the way it sounds is nothing like how it’s spelled. And that is, in fact, the case. The right way to pronounce “Kuamalapau” is Kah-OO-mah-LAH-pah-OO, according to this guide to Hawaiian pronunciation. Here are some popular Hawaiian phrases you can practice those pronunciations on.

Idaho: Coeur d’Alene

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Coeur d’Alene (pronounced kore-duh-LANE ) is the county seat of Kootenai (KOO-tuhn-ee) County, Idaho, and the name of a Native American tribe that lived in the area and called themselves the Schitsu’umsh (it’s OK to say “Skitswish” for this one). Traveling to Idaho? Make sure to pick up the best gift that represents the state.

Illinois: Benld

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This town in Illinois is pronounced Ben-ELd, and it’s not that hard to remember if you consider that the town is named after its founder, “Benjamin L. Dorsey.” Dorsey was responsible for acquiring the land on which the town was built. When it came time to name the village, he took the combination of his first name and his middle and last initial. If you find it hard to remember the name “Ben L. Dorsey,” then these memory tricks to help you remember names may be just what you need.

Indiana: Loogootee

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When you see the name of this Indiana town in writing, you might think it’s easy to pronounce if only you could figure out which syllable takes the accent. But you would be wrong. In fact, “Loogootee” is pronounced Luh-GO-tee, which has been described as sounding like something you cough up when you have a cold.

Iowa: Ocheyedan

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With a population of under 500 at last count, it’s unlikely that many people know that this town’s name is pronounced Oh-CHEE-den. There is a common misconception that the highest point in Iowa is the Ocheyedan Mound, but it’s actually 15 feet short of the actual highest point in Iowa (Hawkeye Point, with an elevation of 1,670 feet above sea level).Traveling to Iowa? Make sure to check out the Iowa State Fair, arguably one of the best state fairs in U.S. history.

Kansas: Osawatomie

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Osawatomie, Kansas, had its 15 minutes of fame after President Obama visited in 2011, and a couple of public radio hosts butchered the name. They apologized for not knowing it’s pronounced Oh-so-WAH-tah-mee. “No apology necessary,” commented one listener. “It’s a tricky word.”

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Kentucky: Tyewhoppety

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The town of Tyewhoppety, Kentucky is thought to be named for either the slang term meaning an “un-kept looking person” or the Shawnee word for “place of no return.” In any case, it’s pronounced Tih-WAH-pih-tee.

Louisiana: Natchitoches

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In Louisiana, Natchitoches, the oldest settlement of the Louisiana Purchase, is pronounced NAH-code-ish. Don’t confuse it with the similarly named town in Texas (see below). Nacogdoches, which is pronounced NAH-coh-DOE-chess. Here are some medical terms that are commonly confused with one another.

Maine: Seboeis

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There are only 35 people living in Seboies, Maine, so it’s no wonder that not a lot of people know that it’s pronounced Seh-BOW-iss. Since Maine residents are famous for being people of few words, we’re going to stop here except to show you these stunning photos of Maine’s puffins.

Maryland: Glenelg

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It only LOOKS like a palindrome, and that’s what makes it so hard to pronounce. You see, the”g” at the end of “Glenelg” is silent. So, it’s “Glen-EL”.

What do you think?

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