South Dakota: Pukwana
The town of Pukwana, South Dakota is home to 285 residents and the “Puk U” bar. It’s not hard to pronounce once you hear it pronounced for the first time (Puck-WAH-na), but considering that it got this name after having been originally called “Carlton,” we felt it deserved an “honorable mention.”
Ooltewah, Tennessee, is pronounced almost nothing like it sounds. We could go on about the silent T or the phantom D, but, instead, we’re just going straight to the big reveal. The correct pronunciation is Oo-da-wah.
Remember we were talking about Natchitoches, Louisiana, which is pronounced NAH-code-ish? And we told you not to confuse it with the similarly named town in Texas? Well, here’s where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. The similarly-named town in Texas, Nacogdoches, is pronounced NAH-coh-DOE-chess. Really, it’s not all that hard to pronounce, at least compared to the one in Louisiana, if you remember that the G is silent.
You might have seen a reference to the frequent mispronunciation of the name, Duchesne, on Showtime’s Ray Donovan. Even if you didn’t, you still might have problems pronouncing Duchesne, Utah. Well, let’s just put all doubt aside and learn, once and for all, how to pronounce it properly: Doo-SHAYNE. It’s French in origin, and means “oak tree.”
Considering that French roots abound in Vermont, it’s awfully strange that Montpelier, which is Vermont’s capital city, is pronounced as if it never so much as met a French person. Here’s how you’d say it in France: Mont-pel-YAY. Here’s how you say it in Vermont: Mont-PEEL-yer. Fun fact: there’s a Montpelier in Idaho, which is pronounced the same way it’s pronounced in Vermont (because it was named by Brigham Young, who was born in Vermont), and a Montpelier, Iowa, which is also pronounced the Vermont-way (because it was settled by people who came from Vermont).
Puyallup, Washington, which is pronounced Pew-AL-up, is the home of the best state fair in Washington State. In fact, the fair is sometimes known as the Puyallup State Fair.
West Virginia: Iaeger
Does anyone want to buy a vowel? Because Iaeger, West Virginia has plenty. Pronounced as it is in West Virginia, it’s got only two syllables: Yay-gur.
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, is described by some as an idyllic and charming city with a quaint downtown and an abundance of lakes on all sides of it. What it also has is a name that no one who doesn’t live there can pronounce. “I think people could be intimidated by looking at it, seeing it all spelled out with a bunch of O’s,” said Oconomowoc’s economic development manager, Bob Duffy, to the Wausau Daily Herald.For the record, it’s pronounced Oh-CON-oh-moh-wok.
It’s been said that Kemmerer (KEM-er-er), Wyoming, is hard to pronounce even if you’re a local. Not being local, we’re tempted to keep adding “er” at the end, just to be sure that we covered all of them.
Love our surveys about the 50 states? Check out these 50 astonishing facts about the 50 states, the best free tourist attraction in each of the 50 states, and the downright strangest law in every state.
Source: rd.com Image Credits: TATIANA AYAZO/RD.COM