(off topic) Texas is the king of the "mispronounced" place names (was Re: BAGD2)

Perry L. Stepp plstepp at flash.net
Mon Nov 29 11:23:20 EST 1999

When it comes to "mispronounced" place names, Texas is king.  We have some
real doozies, most of which don't follow any particular rules of
pronunciation (i.e., you can't explain the pronunciation simply by pointing
to ethnic origin.)  Texas has: Mexia (muh-HAY-a), Bourne (BUR-nee), Refugio
(re-FUR-ee-o), Bexar (BAY-er) county, Montague (MON-tayg) county, etc.

Have you ever driven through Texas, especially through the small towns?  If
not, you likely won't understand this joke:

A yankee woman was traveling through Texas by car, and stopped at a burger
joint in Mexia for lunch.  She went to the girl at the counter, and asked,
"How do you pronounce the name of this place?"  The girl looked at the woman
like she (the woman) was incredibly stupid, then very slowly and carefully
intoned, "Day-ree-Queen."


>But "Peabody" is another matter!  Rod is right--the family AND town are
>called PEE-b'dee.  But did you know that "Quincy" (as in the city south of
>Boston, and as in John Quincy Adams) is pronounced QUIN-zee (not QUINT-see)
>and that many of the names of places here are not pronounced as we believed
>in the rest of the US?  They say that "Woburn" is the only other word
>in English in which the "o" is pronounced as in "woman."  But natives seem
>to say it even slightly differently than that--it sounds something like
>WOO-bn (though that doesn't quite represent it adequately.).

>>We were all amused (and somewhat confused) when our shuttle bus driver
>>announced, "Next stop, puberty!"  Oh--that's Peabody!

>>>*BTW, trivia note: I was in Boston this week and discovered that
>is not pronounced at all as one would think from seeing it written. The
>"locals" pronounce it "Pea'-ba-dee" (accent on the antepenault; and that's
>not just local "Bostonian" accent, but is apparently the way that the
>Peabody family pronounced it--we ran across a very large portrait in a
>local restaurant of one of the most well known of the Peabodys--a
>philanthropist of some note, I gather.)

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