You're Saying It Wrong: 20 Missouri Cities No One Knows How to Pronounce

Categories: Lists, Missourah

8. Pomme de Terre

The Pomme de Terre is a river, not a city, but its pronunciation is still bonkers. It's "puhm duh TAHR," which sounds little like the French word for potato, "POHM de tehr."

lebanon.jpg
lebanonmissouri.org
9. Lebanon

This isn't the Middle East. Over here, it's "lebuh-nun."

10. Haseltine

The real old timers call it "hazel-teen."

11. Nixa

It's pronounced with a short "I" like it's spelled, but the locals call it "Nixie."

12. Auxvasse

"Of auze," not Ox-Vahsey. Tip: When pronouncing, pretend you're saying the last two words in the movie title The Wizard of Oz.

13. Cabool

It rhymes with pool.

14. Bois D'Arc

A late addition! We forgot about this one. It's "Bo Dark." No S.

15. Bona

It's "Bah-nuh," though the locals call this teeny town "Bah-nee."

16. New Madrid

"New MAH-drid." Thanks to the kind lady at New Madrid City Hall who corrected our "MAYdrid" pronunciation.

17. Laquey

It's pronounced Lake Way.

18. Clever

It's clever, like a fox, not cleaver, like for a butcher.

19. Milan

It's "MY-luhn," not the Italian fashion hub. A reader suggests pronouncing it like you're saying "mile and a half," but stop at the "d."

20. Canalou

Wrong: "CAN-a-lou." Right: "ca-now-lou."

What did we miss? Any other pronunciations got you confused? It doesn't have to be a city. Don't even get us started on Gravois...

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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350 comments
JessieDee
JessieDee

Don't forget about La Plata. Being Spanish for "the silver" (hence SilverRails), it should be pronounced "lah PLAH-tah", but in Missouri, we pronounce it "luh PLATE-uh".

jonnyfogel
jonnyfogel

Let's not forget St. Francois as "St. Francis"

Carrie Ann
Carrie Ann

Wasn't Olean the name of that crazy shit they put in potato chips like 10 years ago that made them fat free but also warned of anal bleeding?

Paul Nelson
Paul Nelson

The worst city pronunciation demon (in my opinion) is the Youngstown, Ohio suburb of Campbell. Not pronounced "Campbell" as in Bruce Campbell, no. It's pronounced "Camel." As in the animal with one or two humps.

Jesse Irwin
Jesse Irwin

Here's another name you guys can't pronounce: The Dock Ellis Band

Brie Miller
Brie Miller

Labadie. Pronounced Lab-uh-dee, I believe.

peranojamie
peranojamie

Bellefontaine (pronounced BELL-fon-tane).  There's no "fountain."  Thanks

Danny Porter
Danny Porter

I thought Auxvasse was pronounced "speed trap"

Chris Gee
Chris Gee

Wow! Just....wow! I shouldnt be surprised by this one bit, actually I'm not but Hay-tie!!!! Seriously?!?!?!??!?!?!? HAY-TIE?!?!? It's HAYTI!!!! Hay-tee!

Gary Mobley
Gary Mobley

Florissant...Floor ess ant. Not like the light bulb

actionsub
actionsub

You think that's bad, come on over across the river to Illinois!  (no S at the end, BTW)  You have...


1.  Whitey Herzog's hometown of New Athens (AY-thunz)

2.  Cairo  (KAY-ro)
3.  Eldorado  (El-do-RAY-do)

4.  Sauget  (So-ZHAY)

5.  Delhi  (DEL-hai)

6.  Vienna (Vai-EN-uh)

7.  Like Missouri, our Lebanon is pronounced LEB-nun

8.  Moline (Mo-LEEN)

9.  Dubois (Doo-BOYZ)

10.  Des Plaines (Dess Planes)

Terry Weatherford
Terry Weatherford

Illinois has a ton of cities this way. Such as Cairo, San Jose and many more. I keep meaning to put together a list.

Tamara Terese Carey
Tamara Terese Carey

Don't forget about Hayti... They pronounce it Hay Tie...I shit you not.

Donna Dixon
Donna Dixon

There is also Chamois pronounced Sham-moi not shamee

akmeeks
akmeeks

I will forever be angry about Lindell. Lynn-dull? Are you serious? No.

Jason Brock
Jason Brock

Well them locals can eat shit, if it's a stupid pronunciation then it's fn stupid.

FreeTheWeed
FreeTheWeed

Kansas ... ArKansas

If 'murrikans weren't such thieves, stealing much of their language from Germany, France, Spain and the natives they slaughtered to steal their lands perhaps they wouldn't sound like such retards when speaking those stolen words.

Kelly O'Connor
Kelly O'Connor

After reading what you "say" we say, I'm sad that we sound so hoosier in Missouri! lol I would never have thought to pronounce a few of these they way you "say" we do. I don't think I'll change the way I pronounce them to the versions you prescribe, and I'm from here. :) Interesting read though. :)

Rita Kiry Ryan
Rita Kiry Ryan

I'd like to see this guide. You guys need to do this. Seriously.

aerotica69
aerotica69

Creve Coeur is apparently pronounced Cree-vee Coe-ur.  And then there was the new-to-St Louis anchor during the flood of 93, who called Portage des Sioux......port-AHJ dez Sooks.

Danielle Aziz
Danielle Aziz

Lucus Hunt- everybody says Lucus and Hunt...wrong!

Sharon Walker
Sharon Walker

Let's write a book called "Navigating STL" ....give people a little tutorial , some tid bits of history...and let them know that this is a very old city that is really set in it's right and wrong ways. We are not looking to change anytime soon.

Sharon Walker
Sharon Walker

Also give them a map of the neighborhoods....people here know neighborhoods and High Schools as directional information.

Sharon Walker
Sharon Walker

Spoede - The one that bothers me the most is when people say ...SpOde road with a long O. Bothers me a lot and I don't know why. Why can't they understand that it is SpAdE road? Grrrrrrr

David Anthony Tolcou
David Anthony Tolcou

Also (sorry for bringing in another paper) it's the st.louis postdispatch not the saint Louis post.....dispatch

Sharon Walker
Sharon Walker

I love the way we pronounce everything wrong. It lets me know who is REALLY from STL and who is not. It is a safety issue really. My favorite is when an out-of-town radio announcer gets hired to do traffic reports....in my mind I picture cars running into each other and giant traffic jams because of their mispronunciations. I am from Jefferson County and we pronounce the word Joachim as Joe-ak-em, not Wah-keem as the Spanish pronunciation would dictate. I had a friend visit here from New York and was explaining the different pronunciation to him. He looked at me and said, "No...they don't really say it that way do they?...For real?...." I just chuckled and said...."Welcome to St. Louis!"

sanagnos
sanagnos

@actionsub Yeah I have definitely heard LEBnun more often than lebuh-nun, although I have heard them both.  By the way, that pronunciation  is actually more similar to the Arabic pronunciation than the standard American pronunciation is.  In Arabic it's sort of Lub-non

sanagnos
sanagnos

@actionsub Yeah I have definitely heard LEBnun more often than lebuh-nun, although I have heard them both.  By the way, that pronunciation  is actually more similar to the Arabic pronunciation than the standard American pronunciation is.  In Arabic I think it's sort of Lub-non

Yeah
Yeah

@FreeTheWeed 

LOL. Self-loathing American much? Tell us, does getting upset over something you have absolutely no control over whatsoever actually do you any good?

Or do you just like sounding smug?

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

you forgot to mention that you are a redneck hillbilly retard

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