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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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378 comments
Robin Miller
Robin Miller

wrong are you from missouri? No then don't comment

Amy R Natoli
Amy R Natoli

I'm a travel agent and I had someone ask for a hotel in "Dez Perez" ( Des Peres) before too. Ha ha

Amy R Natoli
Amy R Natoli

Oddly enough, there is a city in Colorado that is spelled the same as our Florissant but it's pronounced "Fluorescent". True Story! LOL

Sharon Walker
Sharon Walker

No one thought the Navajo language was backward in WW2. We are St. Louisians ...we know our own by the way they speak and how they carry themselves. There is nothing wrong with that.

Julie Hallett
Julie Hallett

I've been pronouncing them all wrong in that case however Versailles is Versailles where ever you are in the world ..sigh

Ethan Sellers
Ethan Sellers

Justin Earl Davis we were trying to figure this out yesterday lol

Christina Eldridge
Christina Eldridge

I just had this conversation while driving through Hayti last weekend.

Mary Duerfahrd
Mary Duerfahrd

I always wonder how people get an a or ah or uh sound to MISSOURI when an I is at the end of the word!

Charles Michael Stallings
Charles Michael Stallings

I once had an obviously out of state AT&T recruiter schedule me for an interview in "Dez PUH-rez"(Des Peres)MO, and hearing an android phone pronounce Ladue is pretty funny as well, lol

Gina Ackworth
Gina Ackworth

I've never understood how a word that ends in an "I" can even sound like an "a'!!!

Dustin Huddleston
Dustin Huddleston

Grew up in Auxvasse. It's aggravating to hear other people try and pronounce it haha.

Kathleen Arvin
Kathleen Arvin

Kevin Arvin I hate hate hate that Versailles is pronounced Versles and not Versigh

Kenny Price
Kenny Price

Potosi...it's puh-toe-see not pot-oh-sigh.....most peeps are like where's that? Lol

Jonathon Edwards
Jonathon Edwards

Anyone who uses these highly provincial pronunciations shows a lack of intellectual rigor and yes makes the rest of us who live in this state look bad. I'll pronounce the words the way the rest of the world pronounces them. Eventually the people who insist on the mispronunciation will be dead and so will the mispronunciation.

Ryan Haynes
Ryan Haynes

It's actually floor-ih-Sahn if you actually speak French/wanna be a dick about it

fools
fools

You fools do realize that Missouri was a French territory, right? Just because you choose to ignore the origins of the cities and mispronounce everything, doesn't make you any more correct.

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)

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

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