How do you pronounce Monticello?

Thomas Jefferson’s home. I’ve usually pronounced it Monti-Sello, but recently I heard someone on TV say Monti-Chello (like the musical instrument). How do you pronounce it?

I’ve always heard both pronunciations, and I think “Monti-Chello” is technically correct . . . but I always say “Monti-Sello” anyway.

-chello. Though to be nitpicky, I say it more as monte-chello, not monti-chello (but I still answered with -chello instead of other). I’ve never heard it pronounced monti-sello.

UVa for grad school here (which engenders a completely different mental state from a certain sector of the undergrads and alumni, aka wahoos, who can be some serious Thos Jefferson fanboys/girls); it’s Monticello with a ‘ch’. Much eye-rolling will ensue from the locals and die-hards if you pronounce it with an ‘s’.

Gah, hadn’t thought about that culture in years.

Since it’s an Italian word, I pronounce it mon-tee-CHEL-oh.

I voted before I read the OP. When I see the word Monticello, I read it as monti-chello*. Doesn’t really matter where Thomas Jefferson comes from, I can’t say I’ve ever heard the word Monti-sello, or if I had, I didn’t put it together with the spelling Monticello.

*Like what zweisamkeit said, it’s more of a monte sound.

I’ve been corrupted a bit, since although I knew it should be pronounced “-chello”, my initial reaction was “-sello”. That’s because Monticello, New York, which isn’t too far from me, is pronounced that way, even though it’s named after the one in Virginia.

“sello” is how they pronounce the town name in Georgia. That is the only place I’ve ever heard that version. Of course they also pronounce “cairo” as “Kay-roh”

There’s a small community in South Cackalacky similarly pronounced.

I say Monti-Chello, and always look around furtively to see if anyone is going to correct me, because I’m certain that whichever way I’m pronouncing it, it’s sure to be wrong.


The Arkansan city is also pronounced that way. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if all but Jefferson’s birthplace were pronounced with English rules, rather than Italian.

UVA for undergrad, and this is entirely correct.

TJ’s crib.

I said -sello as a kid, until I learned -chello was correct.

I’ve always said “-chello” although I think the last time I did, my wife “corrected” me.

I guess it’s time for the obligatory, “Throatwarbler-mangrove”

If I’m talking about Jefferson’s home, it’s “-chello”. If I’m talking about the town in GA, it’s “-sello”. This caused me a bit of confusion as a kid growing up in Atlanta.

I answered without fully reading the OP… I read the word as -sello, and voted that way. Not being particularly familiar with Thomas Jefferson or where he lived, I might have answered -chello on the expectation that it would be said that way by most Americans.


-Electric Warrior, VA native