You're not from around here, are you?

Today I was tooling around with the radio on, and up came an advert for GEICO, It started out with something like, “Here in Arizona, the state bird is the cactus wren, the state flower is the saguaro blossom, and the state reptile is the ridgenose rattlesnake” then went on with somethng silly thing about how the last should be the GEICO gecko because of all the money he saves careful drivers. Only thing was, the guy pronounced the middle item “sag-you-are-oh.”

Um, thank you for playing. It’s actually pronounced “sahuaro” (which is one of the alternate spellings). Proof positive that someone local should vet anything that’s trying to sound like “we’re one of you” by anyone out of the area.

So, what have you heard by someone pretending to be from where you are that proves he isn’t?

Don’t get me started about Mogollon.

Ha! He gave it away with the careful drivers/ geico thing. Careful drivers in Arizona? I believe the unofficial state motto is “Speed limits? We don’t need no stinkin’ speed limits!”

Call him up and see how he pronounces tortilla, guacamole, Chihuahua and Chi Chi Rodriguez. It might be Les Nessman back from retirement.

I worked (in California) with a woman from Indiana who pronounced it ‘totillia’.

Chih-huah-huah and Chai Chai Rod-reh-gweez. (Or Mister Rod-reh-gweez.)

And where is your band-aid this week, Les?

I knew someone who pronounced ‘taco’ as ‘tay-kuh’. It made the baby ‘Hay-soose’ cry.

Coogee (Sydney suburb)

"This weekend I’m driving over to ‘Mo-bile’ " (as in mobile phone), when it’s really pronounced ‘Mo-beel’, but in all fairness it* is * spelled Mobile, AL.


Coogee is pronounced COODgy, with a short ‘book’ oo sound, and a definite ‘d’ before the ‘e’.

There is a story that an Australian citizen was in the embassy in Rome, trying to get a replacement for a lost passport. The (probably local Italian) clerk was asking for ID (the claimant had lost it with the passport, and the clerk was giving him a hard time). He asked where in Australia he was from. As the claimant said “Mungindi”, a senior diplomat happened by the counter and said, “Yeah, if he can pronouce that, he’s genuine. Give 'im the passport”.

FTR, it’s MUNG (as in beans) + in + Di (as in late Princess), and not Munge- indie

NevAHda. As in Las Vegas, NevAHda. Ouch. Wrong. Tourist. Stop it.

It is Nevada…no AHHH in the middle. A…as in rad, bad, sad, had, mad, lad…Nevad-a.

Also, the S in Illinois is silent. No “noise” in Illinois.

VunderWife watches a long list of those annoying Judge X shows. I don’t remember if it was on Judy or Joe Brown, but some pretentious oaf of a princess came on one of them with her Chihuahua, and she insisted that it was a SHE-WA-wa.

That’s all I can even rememer of the case. I don’t remember what the dispute was, nor who won; just that for the 27 years since I had high school Spanish, I’ve pronounced the name of the bred and the Mexican state all wrong.

The capital of Pennsylvania Amish country is pronounced LANK-i-ster. You can always tell who the newbie radio personalities who just moved to the area are by their pronunciation of it. It’s invariably Lay-an-CAST-er.

I’m proud to note that I picked up a clue about two days after I moved here and haven’t missed a step since…

I’d fail. :frowning:

You’d think before Johnny Cash wrote a song listing of about a million Irish placenames he’d have an Irish person tell him how to pronounce them.

Apparently not.

We have a small town nearby called Auxvasse. Pronounced uh-VAZ, with an A as in “ball”. Out-of-towners insist on calling it Ox-Vossy.

This may have been BS, since I didn’t hear it first hand…it apparently happened a few years before I moved to Minnesota. Someone told me about a radio DJ who was obviously new to the Twin Cities, but decided to put some local references in his patter. Among these local references, he said something like “It’s a beautiful day for taking a walk around Lake Minnetonka.” Now, there are many lakes that people in the Twin Cities area take walks around, but Minnetonka is generally not one of them…well, not if your goal is to get all the way around on your lunch break, anyway. Lake Minnetonka is quite large and quite irregularly-shaped…like a series of ink blots. It has over 100 miles of shoreline!

At least he didn’t try to pronounce Wayzata (Why-zeta).

I used to mangle Mexican words in Colorado all the time. Not so badly that I couldn’t pronounce tortilla, but some of those long last names were just about impossible for me. Mr. Athena got a great laugh whenever I’d try to say one out loud.

I got him back when we moved back to the UP though, and he mangled everything up here. I think he called the town of Negaunee (neg-on-ee) “Nickeenooky” for about a year because he knew he couldn’t say it right. And just this past year, he was on the phone taking down a caller’s name. I see the note he wrote - “Call Joe MacKey” and just about bust a gut. I don’t know after 3 years of living up here how he couldn’t figure out how to spell “Maki” - a Finnish last name that’s got more telephone listings than “Smith” in this neck of the woods. Every third person’s last name is “Maki” yet somehow he decided this guy was Scottish…

But the worst around here are the people who pronounce “pasty” as “paste-y” (It’s past - y, short ‘a’, like “in the past…”) and the ones who insist that Mackinac Island’s final ‘c’ is pronounced (it’s “mack-in-naw”, not “mack-in-ack”)

Another one that cracks me up are the people who call the plain folk the AY-mish, instead of AH-mish…

There’s a town in northern NSW called Goonoo Goonoo. It would be reasonable to assume that both words are pronounced the same, given that they’re spelt the same and all. The correct pronunciation however is gunna gunoo. It always reminds me of the classic Eddie Murphy “goony goo goo” bit.

I used to live in Lancaster, CA. You could tell the people from back east, because they pronounced it LANK-ister instread of LAN-kaster. (I’ve never heard anyone put another syllable in ‘lan’.)

Years ago I was watching a PBS pledge drive, and they were poking fun at their English visitor for pronouncing Sepulveda as ‘sepple-VEE-da’ and Pasadena as ‘puh-SAD-in-uh’. I used to hear people call Cahuenga ‘cah-HOON-ga’ from time to time.

A former co-worker, a Texican whose first language was Spanish, was riding his bicycle to work one day when he was stopped by another Spanish-speaker. The guy in the car wanted to know how to get to ‘stah-ta co-yeh-heh’. This confused my co-worker; but he eventually figured out tha guy was looking for State College Blvd.

Sometimes I hear people try to pronounce Port Hueneme (‘why-NEE-mee’)

What song are you referring to?

In Montana, a “creek” is a “crick” and “coyote” only has two syllables. Making “coyote” a three syllable word will brand you as a non-Montanan forever.

And there are place names like “Meagher” which is pronounced “mar” not “meagre” and “Absarokee” which is pronounced “Ab-sork-ee” for the town and “Ab-sork-ahs” for the mountains. And “Lima” which is “lie-mah” not “lee-mah” and “Havre” which is “have-er” not “harv.”

A Montana company that started to expand in Colorado ended up having to change it’s name because people there didn’t know that “Cutthroat Communications” was refering to a fish, not a business practice.

And I once heard a newscaster say that it was going to be cold tonight so the farmers should bring their lambs and “eee-wees” inside the barn.