Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I now pronounce you ...

Growing up in Georgia, I discovered that some words can be pronounced in different ways, depending on where you are.

For instance, "Jordan." You may say JOR-dan. Some people, in west Georgia and east Alabama pronounce it "JURD-n." Like that stadium where Auburn University plays football, Jordan-Hare. Or, Jimmy Carter's Chief of Staff, Hamilton Jordan. Those are pronounced "JURD-n."

Houston County, in central Georgia? It's not "HYOOS-ton," as you might think. It's "HOWS-ton." Really.

Buena Vista, in west Georgia? "BYOO-na VISS-ta." Seriously.

Walthourville, in southeast Georgia? "WALT-OWER-VILLE," like it's three words: Walt, hour, ville.

The lesson I learned, as I mentioned, is that words aren't always pronounced like you might think. Or like you've heard others pronounce.

In the public interest, I present a list of words that you may have been mispronouncing your whole life, along with the correct pronunciation.
  • Democrat (COMM-yoo-nist)
  • Republican (OWN-pro-BAY-shun)
  • Pelosi (ASS)
  • Reid (DUM-ass)
  • Obama (FAYL-yur)
  • Stimulus (BAD-i-DEE-uh)
  • Palin (AWW-sum, alternate pronunciation HOT)
  • NBC (DOOSH-bagz)
  • CBS (DOOSH-bagz)
  • CNN (DOOSH-bagz)
  • ABC (NYN-tee-per-SENT-DOOSH-bagz)
  • Fox News (TWIN-tee-per-SENT-DOOSH-bagz)
  • Liberal (KRAP-for-BRAYNZ)
  • Twitter (GAE)
  • Facebook (GAE)
  • Windows (per-PEH-chu-wul-BAY-tuh)
Perhaps you've run across other words that aren't pronounced as one would expect?


  1. HA! Good ones, Basil. I actually knew that there were some "Houstons" pronounced How-ston.

    And, here in NW Louisiana, "Jordan" is almost always pronounced "Jurd-n," unless it's a first name, then it's almost always pronounced "JOR-Dan." I didn't know the guy personally, but heard tell of a fellow ahead of me in school named "JOR-Dan, Jurd-n." Really.

    Buena Vista...I think there's an Arkansas town pronounced like you describe.

    About 65 miles to the south of me lies the city of Natchitoches, LA. It is the home of Northwestern State, and I believe the oldest settlement West of the Mississippi River (but don't quote me). Now, you're a seasoned southerner, so you probably know that it's pronounced "Nack-uh-tish"...but others may not.

    Lemme see...

    TSA: Grab-ass-ing Ho-Mos.

    Arkansas Razorbacks: Grab-ass-ing Ho-Mos.

    IRS: Grab-ass-ing Ho-Mos.

    Well, that's about all I got.

  2. On the Windows pronunciation, if you have not yet upgraded to Vista, much less 7, you can turn off updates and it is pronounced, "Winders."

    I grew up on Jurd-n Circle.

    And you forgot "Joe Biden" is pronounced, "MOE-ron."

  3. I personally like Cairo (kay-roe) Georgia. That always cracked me up.

    Growing up in Valdosta, I never realized what a desolate, ugly ass place it was till I moved way up Dawsonville Ga.

  4. Dawsonville is just a few miles from Ki-neeya (Spelled Cornelia)


  5. heh

    As a child of Joisey, I am familiar with Nork (newark), NJ. But when I lived in upstate NY, it was new ark.

    And I attended high school in Skaneateles. Try pronouncing that one! Skinny-atlas

    You seem to have overlooked Rosie O'Donnell: Heffer Douche


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