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Unexpected Place Name Pronunciations

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When it comes to the names of towns and cities, the locals don’t necessarily pronounce them the way you expect. Charlotte, Vermont, for example, is pronounced with emphasis on the second syllable, not the first — and therein lies a history lesson. The town was chartered in 1762, the year after England’s King George III married the German-speaking Princess Charlotte, and it’s named in her honor. This is part of a complete episode.

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  • I grew up near Rochester, NY. There is a Char-LOTTE near there as well, and also Chili, which is pronounced CHAI-LIE.

  • Here’s a few Texas towns that always surprise people: Llano (pronounced ‘Lan-o’ with a wide ‘a’, NOT like the Spanish llano with a tall ‘yah-no’), Refugio (pronounced re-fur-i-o), Mexia (pronounced “ma-hay-a’). Then there are also many places in Louisiana require you to have lived there for a while. If you’re not from New Orleans, try saying Tchoupitoulas Street!

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