Kentucky City and County Names Out-of-Staters Regularly Mispronounce
Those who don't live in Kentucky usually just take a flyer on how to pronounce some of the city and county names here in the Commonwealth. Not everything is as it seems in the Bluegrass State. We march--and speak(?)--to the beat of a different drummer.
TROUBLE WITH KENTUCKY TOWN AND COUNTY NAME PRONUNCIATION
Many city and county names across the country came from other languages. I mean, we ARE one of the youngest nations on the planet. But that doesn't mean these names are pronounced as they would in their native countries. Kentucky fits that description, even if there are only a couple on the list I came up with that truly DID come from another language.
Let's start right here in our own backyard.
You CANNOT pronounce Daviess County day-VEEZ County, unless you're in Indiana. That's how they pronounce it in the Hoosier State. Say it like that once you cross the Ohio River and people may not know what you're talking about. Differentiation with regard to the pronunciations of both of those counties really becomes important during severe weather events, as both are covered by the same TV market (Evansville).
At this very moment, I'm remembering multiple people who have pronounced this MULL-en-berg County. And then there's the MOO-len-berg contingent. Yes, I've heard that, and they weren't joking. If you don't put that "Y" sound in there right after the "M," we'll just have to continue the conversation at a later time.
Okay, I can't really blame anyone for messing this one up because I have, too. Yes, I know the correct way to pronounce Robards, the town in Kentucky. But I'm also very familiar with the late great actor Jason Robards [ROE-bards]. You can see how easy it is to make a mistake here.
Down around the lakes, we have Cadiz. I was tempted to put both syllables in all caps, because the second is almost as strong as the first. But after saying it repeatedly to myself, I let it stand.
When I was in 8th grade, a friend of mine and I did a "team teaching" report on the Palace of Versailles in France...where they pronounce it vur-SIGH. So, at times, I have deliberately used the French pronunciation just to get the looks.
The most common mispronunciation of this city name is the one that most drives me crazy. Have you ever heard anyone say LEECH-field? Well, I have. And I have the scar tissue on my tongue to prove that I have just walked away and let it go.
The 2005 film Elizabethtown was not one of my favorites, and I'll never understand how Orlando Bloom crossed from Kentucky into Indiana OVER DRY LAND. It can't be done. But I do give the film's director/screenwriter Cameron Crowe major props for this scene:
The pronunciation of Kentucky's largest city has become part of Commonwealth lore. Is there a true, correct way of pronouncing Louisville? Who knows? But here in the Bluegrass State, it's always been what you see above...no matter HOW many times Dick Vitale says LOUIE-vill. Ugh.
But, alas, there are more that apparently give non-Kentuckians trouble--town names I didn't think were an issue, and one I'd never heard of before that I couldn't correctly pronounce either.
OTHER KENTUCKY TOWN NAMES I DIDN'T KNOW WERE A PROBLEM
Watch these folks take a stab at some of the ones above and then some:
Well, I guess I'll have to update my mental pronunciation guide to include Crittenden, Inez, Fredonia, Hyden, and Monticello. I had no idea they were troublesome.
As for Broeck Pointe...just spell it Broke Point, okay?