Special Report

Most Americans Will Struggle to Pronounce These 50 Town Names

Most people probably know how to pronounce Des Moines or Boise. That’s because these are well-known American cities. But people might have mispronounced them when they came across them for the first time. There are a lot more obscure places with strange names that people have a hard time with.

The United States Geological Survey recognizes 35,000 cities and towns in the 50 states. Some began as Native American settlements, while others were founded by immigrants from different parts of the world. Some were named for geographic features and others were named after tribes or individuals. A few were even given made-up names. These are the most common town names in America.

North America (excluding Mexico) has almost 300 indigenous languages, and waves of immigrants from non-English speaking countries added their own. Often, the names immigrants gave to people and places were anglicized. Meanwhile, English itself has been evolving — as all languages do — and pronunciations changing. As a result, there are many towns across the country with names that are difficult to pronounce — and that may even be pronounced differently by the locals. 24/7 Tempo set out to identify the most difficult-to-pronounce town name in each state.

Click here for some of the most difficult town names to pronounce. 

To identify the most difficult-to-pronounce town name in each state 24/7 Tempo reviewed the names of more than 29,000 towns as they are listed in the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). We used editorial discretion to decide which ones are among the most difficult to pronounce.

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