Kissimmee & Other Mispronounced City Names

By Brad Haynes

If you’re from around here, correctly pronouncing Kissimmee and Altamonte Springs shouldn’t be too difficult. But for tourists and newcomers to the area, listening to them pronounce the local burgs can oftentimes be somewhat entertaining. Ditto when they try to pronounce Semoran, the road that leads you to the airport.

Thrillist broke down some of the most mispronounced city names out there by giving the way people tend to pronounce them, vs. the way that they SHOULD be pronounced. Take a look below.

1. Boise, Idaho. (BOY-see) Most people say it like there’s a “Z” in there, but it’s supposed to be pronounced with an “S” sound.

2. Lafayette, Louisiana. (LAH-fee-et) Most people say La-FAY-et, like it’s spelled. But it’s La-FEE-et.

3. Helena, Montana. (HELL-en-uh) A lot of people say Hell-AY-nuh. But the emphasis should be on the first syllable, not the second.

4. Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. (WILKS-Bairy) The second half is spelled B-A-R-R-E, so a lot of people say Wilks-BAR. But it’s Wilks-BAIRY.

5. Kissimmee, Florida. (Kah-SIM-ee) Thank you Thrillist for correcting this for the rest of the country!

6. Norfolk, Virginia. (NOR-fik) It doesn’t actually rhyme with the world “folk.” It’s NOR-fik . . . or NAW-fik if you want to sound like you’re from Virginia.

7. Spokane, Washington. (Spo-CAN) It looks like it’s Spo-CANE, but it’s Spo-CAN.

8. Louisville, Kentucky. (LOO-ih-vull) A lot of people say “LOUEY-ville.” But there’s no hard “E”. So it almost sounds like it’s just two syllables . . . LOO-ih-vull.

Here are twelve more city names on Thrillist that you might be saying incorrectly.

More from Brad Haynes
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