Idaho October 09, 2018
If You Can Pronounce These 9 Words, You’ve Lived In Idaho For Far Too Long
Idaho is home to plenty of hard-to-pronounce places that regularly trip non-Idahoans up. However, if you’ve lived in the Gem State for a long time, chances are pronouncing these words is like second nature to you. There are a lot of ways to tell longtime Idahoans from newcomers or tourists, and pronunciations of these unique places is one of them! Here are nine words that only Idahoans can pronounce. Do you know all of them?
1. Coeur d'Alene (kore-duh-LANE)
Let's start off with some obvious ones. Although this city may be one of the most visited in the state, its pronunciation is definitely known to trip people up. The name originates from the Native American tribe who called themselves the Schitsu'umsh. The name Coeur d'Alene means "heart of an awl" and was given to them by French-Canadian fur traders.
2. Lake Pend Oreille (pond oh-RAY)
Known among Idahoans as the state's largest lake, this is another French name that people tend to get wrong. In French, the word means "hangs from ears" and was used to describe the natives who lived in the region and wore round shell earrings.
3. St. Maries
At first glance, this name may not look that confusing. In fact, it looks pretty straight forward! However, you'll be making a mistake if you pronounce it like "Saint Marie's" around the locals. In fact, this quaint town is pronounced like "Saint Mary's".
Mary—not Marie. There's a difference.
4. Owyhee (oh-WYE-hee)
Owyhee is a county in southwest Idaho and it's likely you'll see the word everywhere. There's the Owyhee River, Owyhee Canyonlands, Owyhee Mountains, and much more. If you're having trouble remembering how to pronounce this word, just think of the word "Hawaii". In fact, they are two different spellings for the same word.
5. Boise (BOY-see)
You knew this one was going to make the list, didn't you? After all, the pronunciation of our state's capital city is a very hot topic. We'll keep this simple. Idahoans say "Boy-see". Non-Idahoans say "Boy-zee".
6. Moscow (MOSS-koe)
It may look the same as the name of Russia's capital city but don't be fooled. They are pronounced differently. The origin of the city's name is murky. Some say it was purposely named after the Russian city by Russian immigrants. Others say it comes from the Native American tribe named the "Masco". We may not know precisely where it comes from, but we know how to say it here in Idaho.
7. Kooskia (KOO-skee)
This is another seemingly simple word. However, don't let that "a" at the end of the word mess you up. Actually, just try and pretend it's not even there. The name of this northern Idaho town is believed to come from the Nez Perce word "koos-koos-kia".
8. Weippe (WEE-ipe)
This little city of approximately 400 people is constantly mispronounced. Common mispronunciations include "Whippee" and "Weepy". However, true Idahoans know how it's really pronounced.
9. Kootenai (KOOT-nee)
This populous county in northern Idaho is also named after one of Idaho's Native American tribes. A common mistake is using three syllables (koot-EN-ee) instead of two or mispronouncing the last bit of the word (KOOT-nay), or both. Just remember to keep it short and sweet and you should be fine.
What words would you add to this list? Leave your comments below! If you enjoyed this list, chances are you’ll enjoy this list of
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