Michigan May 04, 2018
If You Can Pronounce These 10 Words, You’ve Lived In Michigan For Far Too Long
Let’s be honest: some of Michigan’s cities, streets, and attractions have been saddled with rather confusing names. Of course, many of these names are representative of our unique French and Native American influences, but that doesn’t stop them from tripping up visitors from time to time. If you’re a longtime Michigander, though, these 10 names will easily roll off the tongue.
We’ll start off with a relatively simple selection: Ypsilanti. Most Michiganders can pronounce the name of this lovely town near Ann Arbor, but it’s possible to be tripped up by that "Y" at the beginning of the word. Never fear, though: simply pretend that the "Y" is an "I" and you’ll sound like a local in no time.
This name graces one of Michigan’s loveliest rivers, and generations of visitors have explored the area’s beauty without fully understanding how to pronounce its name. True Michiganders will know that the correct pronunciation is "Ah-key-ock," but it might take a bit of practice!
If you’ve spent time in and around Detroit, you know how to say "Gratiot." The same cannot be said for many out-of-town visitors, who frequently trip over this French street name. From "Gra-tee-ot" to "Gray-tot," we’ve truly heard it all!
4. Bois Blanc
If you remember visiting Boblo Island during childhood, then you’re familiar with the English interpretation of this French name. In reality, there’s been plenty of disagreement about how to pronounce the name of this unique island, but most Michiganders know it as "Boys Blank."
What’s with the "mck" combination at the end of this word? Non-Michiganders might find the town’s name a bit challenging to pronounce, but those of us who have spent most of our lives in the Great Lakes State can properly say "Hamtramck" like it’s nothing.
The name of this gorgeous natural spring might appear daunting at first, but we promise that it can be easily learned via phonetic pronunciation. After all, the area’s name shouldn’t be your main concern - its stunning beauty is so much more interesting!
Lifelong Michiganders will certainly be familiar with this lovely locale, which sits in our state’s beautiful Upper Peninsula. While it might be easy to feel distracted by the area’s tough-to-pronounce name, you’ll pick it up in no time: "ON-ta-NOG-en."
If we had a dollar for every mispronunciation of Charlotte’s name, we would undoubtedly be rolling in dough. After all, the spelling of this town’s moniker seems straightforward enough, but we Michiganders just had to complicate things by choosing to pronounce it "Char-laht." Sigh.
Unless you’ve studied French, you might not fully understand why so many of our city’s names are tough to pronounce - and Charlevoix frequently trips up visitors. After all, what are we supposed to do with that "x" at the end? That said, true Michiganders know that the town is pronounced "Char-luh-voy."
Nothing confuses us more than a few extra vowels, but we Michiganders have learned to cope when it comes to Sebewaing. If you choose to ignore that "a" at the end of the word, you’ll be on your way to nailing the proper pronunciation: "See-buh-wing."
We know this list has only scratched the surface when it comes to tough-to-pronounce names. Are there any others that should have been included in our article? Share your suggestions below!