There’s a certain pride that comes with being able to say that you’re a New Yorker, and knowledge as well. After living in the Empire State, you’ll gain the power to pronounce some of the most difficult destinations that your eyes have ever scanned across. With major influences from Native Americans and their language, you’ll find that some places in our state can be quite the mouthful to pronounce. Check out our list and see how many of these names you can say for yourself!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
Out of all the hard to pronounce names of places that you'll find in New York, this small town in Greene County normally makes people laugh the most. Pronounced "cook-sock-ee" or "cook-sack-ee" depending on what neck of the woods you're from, you can use your imagination to figure out all the different ways that this town is pronounced.
Way out in Western New York there's a hard to pronounce town, county, and lake that often leaves people a bit tongue-tied. To break it down for you, you simply say this name like "sha-talk-wuh".
One of our most stunning lakes and waterfront towns, Skaneateles often ignites debates within the households of New York over its pronunciation. In the Empire State, you'll either people saying "scan-ee-atlas" or "skinny-atlas".
For residents, this small city's name may not seem like one that's too hard to pronounce - yet oftentimes when out-of-towners come to attend the local colleges here you'll find them saying this destination in all sorts of ways. Take a deep breath, all you have to do is say "own-knee-on-tuh".
A beautiful state park and waterfall in New York, Taughannock Falls often leaves people scratching their heads. While you're gazing at one of our state's tallest waterfalls, just say "tuh-gan-uck".
Out along the Mohawk River, the town of Canajoharie stumps travelers with its name. As hard as it may be, try saying "canna-jo-harry", you'll also hear people pronouncing it like "canna-jo-har-ee".
Speaking of towns that end with "harie", Schoharie is another destination that people have difficulty saying. Similar to Canajoharie, you'll pronounce Schoharie like "skuh-hair-ee".
Another fun place to watch people attempt to pronounce, Poughkeepsie is said like "poe-kip-see".
This is one name I won't knock anyone for mispronouncing. If it wasn't for the fact that I grew up in the surrounding area, I'd be saying this one wrong too! While you might here visitors saying this village's name like "valla-tye", you'd only be correct if you pronounced it "vuh-lay-shuh".
Don't fool yourself into thinking you know how to pronounce this not-so-easy town name. Pronounced a bit differently than the dish, the town in New York is said as "chye-lie" - with a big emphasis on the i's.
An over 130-mile long river up north, the Oswegatchie River isn't our easiest body of water to pronounce. Clear your mind and before you know it you'll be saying "os-weh-got-chee" like a pro.
A small town out in Franklin County, you'll pronounce this destination like "shat-oh-gay" if you want to sound like a longtime resident.
Friends and family around the Rochester area may be able to say this town's name with a breeze, but not everyone can say the same! Out along Lake Ontario, you'll pronounce Irondequoit like "ear-rahn-deh-koyt".
This one may seem easy to those who live in or around the Capital Region, but not all visitors of the area say this city's name with ease. Also a New York County, you'll pronounce Schenectady like "skuh-neck-tuh-dee".
Get ready to stretch your mouth out with this one, Cattaraugus is a village and county in New York that's pronounced like "cat-uh-rawg-us".
According to some, the name Kaaterskill is the origin of Catskill. Now a name of one of our state's most popular waterfalls to visit, Kaaterskill is pronounced "cat-er-skill".