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. The name comes from and Algonquin Indian word possibly meaning "Place of Owls," or "Migrating Geese." We're still waiting to hear from the locals whether they have particularly large owl or geese populations.
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". Despite the difficult name, Chautauqua is a beautiful lakeside resort community and a popular vacation spot.
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". Which side are you on?
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". Oneonta is in a prime upstate New York location, benefiting from the natural beauty of being both near the Catskill Mountains and on the banks of the Susquehanna River.
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". Don't forget to explore the many beautiful hiking trails, picnicking spots, and bird watching locales within the state park as well.
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". The quiet town has a population of just over 2,000 people.
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". The small town is nestled in the beautiful foothills of the Catskills Mountains, making for a stunning backdrop to small town life.
Another fun place to watch people attempt to pronounce, Poughkeepsie is said like "poe-kip-see". Poughkeepsie is home to a number of important academic institutions including Vassar College and Marist College among others.
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". We have to admit, it does make it sound fancier.
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. Just when you think it's getting easier New York trips you up.
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. It may be tricky to say but it's a beautiful river that's been painted many times by artists.
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. A little practice and they won't be able to distinguish you from the residents.
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 name has Iroquois origins and means "where the land meets the water," an apt description for the region.
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". This region has a lot to offer apart from a challenging name, it's convenient location near Albany means lots of cool restaurants and cocktail bars.
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". Located in Western New York, one side of this region borders Pennsylvania.
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". This two-stage waterfall reaches 231 feet high and makes for an incredible photo opportunity.
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.