How Do You Pronounce That Minnesota Town?

There are some town names in Minnesota that will just make you say “what the heck?”.  Do you know how to pronounce all of these town names?  


Locals in this central Minnesota town know that it’s not “Car-lohs” it’s “CAR-liss“.  Also in the area are Carlos State Park and Carlos Creek Winery – which oddly enough, are pronounced “Car-lohs” as often as they are “CAR-liss”, but the town is always “CAR-liss”.  And now you know.  


Thomas Jefferson had a pretty nice house that you can still visit, and it’s called Monticello. If you are there, they will pronounce it MON-tih-CHEL-oh, with a “cello” on the end like the instrument.  But the town in Minnesota is pronounced MONT-i-SELL-oh, with no instrument on the end.  Why? Because that’s the way it is.  

New Prague

This one is deceptive to tourists.  They see it, they think they know it.  Prague.  Like, Prague as in the capital of the Czech Republic,  so “Prog”.  “New Prog”.  Easy. 

Ha ha.  NO.  

It’s “New Pray-g” and we know you are not from these parts.  


It looks so obvious on the sign.  “Choke-ee-oh”, right?  I mean, how hard is that?  

Harder than you think.

It’s “Sha-KYE-oh“. It might take some practice, but you’ll be saying it like a local in no time. 


If you say “Luht-sen” we’re gonna know you’re new here.  It’s “LOOT-sen“.  Look, I didn’t make up the rules, it’s just the way things are. 


I’m not sure why this one is so hard, but I’ve heard it pronounced on TV as “Shack-oh-pee”.  Don’t be that person.  It’s “Shock-uh-pee“.  


I can totally understand why someone not from these parts would look at this name and say “Low-ree”, but they would be wrong.  Lowry is pronounced “Lahowree“.  Maybe just let a local say it first and then copy them… 


Lake Le Homme Dieu, in the Alexandria Lakes Area.  Spelled correctly, it would actually be Lake L’Homme Dieu.  But we don’t spell it that way (unless you’re Theatre L’Homme Dieu). You might be tempted to say it the way the French might say it – with two syllables – “lum dyuh”. But that’s not nearly as much fun as how we say it – we make it into four syllables: “Luh Hom-muh Doo”.  Lake Luh Hom-muh Doo is so bouncy and fun to say.  If the Swedish Chef had a favorite lake, it would totally be Lake Luh Hom-muh Doo. 


What other places in Minnesota have unexpected pronunciations? 






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