From Amarila come Wad-a-loop to the Purda-nalleez River, we’ve taken part liberties as soon as it involves pronunciation.

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The Texas map draws inspiration from as numerous cultures as any type of state in America. There’s Czech: Praha, Moravia, Dubina. And also German: Breslau, brand-new Baden, new Ulm, and new Braunfels, to name just a few. Scattered across the see are small towns v names coming from the polishing (Panna Maria), Swiss (New Bern), Norwegian (Oslo), Danish (Danevang) and also Russian (Marfa, Odessa) pioneers who obtained there first. Plus, to visit many of the good European cities, girlfriend never have to leave the Lone Star state: We’ve obtained Paris, Rome, Athens, new London, Berlin, and Dublin (plus Edinburg if you’ve forgive the un-Scotsman-like spelling).

But beside from household names and others deriving indigenous English and also Native American resources (Comanche, Quanah, and also anything with Caddo attached), Spanish is the most common wellspring of motivation for our ar names. Often as not, us Texans butcher it, even if it is we room referring to a town or a street or a river. (Although perhaps not so frequently as those Californians do.)

Yes, we acquire a few right. We fully nail Laredo, Del Rio, Seguin, Comal (as in the county), and also aside from part emphasis and also flattened vowels, largely do okay with El Paso, mountain Antonio, Bandera, and also Concho (again, as in the county). Bosque county is type of a generally Texan hybrid: locals express it “boskie,” i m sorry is close come the Spanish “bose-kay,” but not every the means there, yet nonetheless much closer than “bosk” or “boss-cue,” to rhyme with barbecue.

But others us render unrecognizable. It must be “ah-ma-ree-yo,” no “amarila,” or “mo’-rila,” as I’ve heard in bars. “Sahn ha-seen-to,” no “san jacinna.” Refugio have to be “ray-few-hyo,” no “r’-feery-o,” and also the nearby shrimp port of Palacios have to be “pah-loss-ee-os,” no “plashus.” Don’t get me began on how Austinites render Menchaca “man-shack” and also Guadalupe “wad-a-loop” or “gwadda-loop.”Like that extra “s” that all-too-often slides into new Braunfels, how did that extra “r” creep right into the Pedernales River, calculation it the purda-nalleez? and how the heck did we turn “may-hee-ah” into “m’hay’a”?

But my favorite is the northeast Texas town of Bogada. It’s intended come be named after Bogota, Colombia, but their an initial mistake to be to massacre the spelling. Then the locals compounded that error by pronounce it, roughly, as “B’goda,” and that is what you contact it come this day, unless you desire to it is in mocked as an outsider.


Hell, the whole state is a mispronunciation: If we want to obtain right down to it, it need to be “tay-hoss” rather of Texas. (Or also “tayshas,” if you desire to go yes, really old-school Castilian.)

But need to we care? need to we cede our timeless Texan mispronunciations due to the fact that there room now an ext Anglo Texans with expertise of Spanish and much more native Spanish speaker immigrating from south of the border? should we be ashamed of ours butchery the the Spanish tongue?

Probably not, claims Gustavo Arellano, the previous editor the Orange ar Weekly and also the authority to turn to once you needed to “Ask A Mexican.”

“Some world cry racism or whatever, yet to me it simply shows we have actually a mutual heritage,” the says. “Whether we space fifth- or sixth-generation or not, we room going to call it everything locals to be calling it once they gained here.”

Of food there space exceptions. Arellano, a southerly California native of mexican heritage, cites the relatively recent hike to southern California from the Midwest.

He blames those center America accents for transforming Los Angeles right into that soft g sound we hear universally this particular day (“anghe-les” rather of “ahn-heles”), and also smaller towns favor Los Feliz indigenous “fay-leez” to “feel-ez.” “But the ideal one is just how they rotate a town called after dad Junipero Serra, not into joon-i-perro serra, but into ‘wanperro serra,’” that says.


There will always be sticklers, civilization who urge on the “correct” joint of the place-names, but even native-born English speakers have problems with English-born names. There’s “hyewston” in Texas and “house-ston” street in brand-new York City (given that it’s originally named after a man named Hugh, score one for Texas there), and Birming’um, England matches Birming-ham, Alabama.

To Arellano, the linguistic adjust is inevitable. “It’s gonna happen,” he adds. “Americans space going to butcher Spanish names, however I have to say that goes both ways. There is a town close to here referred to as Cudahy, and growing increase I always heard that was ‘Carra-hie.’ The white locals dubbed it ‘Cudda-hay.’” The same phenomenon is on see in Houston, whereby Tellepsen Street, named after a Norwegian immigrant, has actually been rendered right into “tailspin” through those life in the barrio nearby.

For some long-time Texans, a feeling of guilt is climb in. Express street names as you’ve constantly heard them and also you hazard being shamed by those v a better understanding of exactly Spanish. But consider this: Nashvillians don’t pronounce Demonbreun correctly, nor perform denizens the “Glasgie” (Glasgow, Scotland). In “Noo Yawk,” locals have actually so long and so consistently slaughtered the Dutch location names that littered the landscape, we no longer also know that places like Yonkers, the Bronx, and also Flushing ever had any type of connection come the soil of tulips and dikes.

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Given that, why should occupants of Refugio, Bogada, san Jacinto County, or mountain Felipe Street feeling ashamed once they speak their ar names the way they were taught to?

Whatever will certainly be, will certainly be—que será, será. Or, as we might say, kay sirrah sirrah.