I'm not a native Texan; I admit it. I love Texas, and I am proud to call it home. Because I'm in the radio business, I must learn the proper pronunciation of towns, street names, and other local attractions.

When I first got here, I made a lot of mistakes. I still slip up occasionally.

How you "speak Texan" is a sure sign of whether you're from here or not. Texans have unique ways of pronouncing common words that are different from any other part of the country.

Even our favorite native burger joint, "Whataburger," is not pronounced as you would think by looking at the spelling.  In Texas, it's not What a burger but wat, like water without the "r" as in  "Wah-tuh-bur-ger.

Other examples include Y'all.  In Texas, it's "yawl" or "Yahl."  Pecan is another great example. It is pronounced in most parts of the country: "puh-kahn."  Here in Texas it's a "pee-can" To me, that sounds like something you might need on a long road trip if there's no Buc-ees or rest area nearby.

There is some ambiguity on the word barbeque.  Some Texans say it barbah cue.

When we get to place names in Texas, this is the dead giveaway. Native Texans know how to pronounce Nacogdoches. In Louisiana, it is nack a tish. In Texas, it's Nack-uh-doh-chess.

Here are some other commonly mispronounced Texas locales that are a dead giveaway when mispronounced.

  1. Bexar County: Bex-ar (pronounced "Bear") county
  2. Guadalupe Mountains National Park: Gwad-a-loop mountains national park
  3. Pedernales Falls State Park: Purr-din-al-ess falls state park
  4. Gruene: Green
  5. Nacogdoches: Nack-uh-doh-chess
  6. Llano: Lan-oh
  7. Pecos: Pay-cuss
  8. Balmorhea: Bal-muh-ray
  9. Boerne: Burn-ee
  10. Menard: Me-nard
  11. Mason: May-son
  12. Sonora: Suh-nor-uh
  13. Ozona: Oh-zoh-nuh
  14. Christoval: Chris-toe-vul
  15. Eldorado: El-duh-ray-doh
  16. Ballinger: Bal-ling-er
  17. Refugio: Reh-FYOO-ree-o

How many of these places do you get right? Are you a native Texan? See, it is a great way to tell.  I'm going to keep working on it.

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