Tell these towns wrong and they’ll think you’re not from New Jersey


Every state has places with names that if you’re new you might not know how to pronounce. Like the Arkansas lake called Ouachita. WASH-i-taw, that’s how to say it. Make no mistake, they’ll be crazier than a flea on a freshly soaked coon dog!

All states have them, but New Jersey seems to have some of the trickier ones. Why do I even bring up this topic of hard to pronounce places? Blame it on our temperature sheets. Several times an hour, we read the current temperatures for various cities in New Jersey. Sometimes this list of cities is refreshed. Recently this has been redone, and this new version has Kinnelon in the middle column. I hate that.

Every time I see this city, I question myself. I know it’s pronounced KIN-eh-lon, but something always told me that it seems like it should be said like Kin – EL – lon. So I get ready. It happens. I fight the urge to mispronounce it.

And just like that, my mind went down into the rabbit hole. How many other cities are difficult to pronounce? Here is just a partial list. Now, before you read this, you must think of it as if this is the first time you see the name of the city. As if you had just moved from a city near Lake Ouachita.

I’ll start with my hometown, then alphabetically.


The first syllable sounds like a cheerleader call. But I’m telling you people don’t say RAH – way. We say RAW – way. Yes, like raw meat. Make it more confusing is once asked the mayor and he stupidly replied that people say RAW but it’s really RAH. No, mayor. It’s not. I was born there and I grew up there. I have never heard ANYBODY say RAH. And if that’s how everyone says it, sorry buddy, it’s RAW.


So much can go wrong here. We can put the emphasis on AB – voir – con. We could pronounce the se as suh instead of seeing. We can pronounce the con for con instead of the actual cun.

It is Ab – SEE – cun.


It could be All – a – A LOT – ee but it is Al – a – MOOCH – ee. Like someone named Al was laughing at you.


The natives know that it is BER – nards – city and not like the name Ber – NARDS – city. Bad false false!


Every time I see this city I have to stop, say the name of the city of Columbia in my head, then say it out loud backwards to get it right. It’s Buh – GO – tuh.


Anyone who learned Spanish in high school can ruin it. Forget Spanish! It’s BYOO – no!


Where is the accent? You can choose DONE – el – mon. But it’s done – EL – mon. Heyyyyy! Is that why Kinnelon trips me up?


Strangers might guess it’s MAN – a – LAP – pin. But it is actually, as we know, Man – AL – a – pin.

Mount ephraim

There are a lot of bad ways to say this town, but the only good one is Mount EEE – Frum. Period.


It’s so counterintuitive it’s ridiculous. Looks like the focus should be on Oak. It’s not. It is pronounced Chêne – LIN.


I will end with one from the county I am in now. You would think it is said like the rank of the army. Well, you’d have to drop it and give us 20 if you put it that way, because it’s SUR – gents – town.

The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. All opinions expressed are those of Jeff Deminski.

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