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Place Names: Answers

  • Berlin: BER-lin.
  • Billerica: Bill-ricka or B'ricka
  • Cochituate: Co-CHIH-chew-it
  • Concord: CON-cud
  • Leicester: Lestuh
  • Leominster: Lemon-stuh
  • Norfolk: Norfork, Nor-F'K or Nor-folk
  • Peabody: Pea-B'dee
  • Quincy: QUIN-zee
  • Waltham: Wall-tham
  • Woburn: WU-bin
  • Worcester: Wuhstah

SCORING: 11-12: Native (special bonus if you pronounce Worcester as Wihstah).
7-10: Resident alien. 1-6: New TV reporter from out of state.



Norfolk: Norfork, Nor-F'K or Nor-folk

Naw! Naw-f'k

I've heard a LOT of Bostonians call it WALL'um, not wall-tham. I've also heard locals, including some from Waltham, call it wall-thum (not -tham).

Yeah, growing up we always said it as "wall-thum"

Newburyport: New-bree-port

Naa Bedfid
South Attlebura
Maatha's Vinyid

Revere - Ruh-Veeyah

Needham - NEED-um

Marblehead - Mahble-head

Nahant - Nuh-HANT

I can't belive you left off haavrull (Haverhill)

Yes, Waltham is pronounced wall-thum, but that's just the schwa that happens to a short vowel in such an unstressed syllable in English--nothing special to Boston.

I really don't see that point of some of these. How else would you pronounce Waltham? "Walt-ham"? Come on, be serious. And is there some other way that you would expect Cochituate to be pronounced? I think its an odd enough spelling that most people just wouldn't be sure how to pronounce it, but Co-CHIH-chew-it makes at least as much sense as anything else I can come up with.

And the ones where the only difference from what a non-native would say are the dropped R shouldn't count; is the dropped R really a surprise? And if a non-local says "Con-cord" the reaction of a local isn't that you he is saying it wrong, he's just saying it without there accent.

Worcester is actually pronounced closer to Wihstah some places.

The problem isn't the dropped R, the problem is that the vast unenlightened from outside New England tend to pronounce it like they don't know the difference between a critical Revolutionary War location and a supersonic jet.

huh? spelled the same.
so whats the difference?
why would supersonic vs. revolution have anything to do with it?

if anything it's syllable, but the Previous Poster is correct about the dropped R - nothing special.

The jet is pronounced con-CORD because it has an e at the end of it, Concorde. Yet, most people outside of New England pronounce the town Concord the same exact way. It drives me bonkers!

I've always pronounced it Walth-Amm, with a short but nasal A (like "ham") in the second syllable.

Same here, but apparently in spite of having grown up in Boston as the child of two locals, I fail in quite a few local pronunciation shibboleths.

There is no "thumb" in Walthaaam.

you are absolutely right on.

I was born in Waltham (the old Waltham Hospital that's been closed for years), and yes, it's Wall-tham. But then I lived in Marlborough (and insist on spelling it that way too), and spent over a decade in Cochituate. At the old Natick (Nay-ick) Drive-in, we always laughed at the ads that talked about businesses that were located in Nat-ick, because we knew that meant the ads were not done by anyone who lived within a hundred miles of us.

Swampscott = Swam-skit

pronounced "Noa-tun"

"1-6: New TV reporter from out of state."

Loved this classification, seeing as though I am one. Came here looking for correct pronunciation of "Cochituate." Thanks!

Can't forget Chemsfid (Chelmsford)

Gloucester -> Glosta
Haverhill -> Have-rll
New Bedford -> Noo Bed-fid

Noo or N' Bed Fid is the proper, south shore pronunciation. (Must be the Rho Die-lan influence)
Nah-Bedfahd is more Boston.
Also, Fallrivah (no pause between words)
Eas t'n
Med Ferd or Med Fud (depending on how fast you're speaking. Yes, we actually can talk faster!)

It's that diphthong/sliding syllable thing that movie actors never get right. (Pk-thu-cuh or P-rk-thu-cuh, depending on the Yankee influence --not Brahmin-- degree of your accent).

Why do people trying to do Eastern Noo Winglan accents always speak so freaking slowly? Looking at you Tom Hanks. Even if they get the "accent" right they sound odd.

Let's not forget Medford.

Correctly pronounced Mefid, often pronounced by people from outside of Medford as Meffa.

I've heard this variant but don't know if it's authentic. Anyone?

No. Never Pibbiddy. I heard it pronounced that way on the news once - so the new-to-town-newscaster crack is quite apt.
It's pronounced almost as if there are no vowels - PBDY. I grew up in Peabody but I live in CT and whenever someone mentions the Yale PeaBODY museum it makes me cringe every time! :)

I live in Salem (which is pronounced normally! wacky!) and I'd describe the proper pronunciation of "Peabody" as just saying the letters P, B, and D quickly. With less emphasis on the B. "P-b-D."

Grew up in Woburn, though, and nothing gets on my nerves more then outsiders calling it "Woah-burn"!