AUSTIN (KXAN) – Whether you’re a newcomer to Central Texas or a tourist, pronouncing names around the area can be head-scratching or embarrassing. The good news is that KXAN has assembled an alphabetized cheat sheet to use when you’re talking to Central Texas natives.
We asked our community to share their most commonly heard mispronounced places in the region (and added a few of our own.)
Bastrop is nicknamed The Most Historic Small Town in Texas and is also known as The Heart of the Lost Pines.
The city is located about 30 miles southeast of Austin, and it has had several movies partially filmed there, including the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
Locals pronounce the city’s name as “Bass-trop” (and that’s “bass” as in the fish and not the musical instrument.)
Bexar County is technically a part of South Texas, but it was mentioned enough by Central Texans that we had to include it on this list.
The county was named after San Antonio de Béxar, and it was the first civil government established by the Spanish in the province of Texas.
The official pronunciation for Bexar County is “BAIR” or “BAY-ur” by locals. Just think of the “X” in the middle as silent, and you’ll struggle a lot less.
Blanco is a city in rural Blanco County, and they were both named after the Blanco River—named after the limestone riverbed.
It is known as The Lavender Capital of Texas, partially because it had the first commercial lavender farm in the state.
To Central Texans, the name is pronounced “Blank-co,” and not like the Spanish pronunciation for the color white, “Blahn-co.”
Boerne was formally founded as Tusculum in 1849, but it was later renamed in 1852. Central Texans pronounce the city as “BURN-ee.”
Brazos Street is located in downtown Austin. Austinites will be quick to correct you for saying “Braz-os” instead of “Braz-us”—and even if they don’t, just know that they’re secretly judging you.
Buda is named The Outdoor Capital of Texas, mainly because of its 13 parks that spread across 268 acres, and the city’s motto is Breathe Easy Here.
Unless you’re ready to be criticized, don’t you dare pronounce it like Buddha. It’s pronounced “BYOO-duh.”
Burnet was named after David Burnet, the first interim president of the Republic of Texas, and the city is a good place to visit if you’re interested in Texas history.
In Central Texas, the city, county and road are pronounced the same way, and there’s even a saying to help you remember! “It’s ‘BURN-it,’ durn it. Learn it!”
Carmine is a city located in north Fayette County. (We’ll show you how to correctly pronounce that one later down the list.) The city is home to the Texas Basketball Museum, which, in part, highlights players that have advanced to the professional level.
If you think it’s pronounced “KAR-mine,” you’d be wrong. It’s “KAR-meen”—emphasis on the meen.
Del Valle is deemed as a part of the southeast edge of Austin, and though it technically has no local government or official boundaries, it is primarily defined by the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
A useful tip on pronouncing Del Valle is to use the “E” literally. It is pronounced as “del VAL-ee.”
Dessau is a city located 11 miles northeast of Austin and two miles southwest of Pflugerville. (We’ll get to that one later down the list too.) It was named after a town in Germany. It’s also the name of a road in north Austin.
While there are a few ways it has been pronounced, Central Texans prefer “deh-SAW.”
Elgin is known as the Sausage Capital of Texas and the Brick Capital of the Southwest, and it has served as a filming location for several movies throughout the years, including What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.
Locals are very particular about how you say their city’s name. It’s pronounced “EL-ghin” and not gin, like the drink.
(We told you we’d get to this one.) Another county to add to the list is Fayette County. It was established in 1837 from land given by Bastrop and Colorado counties and was named for a French nobleman that was an American Revolutionary War hero.
Central Texans pronounce the county’s name as “Fey-yet.”
This one can seem a bit intimidating at first, but it’s not as hard as you might think. Gruene is located just outside of New Braunfels, and it’s a great spot for tubing and listening to live music. Gruene Hall has had performances from musicians like Willie Nelson, George Strait and Garth Brooks.
Central Texans say Gruene as “GREEN”—the color. It’s not pronounced “Grew-EN-ee” or “GROO-in” or “GREN-way” or any other way you could possibly say it.
Generally, if you’re talking about the river, it’s “Gwaa-duh-loo-pay”— but if you’re referencing the street in Austin, it’s “Gwad-uh-LOOP.” Don’t ask why.
Koenig Lane partially divides north Austin from central Austin. Central Texans and Austinites alike pronounce the street as “Kay-nig” and not “Co-nig.”
Lake Buchanan was the first of the Texas Highland Lakes to be formed when the Buchanan Dam construction was completed in 1939.
Native Central Texans pronounce the lake as “Buck-CAN-nun” and not the typical “BYOO-cannon” pronunciation.
Leakey is a city northwest of San Antonio, and it is known as The Swiss Alps of Texas because of the gorgeous nature scene surrounding the area. Reviews show that it is perfect for rafting, swimming and fishing.
Surprisingly, it’s not pronounced as “LEEK-ee.” It’s actually pronounced “LAY-key.”
Llano is known as the Deer Capital of Texas—and for good reason. The area has the highest density of white-tailed deer nation. It is widely known for its hunting seasons of deer, quail, dove, feral pig, and turkey.
This Central Texas town isn’t pronounced “LAWN-oh” or “LANE-oh”—it’s “LAN-oh.”
Luling is widely known in Central Texas for its barbeque and watermelons. Barbeque seems common for the state, but why watermelons?
In 1954, Luling hosted it’s first Watermelon Thump–a four-day festival celebrating all things watermelon—in order to honor the growers and promote the city’s watermelon market.
Central Texans pronounce the town as “Loo-ling” and not “Lull-ing.”
Manchaca isn’t technically a town but a census-designated place in Central Texas. It’s about 10 miles southwest of downtown Austin.
If you attempt anything other than “Man-shack,” Central Texans will know you’re not from the area.
Manor has served as the location for many movies, most notably “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” starring Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio. The city was named after its earliest postmaster, James Manor.
To Central Texans, the city’s name is pronounced: “MAIN-er”, though it’s commonly mispronounced as “MANNER” or “MAW-ner” by new residents and visitors.
Residents in Mexia know it’s not an easy name to pronounce, and it is even part of a running joke in the town. Their motto is: “A great place, no matter how you pronounce it.”
(It doesn’t hurt to get a hint though.) The proper way to say it is “Muh-HAY-uh.”
The Mueller neighborhood is a 700-acre community located in east Austin. The area was redeveloped from the former Robert Mueller Municipal Airport.
You might think this one is pronounced “MEW-ler,” but you’d be wrong. Austinites and other Central Texans say “Mill-er.”
New Braunfels was established in 1845 and named after a German community. In German, the word Braunfels means brown rock.
In November, the city holds “Wurstfest,” a German-style sausage festival. In the warmer months, the area attracts many people looking to go tubing down the Guadalupe and Comal rivers. It is also known for its waterpark.
The city’s name is pronounced “New BRAWN-fulls” instead of “BRANS-fulls.”
The Pedernales Falls State Park is a 5,212-acre state park that is along the Pedernales River, a 106-mile-long river in Central Texas. The area is popular for camping, hiking, mountain biking, picnicking, bird watching and riding horses.
Central Texans typically pronounce the name as “PUR-der-NAL-ehz” or “PUR-den-nal-ehz.”
Pflugerville is recognized for it’s distinct use of the ‘Pf’ combination for things such as street names and events. The city often hosts ‘Pfestivals’ and even has a ‘Pfarmers’ Market.
Locals say the name as “FLU-gur-ville” and not “P-FLUG-er-vile”—just think of the ‘P’ as silent.
Salado’s slogan is Deep in the Art of Texas. The area is widely known by Central Texans for its culture, art, brews and wine.
Many people pronounce the city as “SAL-uh-doe” or “SALAD-oh,” but it’s really “Suh-LAY-doe.”
San Marcos is a college town between Austin and San Antonio. It is known for having the country’s largest outlet mall, and its waterways are popular for kayaking and paddleboarding.
Central Texans pronounce the city as “San MAR-cuss” and not “San MAR-cose.”
Don’t see a common one? Let us know!