Exploring the Unusual Pronunciations of Charleston and the Lowcountry

Exploring the Unusual Pronunciations of Charleston and the Lowcountry

Exploring the Unusual Pronunciations of Charleston and Lowcountry Geography

#CharlestonSC #Lowcountry #Pronunciation

Charleston, SC and the surrounding Lowcountry region are known for their rich history and culture, but one of the unique things about this area is the way certain geographical locations and street names are pronounced. If you're new to the area or planning a visit, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with these pronunciations to ensure that you don't stick out like the tourist you are. That's OK... when we visit NYC or Miami and our y'all's and drawn out vowels are noticed from a mile away! 

One of the most commonly mispronounced street names in Charleston is Colonel Vanderhorst. Many people take a wild guess but its pronounced  " KER-nul  VAN-dur-horst" or some contend its "VAN-dross."

A street name that often causes confusion is Huger Street. Despite its spelling, it's pronounced "YOU-jee" not "HUG-er".

The pronunciation of the names of the Lowcountry regions are also tricky. For example, the popular tourist destination of Beaufort is pronounced "BYOO-furt" not "beau-furt" and Daufuskie Island is pronounced "Duh-FUS-kee". Horry... drop the H, its pronounced "OH-ree" 

Legare Street is pronounced "luh-GREE" not "LEG-are".

Lesesne is pronounced "luh-SANE," as in, it’s insane. 

Manigault, which is pronounced "MAN-uh-go" not "ma-ni-gault".

Mazcyk Street is pronounced "muh-ZEKE"

Gailard  is a common last name and also a famous performing arts center, The proper way to say it is "gil-YARD."

Hassell seems easy enough. Nope... In the Lowcountry, it’s pronounced "HAZE-ul."

It's also worth noting that the city's Prioleau street is pronounced "PRAY-lo" not "PRIO-leau"

Don't get me started on Gullah or pronunciations... This is a language unto itself!

So, if you're planning a visit to Charleston or the Lowcountry, keep these unusual pronunciations in mind. It may take some practice to get used to, but it's a small effort to make to ensure you can blend in a bit.  Flip flops, fishing clothing, and windswept hair goes a long way for the men.  Conversely, Southern women seem to dress one or two notches above whats expected.

Blame these bizarre pronunciations it on French Huguenots, the Dutch, the Gullah, the remnants of the Seewee Tribe and a menagerie of other cultures that forged their way in the Lowcountry.  Its like a Lowcountry boil... you wouldn't think corn, potatoes, shrimp, and sausage would go well together.... but it tastes amazing!

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