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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

NC Pronunciation Guide

Posted November 3, 2011 9:48 a.m. EDT
Updated July 10, 2017 3:46 p.m. EDT

NC Flag, Legislative Building, Raleigh

Hello! As promised, my North Carolina Pronunciation Guide. I've been studying NC towns and places since I was a young lad growing up in Morganton. I hope this helps and that I don't attract too many rotten tomatoes.

North Carolina names often mispronounced

(Accented syllable is capitalized)

Cities & Towns

Ahoskie ah-HOSS-kee

Angier ANN-jur (never ann-JEER)

Arapahoe uh-RAP-uh-hoe

Bahama bah-HAY-ma (not like the islands)

Beaufort BOE-furt

Buies Creek BOO-ees Creek

Camp Lejeune la-SHZOON or la-ZHERN

Cashiers KASH-urs

Chalybeate Springs ka-LIB-ee-ut

Cherryville CHAIR-ee-vil

Clinton KLINT-un (though some locals insist on KLINN-un)

Chocowinity CHOCK-uh-WIN-uh-tee

Concord KON-KORD (stress on both syllables)

Conetoe ka-NEE-tuh

Corolla ka-RAW-la (not like the car)

Durham DURR-um

Fuquay-Varina FEW-kway vuh-REE-nah

Icard EYE-kurd

Glen Alpine GLEN AL-pun

Kure Beach KURR-ee Beach

Lucama loo-KAH-ma

Mamers MAY-murs

Manteo MAN-tee-oh

Mebane MEB-un

Micaville MY-ka-vil

Momeyer MOE-my-ur

Norlina nor-LY-na

Ocracoke OAK-ra-coke

Raleigh RAH-lee

Richlands RICH-LANDS

Rocky Mount rocky MOUNT

Rodanthe roe-DAN-thee (though some locals prefer roe-DAN)

Salisbury SAULS-berry

Saxapahaw SAX-uh-puh-haw

Shallote sha-LOTE

Spivey’s Corner SPY-vees

Tabor City TAY-burr

Valdese VAL-dees

Wagram WAY-grum

Wendell wen-'DELL

Zebulon ZEB-yoo-luhn. (It is not a lawn service)

Counties

Bertie burr-TEE

Buncombe BUNK-um

Cabarrus kuh-BEAR-us

Carteret KAR-tuh-RETT

Catawba kah-TAW-ba

Chowan cho-WAHN (though some give equal accent to both syllables)

Duplin DOOP-LIN

Edgecombe EDGE-comb

Forsyth for-SYTH. Accent on the second syllable

Harnett HAR-net (never HAR-NET)

Iredell EYE-ur-dell

Lenoir la-NOR

Pasquotank PASS-kwah-tank

Perquimans purr-KWIM-uns

Robeson ROB-uh-son. (There is no robe in Robeson)

Rowan roe-WANN (like row Anne row!)

Tyrrell TAIR-uhl (first syllable rhymes with hair)

Watauga wah-TAW-guh

Other

Appalachian ap-uh-LATCH-un (It is not ap-uh-LAY-chun)

Bodie Island BOD-ee like Body

Contentnea Creek kon-TENT-nee-uh

Cullasaja River KULL-uh-SAY-ja

Croatan CROW-uh-tan

Skibo SKY-boe

Mattamuskeet MAT-uh-ma-SKEET

Murchison Road MURK-uh-son

Toisnot TOYS-NOT

Uwharrie you-WAHR-ee