NC Pronunciation Guide

Bill Leslie's been studying NC towns and places since he was a child growing up in Morganton, N.C. Here's his guide for sounding like a local.

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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)


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)
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


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


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