Local News

Names Of Many N.C. Towns Not What They Seem

Posted June 18, 2004 11:42 a.m. EDT

— It has been said that North Carolina is a highway full of pronunciation potholes.

Peruse a map or gazeteer and you soon realize the Tar Heel state is full of unusual names.

If there is one rule to remember about North Carolina pronunciations, it is do not get too fancy. Sometimes it is better to swallow a syllable than to overenunciate.

Here is a guide to some of the most commonly mispronounced towns in the state and a guide to help say them correctly.

Do you have a town to add to our list?

Let us know!

Accented syllable in


  • Forsyth: for-SYTH
  • Concord: KON-KORD
  • Beaufort: BOE-furt
  • Conetoe: kuh-NEE-tuh
  • Salisbury: SAULS-bair-ee
  • Bertie: BURR-TEE
  • Tyrrell: TAIR-uhl
  • Bahama: ba-HAY-ma
  • Corolla: ka-RAH-la
  • Chalybeate Springs: ka-LIB-e-ut
  • Appalachian: ap-a-LATCH-un
  • Watauga: wah-TAW-guh
  • Catawba: kuh-TAW-buh
  • Kure Beach: KUR-ee
  • Wendell: WEN-DELL
  • Stovall: STOE-vuhl
  • Norlina: nor-LY-na
  • Fuquay-Varina: FEW-kway vuh-REE-nah
  • Zebulon: ZEB-yoo-lun
  • Ahoskie: ah-HOSS-kee
  • Chowan: CHOE-WAHN
  • Robeson: ROB-uh-sun
  • Rodanthe: roe-DAN-the
  • Bodie Islandd: BOD-ee (like body)
  • Harnett: HAR-net
  • Cashiers: KASH-urs
  • Mebane: MEB-un
  • Chocowinity: chock-uh-WIN-uh-tee
  • Cabarrus: ka-BAIR-us
  • Perquimans: purr-KWIH-muns
  • Iredell: EYE-ur-dell
  • More names added:

  • Moncure: mahn-KURE
  • Lucama: loo-KAH-ma
  • Pocomoke: POE-ka-moke
  • Severn: SEV-ren
  • Advance: AD-vance
  • Duplin: DOO-plin
  • Kerr Lake: KAR (sounds like tar)
  • Castalia: kas-TALE-ya
  • Saxapahaw: SAX-pa-haw (locals drop second syllable)
  • Beautancus: boe-TANK-us
  • Kittrell: KIT-trull
  • Leicester: LESS-tur
  • Topsail: TOP-suhl
  • Hiddenite: HID-nite (locals drop second syllable)
  • Chicamacomico: CHICK-uh-ma-KOM-uh-koe