Top 10 Most Mispronounced Places in Maine
As tourist season comes to a close, let's take time to reflect back to all of the funny ways people "from away" pronounce the unique names of some of our towns and landmarks.
Data and list maker Thrillist.com named the most commonly mispronounced places in the world and we were shocked to not see any places in Maine on the list! With many towns and rivers named after Native American words Maine has some of the most unique names of places in the world! So we came up with our own list of the most mispronounced places in Maine.
Don't confuse this town with the Motor City. There are some differences. Detroit, Maine is a small town in Somerset County with about 850 people. Detroit, Michigan is slightly larger, with a metro population of about 5.3 million. PRONUNCIATION: This one seems simple, but you need to really emphasize the DE if you are referencing Maine's Detroit.
Ogunquit's name comes from the Abenaki language and means "beautiful place the the sea." You can't argue with that. It's a small tourist destination in York County, and if you haven't been there, you should check it out. PRONUNCIATION: Like most towns in Maine to say it you just have to sound it out! It is o-GUN-quit, not Ow-gun-quit.
Smyrna is a little town in Aroostook County with about 450 people just west of Houlton. Several Amish families have moved to town over recent years, settling on rams and opening a general store. PRONUNCIATION: This is one you can't exactly use the sound it out method. Most people insist on calling this town "Smear-na" when it is actually "SMIR-nehr."
Damariscotta is a quaint little town of about 2,200 people in Lincoln County. Its name reportedly comes from the Abenaki word meaning "river of little fish" after the alewives that breed in the Darariscotta River. PRONUNCIATION: I hear more Mainers mispronouncing this one more than any other. Maine residents tend to add an extra R saying "Darmarscotta" when it is said as it is spelled "dam-ahr-ihs-KOTTA."
Of course, it's the home of Funtown Spashtown USA! PRONUNCIATION: Tourist nation lands in Old Orchard Beach and the Saco area every summer bringing groups of people who love to push residents' buttons by constantly calling it 'SAY-co'. I assume tourist maps spell their Saco with a silent Y.
There's only 35 people living in Seboeis, so it's no wonder people don't know how to say the name. PRONUNCIATION: I will admit to getting this one wrong myself. I have always pronounced this plantation as "see boys" when it is really "Seh-BOW-iss."
There's almost 80 people in this town, which is really a plantation, in southern Aroostook County. There is a rest area on Route 2 which cuts through town. PRONUNCIATION: The town name that causes the most head scratching has got to be this one. It is said like it is spelled but it still sounds a bit like gibberish or the sound you make when trying to clear your throat?
Minot is a fast-growing suburb of Lewiston-Auburn, and it's really nice (in case you you haven't been there before.) There's about 2,600 people in town. That's way up from the 919 who lived there in 1970. PRONUNCIATION: I have heard this one said 20 different ways believe it or not, people get really creative trying to say this place often calling it "Minute" when it is really "MY-nuht."
Home of the Blue Devils, Calais is a border town sharing three crossings with St. Stephen, New Brunswick. PRONUNCIATION: Those from away tend to fancy up this town name giving it an accent calling it "Callay." Unfortunately, Calais the town is said just like you would say you have a callus on your foot...
Long ago dubbed the Queen City, it's the largest city on our list with about 33,000 people. Home of Stephen King and Paul Bunyan, the city is the retail and cultural center for eastern Maine. We'll blame some of the confusion about how to pronounce the city's name on the old Roger Miller classic "King of the Road." PRONUNCIATION: It's hard to believe people still get this wrong after a popular video (above) was shared all over the world. "We are Bang-gor, we're not Bang-ger."