Arkansas pronunciation guide of various proper names

(From a native Arkansan)

 Residents of this state may be referred to as "Arkansans" (ar-kan'-suns) or in some cases as "Arkies" although the former is usually preferred. The state name from time to time has been pronounced as (ar-kan'-sus) as the same to Kansas. Even the name "Arkansas City" in Kansas is said in that same manner today to my knowledge. The pronunciation today used in the state name of Arkansas (ar-kan-saw') was decided by a legislative act in the early 1880's.
 There are many who move here who don't know the various and unusual pronunciations used in proper names, especially city and county names. This list, although not necessarily complete, should assist those newcomers or who have an interest in the Natural State. This information could make matters a bit easier on your transistion or research, even if you don't speak like a native or long-time resident here.
 Don't worry about that if you've moved here, as time will usually change that if you get out and socialize. Even those in radio and TV gain elements of what I sometimes call "vocal Arkieness" with the special blend of "prairie twang" and "southern drawl" if they let down their guard! It has a way of becoming part of you as others outside the region will likely notice. This being observed first-hand from someone who made his living on-the-air in this state for almost a score. :-)
 If I've left out names or related details, the Welcome Mat is available to give me suggestions to add here. Please e-mail me with the details **including how the word or name is pronounced, and a valid return e-mail for any replies I may need to make.** I am seriously considering adding voice files in the future, a kind of soundboard you can click or hover over the selected name so you can hear for yourself. I don't expect to ask or receive any donations since I already pay annually for unlimited bandwidth. Thanks for your visit.

ALBION (White Co. community) ------------------- (al'-bee-on)

ALY (Yell Co. community) ----------------------- (a'-lee)

BEEBE (White Co. town) ------------------------- (bee'-bee)

CARLISLE (city)--------------------------------- (car'-lyle)

CASA (Perry Co. community)---------------------- (kay'-suh)

CHICKALAH (Yell Co. community/mountain) -------- (shuh-key'-luh)

CHICOT (county in SE, state park, community) --- (shee'-ko)

CLEBURNE (county in N) ------------------------- Old timers and many natives say it (clay'-burn) which I consider correct as history effectively backs this up. Most say it (clee'-burn) today. (I lived there 4 years.)

DENNARD (Van Buren Co. community)--------------- (den-nard')

DESHA (county in SE and town near Batesville) -- (dee-shay')

DIAZ (city) ------------------------------------ (dye'-as)

DUMAS (city) ----------------------------------- (doo'-muss)

EL DORADO (city) ------------------------------- (el doe-ray'-doe)

ENOLA (community) ------------------------------ (e-nohl'-uh)

FOUKE (city in Miller Co.) --------------------- said as "foul" with a strong "k" at the end in a single syllable.

GOSNELL (community in Mississippi County) ------ (goss'-nul)

GUION (community in Izard Co.) ----------------- (guy'-un)

HELENA (city in Phillips County) --------------- (hell'-en-uh)

HUMNOKE (town in Lonoke County) ---------------- (hum'-uh-noke) yes, three syllables (make the second one short!)

HUMPHREY (town in Jefferson/Arkansas Counties) - (ump'-free) The "H" is silent

KANIS (Little Rock road westward to Paron) ----- (kay'-nis)

LAFAYETTE (county) ----------------------------- (luh-faye'-et)

LAVACA (Sebastian County city) ----------------- (luh-vaa'-kuh) say second syllable with "a" as in apple, not "ah" or natural "a".

LONOKE (County and city) ----------------------- (low'-noke)

McGEHEE (city) --------------------------------- (muh-ghee') two syllables, NOT muh-gee'-hee.

MONTICELLO (city) ------------------------------ (mont-uh-sell'-o)

NEWNATA (community in Stone Co.) --------------- (noo-nay'-tuh)

NEVADA (county) -------------------------------- (nuh-vay'-duh)

OPPELO (Conway county community) --------------- (ah'-puh-loh)

OUACHITA (county, river, and mountain range) --- (wash'-uh-tah)

OZARK (city and mountain range) ---------------- (o'-zark)

RODNEY PARHAM (Little Rock major throughfare) -- say as Rodney (Pear'-um)

PARAGOULD (city in Greene County) -------------- Some of the locals drop the final letter! It could be said as either Paragould or Paragouhl.

PETIT JEAN (mountain/state park) --------------- French for "Little John". Say as "Petty Jean" or (pet-tih gene), never with the final "t" emphasized.

SALADO (community near Batesville) ------------- (sal'-uh-dough)

SALINE (county and river) ---------------------- (suh-lean')

SEARCY (county in N and city in White Co.) ----- (sir'-see)

SILOAM SPRINGS (city in western Benton Co.) ---- (sy'-loam springs) Said like a silo on a farm.

SOLGOHACHIA (Conway county community) ---------- (soul-go-hatch'-ee)

WABBASEKA (Jefferson county community) --------- (wah-bah-see'-kuh)

Webpages authored by Mark James Mullins