Can You Pronounce These Words: Lowcountry Tongue Tanglers

If you didn’t grow up in Charleston or the Lowcountry, chances are you might have trouble pronouncing some of the names and words that come easy to the locals. Here are a few:

Beaufort – BYOU-furt
Not to be confused with Beaufort, NC, which is pronounced BOW-fort. In French, “beau” means beautiful or lovely.

Blenheim – BLEN-um.
Please don’t say Blen-hime.

Bonneau – BUN-oh or BOHN-oh
There may actually be two accepted pronunciations. First and more traidition is Bun-oh.

Cheraw – chuh-RAW.
Not CHEE-raw.

Citadel – SIT-uh-dl.
Say it fast and let it roll off your tongue. The easiest way to tell if someone is not from the Lowcountry or a newcomer is it to say sit-uh-DELL. Does not rhyme with bell or smell.

Clemson – CLEMP-sun
Please, please, leave out the “Z” sound like we often hear on ESPN.

Coosawhatchie – KOO-suh-HATCH-ee
As tempting as it may be, leave out the “W”.

DeBordiu Island – DEB-i-dew
Use a short “i” as in “river”.

Edisto – EH-dis-toe
Sometimes you’ll hear “eddie-STOW” from oldtimers and those with Gullah or Geechie accents.

Gaillard – gil-YARD
One of the most misprounced names in Charleston. Some insist it’s “gee-ARD”.

Horry – or-REE
No “H” sound at the front.

Huger – HU-gee
Another commonly mispronounced name. Some also refuse the “H” and say “u-GEE”. No “R” at the end.

Kiawah – KEY-uh-wah
Some purists drop the middle syllable, saying KEY-wah.

Parlez-Vous Palmetto?