Proper pronunciation | TheFencePost.com

Proper pronunciation

When newcomers arrive “out West,” they often mispronounce the names of towns, villages, townships or actual cities. Maybe it’s only true “out West,” but be advised that the emphasis is always on the first syllable of the name regardless if it’s one word or two. I might add, especially if it’s two syllables.

For instance, my town is Big Timber. It’s NOT BIG TIMber. No, no! It’s BIG Timber. This emphasis on first syllable accent might be true nationwide. Look up your area, see if that holds true.

Meanwhile here’s a list of towns in Montana starting with the letter “B.” Not all first syllables are emphasized unless it’s a three-word name. Then the middle syllable gets the duty.

• Bainville

• Baker

• Ballantine

• Basin

• Bearcreek

• Beaver Creek

• Belfry

• Belgrade

• Belt

• Big Arm

• Bigfork

• Big Sandy (although this can be pronounced with same emphasis on each syllable)

• Big Sky (although this can be pronounced with same emphasis on each syllable)

• Big Timber

• Billings

• Birney

• Black Eagle (although this can be pronounced with same emphasis on each syllable)

• Boneau

• Bonner-West Riverside

• Boulder

• Box Elder (although this can be pronounced with same emphasis on each syllable)

• Bozeman

• Bridger

• Broadus

• Broadview

• Brockton

• Browning

• Busby

• Butte-Silver Bow (although this can be pronounced with same emphasis on each syllable)

And here’s a few “C” starting names:

• Cardwell

• Carter

• Cascade (although this can be pronounced with same emphasis on each syllable)

• Charlo

• Chester

• Chinook (Exception!! This is pronounced emphasis on second syllable.)

• Choteau (although this can be pronounced with same emphasis on each syllable)

• Circle

• Clancy

• Clinton

• Clyde Park (although this can be pronounced with same emphasis on each syllable)

• Colstrip

• Columbia Falls (three syllables in first word. Second syllable gets the duty)

• Columbus (three syllables in first word. Second syllable gets the duty)

• Conrad

• Cooke City-Silver Gate (oh, heck. Emphasis on all syllables)

• Coram

• Corvallis

• Crow Agency (although this can be pronounced with same emphasis on each syllable)

• Culbertson

• Custer

• Cut Bank

That’ll do for now. Eyeball your own area just for fun.

Even in Alaska (emphasis on second syllable as it’s a three-syllable word). However, note that Yukon is pronounced Yukon. ❖