At some point in your life, you have mispronounced someone’s name. It’s OK. Everyone does it. The English language is weird (like how “I” doesn’t come before “E” in that word). As a result, it is often easy for people to mispronounce names. Of course, if you live in a certain area, you should be pronouncing names properly for the most common locations. Otherwise, you risk making yourself sound like a dumbass. To help avoid this unfortunate label, here are some of Oregon’s most commonly mispronounced locations and the proper way to say them.
Okay, this one starts out the list because it seems obvious how to pronounce this word properly, but if you’re not a Portland native you are probably mispronouncing it. The proper way to say it is “cooch,” not “cowch” or “coach” or however else you have been pronouncing it. Keep the “O” long just like your favorite colloquial term for the female genitalia and you got it right. So when you are giving directions to Couch Street, you better say it like “cooch.”
Again, it doesn’t matter if you want to say it that way, this is not “Will-A-Met.” It is actually pronounced “Will-am-it.” In other words, think of a guy named Will, the word “Am” and the word “It” and simply put them together. If you say “Will-A-Met” one more time you are a dumbass.
The ability to pronounce this word in all sorts of strange ways may be amusing or it may just make you face palm. If you go around telling someone “yay-hats” or “yatch-ats,” you don’t have it right. It is also not “ye-chats.” Regardless of how you said it before, the proper way to pronounce this one is “yaw-chats.”
So, pronouncing names can actually be tough sometimes, so maybe you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. For example, Sequim is not pronounced “sea-quim” like you might expect. Instead, the word is actually pronounced “sqium.” If it helps, just think of it as a squid but replace the “D” with an “M.”
Pronouncing names for some of these might be tough, but this one really shouldn’t be such a challenge. The proper way is like a compound of the two words “brighten” and “bush.” Just pull them together and you have Breitenbush.
No, this one is not pronounced “trim-it,” or “tri-met.” Instead, the proper way to say this one is actually much simpler than you think: “tremet.” Think of the the beginning of the word “tremor” and then just continue with the “et” sound.
Now this one looks like a real mouth full. When you hear it correctly though, you will realize it doesn’t have to be so hard. The right way to say this is “shuh-mech-e-duh.” If that isn’t clear, think of the first part like the word “shut,” the second part like those giant fighting robots, and the last two parts should be clear enough.