It's one of the first things you learn when you move to South Dakota - the correct pronunciation of our state capital is 'peer' (like the one you fish off of), not 'pee-air' (like the first name of a Frenchman).

Ironically, the city (founded in 1800) is named after a man named Pierre - Pierre Chouteau, Jr. - an American fur trader and entrepreneur, born to French parents in 1789. Chouteau helped to build Fort Pierre, along the Missouri River, in 1832.

So this week, when Thrillist published a list of the 'U.S. Cities You're Pronouncing Completely Wrong', you figured Pierre (population 14,000) would be on there.


However, there is no mention of one of the 50 state capitals in the United States, but they did make sure to include a trio of smaller towns - Patchogue (population 11,700) and Skaneateles (7,200), New York, and Sequim, Washington (6,700).

Patchogue, Skaneateles, Sequim, and 16 other cities did make the list. How many are you pronouncing correctly?

  • Lafayette, Louisiana
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Helena, Montana
  • Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
  • La Jolla, California
  • Kissimmee, Florida
  • Norfolk, Virginia
  • Spokane, Washington
  • Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Sequim, Washington
  • Schenectady, New York
  • Waukesha, Wisconsin
  • Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Skaneateles, New York
  • Patchogue, New York
  • Puyallup, Washington
  • Bethesda, Maryland

I did learn something from the story. For my entire life, I've been pronouncing Colorado wrong. The correct way to identify the 'Centennial State' is Col-uh-RAD-o, not Col-uh-ROD-o like me (and the late John Denver) have been saying all these years.

Lesson learned.

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