The 7 Hudson Valley Towns Out-of-Towners Still Can’t Pronounce
If I hear one more person mispronounce my hometown, I'm going to have an aneurism. Just like you know someone is a tourist in New York City if they say "Houston Street" like it's the same as the city in Texas, there are specific places in the Hudson Valley that will make the same internal alarm bell go off in local residents' heads if they're said incorrectly. Here are the top 7:
1. Accord, NY
We have to start the list with my personal vendetta. My hometown of Accord, NY in Ulster County is NOT a car made by Honda. This also came up in the Hudson Valley Test. I'll admit, it's mostly our fault. There's no other instance in which Accord isn't pronounced like, well, Accord. But in the words of Ashley M on our Facebook page, "It's pronounced like Ackord".
2. Poughquag, NY
This isn't the only "pough" word on this list (spoiler alert), but it may be the toughest. The town east of Wappinger's Falls and home to Barton Orchards is a tricky one, but if you're from the Hudson Valley, especially Dutchess County, hopefully you know that it's pronounced "poe-kwaig".
Now this one is just plain ridiculous. Whether you're talking about the creek, the school district, or even the lighthouse in Kingston, NY, out-of-towners constantly mispronounce Rondout. As Jessica D said, "Rondout, not ROUNDout". For whatever reason, Hudson Valley imports insist on adding an extra vowel to the name. As a former Rondout Valley graduate, this is a hill I'm prepared to die on.
4. Poughkeepsie, NY
I told you "pough" towns would have multiple entries, and I bet if you're from the Hudson Valley, you knew the second one had to be Poughkeepsie. This one confuses me too; are people just intimidated by three-syllable words? It's phonetic! Pough (like dough) Kip-see. I guess the double-e could be confusing, and make people say Po-keep-see, but even if you say that fast, you'd basically sound like you knew what you were talking about.
5. Delhi, NY
While Delhi may not technically be in the Hudson Valley, it's close enough, and it's also a perfect example of locals adapting a word that is generally pronounced differently (*cough* Accord *cough*). As Daena W lightly put it, "[mispronounced towns include] any town named after a European or Asian city that we have changed the pronunciation of the vowels so that we sound like idiots... So other people come here and pronounce them correctly and then we have to tell them that we pronounce it wrong here." Everyone else in the world says the word as a homonym with Deli, but we insist on pronouncing it "Del-Hi".
6. Highland, NY
A woman called in to the WRRV studio to share a personal beef: her friend (who lives in Highland) insisted on pronouncing the town as it's spelled: High-land. The passionate caller was insistent that the correct pronunciation was High-lind. Her reasoning was sound. We don't say EngLAND, so why would we with Highland? I agree and officially declare the official pronunciation as HighLIND.
7. Esopus, NY
This one caught me off guard. I've never heard Esopus mispronounced before. Multiple people nominated this town on Facebook, however, saying that many out-of-towners give the name a hard E, as in "EE-So-Pus", instead of the correct ES-o-Piss.
Now that the educational portion is out of the way, let's get out and enjoy all the beauty these towns and others in the Hudson Valley have to offer. Check some out below.