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‘Manchaca’ or ‘Man-chac’? | The history of Texas (Mis)pronunciations

Do you say 'Peder-nales' or 'Perd-enales'? 'Manch-aca' or 'Man-chac'? You're probably wondering how Texas' (Mis)pronunciations came to be.

Michael Perchick

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There can be a lot to handle when moving. From the unpacking to navigating a new city, simply pronouncing the names of cities and streets typically isn’t an issue for most people.

But in Texas, that’s not always the case.

Several locations throughout the state consistently trip up visitors, and continue to be the topic of spirited debate among locals.

“With the Anglos that founded this city, they were just kind of looking to find some viable pronunciations. And viable meant something that worked with their native language,” said Lars Hinrichs, an associate professor of English linguistics at the University of Texas.

Hinrichs, who is from Germany, has even experienced it himself.

“Koening (pronounced Kay-nig) Lane -- the German pronunciation of that lane would be 'Koo,' but the 'Koo' is not a sound that exists in English or Spanish,” said Hinrichs.

While America is a cultural melting pot, the origins of Texas may be even more so.