When you live in a city with as long and diverse a history as NYC, a few things are givens: access to every kind of food under the sun, and a handful of street names that may as well be tongue twisters to an English speaker. Not to worry: Here’s your handy cheat sheet to the pronunciation of the city’s most baffling words.
10 NYC Words You’re Probably Pronouncing Wrong
We’ve been messing up Joralemon this whole time
The wrong way: Sher-mer-horn
The right way: Skem-er-horn or skim-er-horn
Fun fact: Michael Jackson’s “Bad” video was filmed at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn subway station.
The wrong way: Naw-strand
The right way: No-strand
It’s actually a shortened version of the Dutch name Noorstrandt.
The wrong way: Spoo-ten doo-vil
The right way: Spy-ten dye-vul
A lovely neighborhood in the Bronx, whose name means, incongruously, “spitting devil.”
The wrong way: Tell-y
The right way: Fuh-tell-y
Named for the engineer who designed the New Croton Dam (a major source of NYC’s water supply, people).
The wrong way: Midd-uh
The right way: Mid-aww
As in, “Aww, what a cute tree-lined block.”
The wrong way: Ten ache
The right way: Ten ike
A Dutch name that means “the oaks.”
The wrong way: Whatever you end up with when you try to sound it out
The right way: Koss-ee-you-sko or Ko-shoo-sko
A Polish military leader who fought for the U.S. in the Revolutionary War.
Honestly, anything goes.