An illustration of two men in cowboy hats talking with funny pronunciations like lay-key and byoo-dah

Illustration by James Yates

You can't call yourself a Texan till you learn to talk like one—and we don't just mean adopting the word "y'all." There's a slew of town names across the state that aren't what they seem. From Quitaque (KITTY-kway) in the Panhandle to Refugio (reh-FYOOR-ee-oh) on the Gulf Coast, it's anyone's guess how these pronunciations came to be. Chalk it up to the state's independent spirit or the blending of its Mexican, German, and Indigenous heritage. Either way, it's important for anyone who calls this state home to know how to say these town names the right way.

Press the play buttons below to sound these places out!

Balmorhea

Bal-more-AY

Bexar

Bear, like the animal

Boerne

BURN-ee

Buda

BYOO-duh

Burnet

BURN-it

Dumas

DO-muss

Gruene

Green, like the color

Humble

UHM-bull

Iraan

Ira-Ann, after its founders, Ira and Ann Yates

Leakey

LAY-key

Llano

LAN-oh

Manor

MAIN-er

Mexia

Muh-HAY-uh

New Braunfels

New BRAWN-fulls

Palestine

PAL-es-steen

Waxahachie

WOK-suh-HATCH-ee

Are you a True Texan? Find out by seeing how many True Texas adventures you can check off!

50 True Texas Adventures

From the May 2024 issue

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