"Jason, how do you pronounce THAT?" - A Visitor's Guide to Austin

By
Real Estate Broker with Austin Texas Homes, LLC 453249

I have lived in the Austin, Texas area for almost exactly 20 years now, having moved here in August of austin texas real estate1988 to begin attending Southwestern University in nearby Georgetown.  As such, I have seen a lot of visitors and new residents in the area who mispronounce town and road names, and refer to them strangely, at least in my humble opinion.

In an effort to assist those who are visiting or moving here to fit in a bit better, I have compiled a short list of the most common mistakes that I have witnessed.  In several of the cases that I will cite here, I KNOW that the word should be pronounced differently, but trust me on this.  People will look at you funny if you ignore this post and pronounce things properly.

Much like the spelling bee, I will attempt to use each of the landmarks in a sentence in an effort to help.

BURNET ROAD - Seems easy enough, right?  I thought so, too, until I learned that it is pronounced BURN-it, not Bur-NETT.  My son has his martial arts classes in Austin on BURN-it Road.

BUDA, Texas - This is not pronounced "Buddha".  Instead, the phonetic pronunciation is BYOO-duh.  The Y is not a separate syllable.  Instead, it's like a hard Y sound, sort of like the "y" in "yarn".  I am headed to BYOO-duh for a barbeque tonight.

HUTTO, Texas - This one has always seemed really easy to me, so I am constantly surprised when I hear someone say "HOO-toe" when it is clearly "HUT-toe", as it appears.  My family and I live very close to HUT-toe.

MANCHACA Road - This is one of the worst offenders around.  It would seem to be the Spanish pronunciation - Mahn-CHA-cah, right?  Wrong.  It is pronounced "MAN-shack", like a seedy bar.  MAN-shack is a road in south Austin.  It is also the name of a town just south of Austin.

ELGIN, Texas - This town located due east of Austin about 30 minutes is pronounced "ELL-gihn", not "ELL-Jen" like the watch company.  ELL-gihn is home to regionally famous "ELL-gihn hot guts" (sausage).

KOENIG Lane - Try getting used to saying, "KAY-neg", NOT "KOH-nig".  KAY-neg Lane has several names, as it is the same road as 290 (to the east), Northland, and 2222 (to the west).  Easy, huh?

MANOR, Texas - This is a common problem for newcomers, as manor is an actual word used elsewhere in the English language.  In central Texas, however, this is pronounced "MAY-nur".  MAY-nur is located between Austin and ELL-gihn.  MAY-nur is also a road near central Austin.

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas - This is where we have lived for 13 years, and it is named after the Pfluger family.  As you might imagine, the P is silent and the rest is pretty much phonetic - FLOO-gur-ville.  I enjoy living in FLOO-gur-ville.

LLANO, Texas - Try "LANN-oh".  LANN-oh is on the outskirts of the Austin metro area. 

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas - This German-settled town between Austin and San Antonio is home to Schlitterbahn, which is a giant water park and regional summer destination.  The primary mistake I see here is people putting an additional "s" after "braun".  It is New Braunfels, not New Braunsfels. 

The next few examples are not actually mispronounced very often.  Instead, they are mistakenly referred to by their proper names, rather than what everyone who lives here actually calls them.  In many cases, there are roads that have several names - I will tell you the best name to use here.

MOPAC - This regional highway runs from far southwest Austin to far north Austin.  It is also known as Loop 1 (although it is not an actual loop).  Please don't call it Loop 1 unless you want people to stare at you.  Also, don't call it "The One", which seems to be common among out-of-staters.  It is Mopac, plain and simple.  As a bit of trivia, Mopac was originally MO-PAC, which stood for the Missouri-Pacific railroad, since it runs parallel to the train tracks for several miles in town.

183 - As with Mopac, don't call this "the 183", as you are simply wasting a syllable.  Just say "183", as in "that restaurant near 183 and Braker Road", or "the traffic on 183 is terrible right now".  183 is also called Research Boulevard, although people only use this when giving out mailing addresses, not directions.  No one says, "turn on Research".

U.T. - This is the University of Texas at Austin, but why use 11 syllables when two will suffice just fine?

I-35 - This large interstate highway runs right through the heart of town.  Just say "35".  A good example of a sentence here would be "35 is a nightmare during rush hour traffic.  I had to shoot a man on the way home."

360 - This is alternately known as Capital of Texas Highway (although I may never understand why there are so many lights on a highway).  I never hear a single local resident call this road Capital of Texas Highway.  Much like Research Boulevard above, this is only used for mailing addresses, not in everyday parlance.  Also, don't say "Loop 360", even though it is technically correct.  As with Mopac, Loop 360 is not a loop at all, but sort a C-shape on the west side of Austin.

So, that covers most of the more common errors that you could make.  If you have any questions, please do not hesistate to call me.  I would be happy to help!

If you are considering a move to the Austin area, I would love the opportunity to assist you with this.  You might also be interested in my online relocation package here:

Austin Texas Relocation Package

My cell phone number is 512-796-7653 and our Austin real estate website is at www.austintexashomes.com.  Thanks!  Jason Crouch 

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Topic:
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Texas Travis County Austin
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Rainmaker
244,206
April Hayden-Munson
Brookfield Wisconsin Real Estate

Nice informative post Jason.  The photo is REALLY gorgeous, makes me want to plan a trip to Texhas.  ha ha.

August 09, 2008 02:53 PM
Rainmaker
625,773
Brian Block
Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate
RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President

Jason, having lived the first 8 years of my life in New York and then 8-18+ in Boston, the two accents cancelled each other out.  That makes it much easier to pronounce things and be understood wherever I go, especially here in Northern Virginia.  Many newcomers to areas do need pronunciation guides so that they don't feel foolish when moving to a new town.

August 09, 2008 03:12 PM
Anonymous #40
Anonymous
Vicki

MANCHACA-  A student interviewed the grand or great grand daughter of the Mr. Manchaca on News 8 Austin in 2005 or 2006.  In that interview, she stated that the correct way to say it is the spanish way.. MAN-CHAK-A... Check with the Police Dept. It is my understanding they say it the same way......

June 04, 2010 12:46 PM
Rainmaker
211,114
Tricia Jumonville
Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense
Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Bradfield Properties

Yes, and as I mentioned, the correct way to spell the family name is Menchaca, not Manchaca.  However, if you wish to get around in Austin, or give directions, talking to the locals, you'll need to learn to say Manshack. Even the police know to say that off-duty - at least, the ones I know do!

 

June 04, 2010 12:53 PM
Ambassador
953,142
Jason Crouch
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
Austin Texas Homes, LLC

Vicki - Thanks for the comment.  They may say it that way at the police department, but no one else does.  :)

Tricia - Right you are.  I've never heard anyone local say, "Man-chak-a", even if it is the proper pronunciation.  It's always been "Manshack", which bugs me, frankly.

June 04, 2010 03:29 PM
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Jason Crouch

Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
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I write about humorous stories, family, things that are interesting to me, and the Austin real estate market.

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