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

By
Real Estate Agent 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
475,650
Ken Tracy
Naperville Illinois Real Estate
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Naperville

Hi Jason.

Beautiful picture of the city.

Ken

August 03, 2008 02:27 PM
Ambassador
745,884
Steve Shatsky
Dallas Real Estate & Short Sale Specialist (214)213-0340
Prudential Texas Properties

Hi Jason... As you know, I lived in Austin (not far from your new office) and while I know all the proper pronunciations, I kinda like pronouncing the "P" in Pflugerville!  It sounds kinda Pfunny to me! :)

August 03, 2008 05:20 PM
Rainmaker
100,180
Liz Carter
Broker/Owner of Liz Carter & Team Realty, Katy TX (Houston)
Liz Carter & Team Realty-Your Real Estate Resource For Life!

Jason my friend...

That has to be the most gorgeous picture of a city skyline I've ever seen!  It is spectacular, seeing that someone should want to more to Austin on the spot!

Call or e-mail me if you get a chance tomorrow, would like to talk to you about what I can do when TX is available on the 8th?  I have one person ahead of me, and not sure if there is anything I can do?

Are you using the Google toolbar spell check?  If not check out the new blog I wrote today on it.  It will save you a ton of time.  It spells checks and corrects Evey word with just one click!  L

PS...my "battle: begins on Tuesday night

August 03, 2008 10:30 PM
Rainmaker
404,265
Simon Conway
Orlando Area Real Estate Services

Hmmm - with my accent, pronounciation of these words could be interesting to say the least. :)

August 03, 2008 10:31 PM
Rainmaker
255,717
Don Eichler
Century 21 Shirley Hooks, Inc.

Jason, We live in Kerrville where everyone pronounces the name Kerr-ville but the real family name is pronounced Car-ville.  So almost everyone here is wrong on this one.

August 03, 2008 10:52 PM
Rainmaker
996,044
Karen Anne Stone
Fort Worth Real Estate
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County

Jason:  Thanks so much for the translations and the pronouncing keys.  I always wondered what the heck a Mopac was... so Mo - Missouri - Pac - Pacific... now makes sense.  For me... Austin has always been a city that I could get lost much too easily in.  Thanks for sharing.

August 04, 2008 02:42 AM
Rainmaker
253,288
Robin Rogers
ABR, CRS - Real Estate Broker & Investment Adviser
Robin Rogers, Silverbridge Realty, San Antonio, Texas

Hi, Jason:

I passed the pronunciation test! I lived in Austin for a few months when I was relocated there (by a con artist, as it turned out) to work for Nowlin Mortgage, oh, about 100 years ago. I always got lost north of town on 183, dunno why. In those days I lived in Hyde Park, a somewhat seedy area. I imagine it's gotten a lot better, or at least more expensive.

I'll have to do a primer for San Antonio. There are a lot of Spanish and German street names that have been Anglicized.

BTW, I've heard people who live in New Braunfels call it New BraunSfels. It makes me shudder.

Cheers,

Robin

August 04, 2008 10:05 AM
Anonymous #30
Anonymous
Anonymous

This is as funny as it is informative! Thank you!

August 04, 2008 07:06 PM
Ambassador
1,439,139
Karen Kruschka
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"
RE/MAX Real Estate Connections

Very funny and a beautiful picture of Austin.  I've also been told Herpes is a town in Texas - have you heard of it?  Karen

August 06, 2008 04:09 PM
Rainer
43,118
Toni House
Realtor, Baton Rouge Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty- Red Stick Partners

Jason, I love this as I can definitely relate.  You can imagine it happens a lot with all the interesting names we have in Louisiana!  Great Localism Post!

August 06, 2008 05:58 PM
Ambassador
962,308
Jason Crouch
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
Austin Texas Homes, LLC

Karen - We don't have a Herpes, Texas, and Chlamydia, Texas was renamed long ago.  Actually, someone was pulling your leg.  We don't have a town by either name. 

August 06, 2008 06:34 PM
Rainmaker
549,235
Susan Mangigian
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches
RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A

Jason, we can only hope and pray that Paul doesn't get wind of your last comment!  This could start an avalanche.  Thankfully, this is a public post.

August 06, 2008 08:36 PM
Rainmaker
213,749
Tricia Jumonville
Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense
Bradfield Properties

"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."

To add to the confusion, the actual spelling of the name of the man that both are named after is Menchaca. 

 

"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?"

You left out Allandale (between 290 and Northland). 

 

"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"." 

This one drives me nuts, and it really DOES brand you as "not from around here".  Sort of like "on line" (I always find myself looking on the ground that we're supposedly standing on, rather than the line of people that we're clearly in.)

 

Then there's Pedernales (many locals, though not I, put an extra "r" in there - Purdenales). 

 

And Mueller, pronounced "Miller".  Named after a local family, THEY get to decide how it's pronounced, and that's what they say. 

 

Looking forward to finally meeting you in the flesh at the gathering! 

 

 

August 07, 2008 08:24 AM
Rainmaker
227,931
Linda Jandura
Realtor, North Carolina Buyer & Seller Specialist
Raleigh Cary Realty

Jason, thanks for the great pronouciation guide.

As a former San Diego resident, we had many names that people couldn't pronouce, such as La Jolla, El Cajon and Rancho Penasquitos (if you can't pronounce it or spell it, you can't live there)

Here in North Carolina we have the famous (or should I say infamous) town of Fuquay- Varina.  Say it FUU  KWA  Vah Ree Na.    It's kind of a joke that we let visitors try to say it first before we let them hear us say it.

Have a great day!

August 07, 2008 08:51 AM
Rainmaker
227,931
Linda Jandura
Realtor, North Carolina Buyer & Seller Specialist
Raleigh Cary Realty

Jason, thanks for the great pronouciation guide.

As a former San Diego resident, we had many names that people couldn't pronouce, such as La Jolla, El Cajon and Rancho Penasquitos (if you can't pronounce it or spell it, you can't live there)

Here in North Carolina we have the famous (or should I say infamous) town of Fuquay- Varina.  Say it FUU  KWA  Vah Ree Na.    It's kind of a joke that we let visitors try to say it first before we let them hear us say it.

Have a great day!

August 07, 2008 08:51 AM
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
630,618
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
213,749
Tricia Jumonville
Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense
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
962,308
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

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