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00000173-38e2-d855-adf7-bcef38580000Presidential hopefuls need to clear all kinds of hurdles. Some are unique to politics, but one is familiar to every Iowan: getting our state's place-names right. While some of them (like Atlantic) are clear from the spelling, others trip "newbies" up. Louisa County? Not like my cousin's first name. Madrid? Not like the city in Spain. Nevada? Not like that state out west. You can’t take anything for granted.But you're not on your own - Iowa Public Radio has you covered. Below is our handy audio guide to pronouncing Iowa place names. How did these pronunciations gain their current forms? Long story, which we'll get to another time, but meanwhile, scroll down for the list.NOTE: Thanks to digital technology, we can update the entries anytime. Let us know if you have any corrections or suggestions - we could even post YOUR voice up here!UPDATE: Dec. 6: the following are in process, thanks to your input:Avon LakeBode [e is silent, one syllable]CarlisleCorydonCummingGiardGoodell [guh-DELL?]Hawarden [HAY-warden]Jesup [JESS-up]kilbourn [KILL-burn?]Kiron [KEYE-ruhn]Knoke [kuh-NOKE]LamoilleLycurgus [lih-SIR-jus]MauriceMoingonaOrillaOthoProle [Silent e]ProtivinPulaski [pyoo-LASS-kee?]Swea City [Sway]TaraValeriaVenturaZanetaZenorsville

Iowa Place Names: A - E

-A-       -B-       -C-       -D-       -E-


Adel: Ay- DELL


Allamakee: Aal -uh-muh-KEY (NOTE: Al as in "Call Me Al")


Amish: AY-mish


Arispe: uh-RISS-pee


Atalissa: at-uh-LISS-uh


Audubon: AW-duh-bin


Ayrshire: AIR- "sure" ("air" like the stuff we breathe; sure like the sher in "Sherman")

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Bondurant: BONN-durr-RANT


Bremer: BREE-mer


Buena Vista: BYOO-nuh VIH-stuh

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Calamus: CAAL-uh-muhss ("Cal" as in California or Calvin)


Calmar: CAAL-mer ("Cal" as in California or Calvin)


Camanche: cuh- MAANCH


Chariton: SHARE-ih-ton


Charlotte: sharr- LOTT


Cherokee: chair-uh-KEE


Chillicothe: chill-uh-KAW-thhee


Churdan: shur-DAAN


Clermont: Clare - mont


Clutier: clue - teer

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De Witt:Most residents say simply Duh WITT, with a schwa vowel in the first syllable; but some say "Dee Witt," as follows:


Decorah: dih - CORE - uh or duh-CORE-uh (short "schwa" as the first vowel) - though some residents say dee-CORE-uh as follows:


Delhi: DELL- high


Delmar: DELL- mer (although some say DELL- mar)



Delphos: DELL- fooss[the second syllable rhymes more with "foot" than with "dose"]


Des Moines: di Moyn (or de moyn - that is, a "schwa" in the first vowel - or deh moyn) [For both the state capital, in the center-west of the state, and Des Moines County, in the far southeast, do not say the letter "s" - that letter is silent. And no vowel in the word should rhyme with "say," But what is the first vowel? I hear a short "schwa" in the county, and a short "ih" in the city - but Wikipedia hears a short "deh," rhyming with "meh," and I sometimes hear that in the city.]


Dewar: DO -er


Dubuque: dih-BYOOK


Dysart: DIE- zert

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Earlham: ERL-uhm


East Peru: East Pee-roo


Elkader: el-KAY-der


Ely: EEE-lee

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