© 2022 Iowa Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
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: P - T

-P-       -Q-       -R-       -S-       -T-

Palo: PAY-low

Peoria: Residents say Peoria (like the town in Illlinois) - or PURE-ree or PEER-ree

Peosta: Pee-AHSS-tuh

Pisgah: Pizz-guh

Back to Top

Quasqueton: Residents say either kwass-KWEE-ton or KWASS-kwih-Ton

Back to Top

Readlyn: REED-lin

Rolfe: Rawlf (that is, one syllable)

Back to Top

Sabula: Suh-BYOO-luh

Sherman Township: I'm not even gonna take a chance on this one!

Sigourney: SIH-gurney

Back to Top

Tabor: TAY-burr

Tama: TAY-muh

Titonka: tie-TAHN-kuh

Traer: Trare (rhymes with "rare")

Tripoli: trih- POE- luh

Back to Top

Barney Sherman is a Senior Music Producer and Classical Music Host