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Sometimes you are looking on a map and encounter a city, county, or landform name that you just can't figure out. I have done some digging and created this pronunciation guide for uniquely-named cities, counties, landforms, bodies of water, etc. with its name and its phonetically sounded-out pronunciation.


Some important notes:

  • The block of letters in ALL CAPS represents the syllable on which to place emphasis.
    • Example: "emphasis" → EM-fa-sis ✔       em-FA-sis ✘
  • Some pronunciations require additional information in parentheses to the right of the name as to whether to pronounce the hard or soft sound of a letter.
    • Example: (A as in "Apple") describes the short "A" sound versus the long "A" sound described in (A as in "Awesome").

NC Pronunciation guide

City Pronunciation City Pronunciation
Aberdeen AB-ur-deen Greenevers GREEN-evurrs
Advance ADD-vantz Icard EYE-kard
Ahoskie uh-HOSS-key Ivanhoe EYE-ven-ho
Alamance ALLA-mantz Kannapolis can-NAP-oh-liss
Albemarle ALBA-marr-ull Kittrell KIT-trul
Altamahaw ALL-tuh-muh-HA Kure Beach CURE-ee
Angier ANN-jure Lake Junaluska JOON-uh-LUSS-kuh
Arapahoe uh-RAP-uh-ho Lucama loo-COMMA
Aulander AWW-lander Mamers MAY-murrs
Autryville AWW-tree-vill Manteo MAN-tee-oh
Avon AYE-vonn Mebane MEH-bunn
Ayden AYE-den Mesic MESS-ick
Badin BAY-den Misenheimer MIZE-en-HI-mer
Bahama buh-HAY-muh Momeyer MOE-my-err
Beaufort BO-furt Moyock MOY-YOCK
Belvoir bell-VWA Navassa nuh-VASSS-uh
Bogue BOAG Ossipee AHH-sih-pee
Brevard breh-VARD Parmele PAR-muh-lee
Buies Creek BOO-ees Creek Pfafftown POFF-town
Cajah's Mountain KAY-JUHs Mountain Peletier PELL-LA-teer
Calypso kuh-LIP-so Plymouth PLIM-muth
Cape Carteret Cape CAR-turr-ett Raeford RAY-ferd
Casar KAY-zarr Ramseur RAM-surr
Cashiers CASH-urrs Rodanthe ro-DANTH-ee
Castalia kass-TALE-ee-uh Rougemont ROOJ-mont
Catawba kuh-TAH-buh Roxobel ROCK-sobul
Cerro Gordo SAIR-oh GORD-o Saxapahaw SACKS-uh-pa-hah
Chalybeate Springs ka-LIB-ee-utt Schley SLY
Chinquapin CHINK-uh-pin Severn SEV-urn
Chocowinity CHOCK-o-WIN-it-tee Shallotte sha-LOAT
Conetoe kuh-NEE-tuh Stovall STOVE-ull
Cooleemee COOL-uh-mee Swannanoa SWAH-nuh-NO-uh
Corolla ka-RAW-la Tyro TIE-row
Cullowhee KULLA-wee Valdese VAL-dees
Dortches DOOR-chez Valle Crucis VALLEY croo-sis
Dundarrach dun-DARR-uck Vass VASSSS
Enochville EE-nock-vill Wagram WAY-grum
Etowah ET-tuh-wuh Wanchese WAHN-cheese
Eureka u-REEK-uh Watha WAH-tha
Fearrington Village FAIR-ing-tun Waxhaw WACKS-ahh
Fuquay-Varina FEW-kway Vuh-REENA Wendell win-DELL
Gerton GURT-un Zebulon ZEB-you-luhn
Gloucester GLOSS-turr

County Pronunciation County Pronunciation
Alamance ALA-mantz Guilford GILL-ferd
Alleghany al-uh-GAIN-ee Harnett HARR-net
Ashe ASH Hyde HIDE
Beaufort BO-furt Iredell EYE-ur-del
Bertie burr-TEE Lenoir lenn-NOR
Bladen BLAY-din McDowell mick-DOW-ull
Buncombe BUNK-um Pamlico PAM-lih-co
Cabarrus kuh-BARE-us Pasquotank PASS-kwa-taink
Carteret CARR-turr-ett Perquimans per-KWIM-ins
Catawba kuh-TAHH-buh Robeson ROW-buh-sun
Chowan cho-WAHHN Rowan row-ANN
Currituck KURR-eh-tuck Rutherford RUH-tha-ferd
Davie DAY-vee Transylvania tran-sill-VANE-yuh
Duplin DOOP-len Tyrrell TAIR-ull
Edgecombe EDGE-cumb Watauga wuh-TAHH-guh
Forsyth for-sEYEth Yadkin YADD-ken

Landform Pronunciation Landform Pronunciation
Appalachian APP-uh-LATCH-in Mt. Guyot GEE-yoh
Bodie Island BODY Occoneechee Mtn OAK-uh-NEE-chee
Camp Lejeune leh-ZHOON Pettigrew PET-uh-groo
Celo Knob SEE-low Unaka Mtns yoo-NAKE-uh
Chicamacomico CHICK-uh-muh-CAH-mih-co Unicoi Mountains YOO-nuh-COY
Hibriten Mtn HI-bry-ten Uwharrie you-WARR-ee
Konehete conn-uh-HEET-uh Wayah Bald WHY-uh
Medoc Mountain MEE-dock Weymouth Woods WHEY-muth
Morrow Mountain MORE-oh

People Pronunciation People Pronunciation
Coharie co-HAIR-ee Sappony suh-PONY
Haliwa-Saponi HA-lih-WAH suh-PONY

River Pronunciation River Pronunciation
Ararat AIR-uh-rat Nolichucky NOLA-chuck-ee
Cashie kuh-SHY Oconaluftee o-CON-uh-LUFF-tee
Catawba kuh-TAHH-buh Pasquotank PASS-kwo-tank
Chattooga sha-TOO-guh Perquimans per-KWI-mens
Cheoah CHI-oh-wa Scuppernong SCUP-purr-nong
Contentnea kunn-TENT-nee-uh Swannanoa SWAN-nuh-NO-uh
Cullasaja COOL-uh-SAY-juh Toxaway TOCKS-away
Hiwassee hi-WAHS-ee Tuckasegee TUCK-uh-SEE-jee
Hyco HI-co Uwharrie you-WARR-ee
Meherrin ma-HAIR-in Waccamaw WOK-uh-ma
Nantahala NAN-tuh-HAY-luh Wiccacon WICK-ca-conn

Lake Pronunciation Lake Pronunciation
Badin BAY-den Michie MICK-ee
Belews beh-LOOS Phelps FELPS
Chatuge sha-TOOG Rhodhiss ROAD-iss
Fontana fahn-TAN-nuh Santeetlah san-TEET-luh
Gaston GAS-tun W. Kerr Scott KURR
Kerr CAR Wylie WHY-lee
Mattamuskeet MATT-uh-mus-KEET

Know of a uniquely-named city, landform, river, tribe, or other entity in North Carolina that was excluded above? Email me: 

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