Idahoans are passionate about how to say the places in which they live. We learned that earlier this month through a post around the 10 locations only Idahoans know how to pronounce.

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You sent out us dozens of suggestions, comments and also explacountries around Idaho"s distinct location names. Commentors also disagreed around the correct pronunciation of some words, which is to be supposed, says Boise State University Assistant Professor of Linguistics Tim Thornes.

“Often language is mutually agreed upon, but not through mindful initiative. As with the majority of of language, tbelow is variation and also just how much variation tbelow is is constrained by negotiation by others,” says Thornes. “If you’re in a team that lives in a specific location, it doesn’t take extremely long for everyone to agree, unconsciously, to a specific name for a location. It’s a issue of negotiating with your social group."

For example, not all Idahoans agree on just how to say Boise. Is it Boy-zee (hard "Z") or Boy-view (soft "S")? Here"s some of what readers had actually to say.


"I stayed in Boise my entire life and also I say boyzee and koona. The just world I recognize who say boy-view are from out of state and also reading it as it's spelled, and also just how you say Kuna is around fifty fifty." -DukeOfSaoPaulo "How lengthy has your entire life been? I'm over fifty years old, born in Idaho, invested a good chunk of that living near Boise, operated in Boise and also it was always pronounced Boy-see by everyone I knew, consisting of my grandparental fees that had actually also invested a great share of their lives in the area. On the other hand also, out-of-staters I knew nearly constantly pronounced it Boy-zee." -Idaho Native "Those from SOUTHERN Idaho pronounce it Boy zee.WE are a little bit even more nation dvery own here:)" -Diane "yeah, I'd agree, loved ones from means earlier in the Owyhees drawled out even more a Boyzee, if not sindicate 'the Valley.'" - Ridahoan "I was born in Emmett and also presently live in Weiser, both of which are in southerly Idaho, and my whole family members has ALWAYS said Boy-see. My husband, who was born in Ontario, OR, claims Boy-zee, and I can't obtain him to pronounce it appropriately. GGGRRRRR!!" - Wendy Poston

Thornes claims the difference in between Boywatch and Boyzee can be extremely slight, and also in running speech it’s difficult to tell if someone said it through a soft "S" or a hard "Z". He says it has to carry out through your vocal cord vibration. “It’s a herbal process to say "boy-zee," bereason your vocal cords are already vibrating from the vowels on either side. So you have to make a aware effort to shut off those cords for a millisecond or 2. It’s not hard, bereason we do it all the moment.” For instance, Thornes claims we must naturally say “It’s icy outside” by pronouncing it eye-zee. But we self-correct and also say eye-watch.

Thornes has actually remained in Boise because 2012 and also he has actually trouble saying Boise. “Everybody I know from South Dakota and also Oregon called it Boy-zee.” But when he obtained right here, Thornes says it was his duty as a linguist and an adoptive citizen to pronounce it properly, “so I wouldn"t sound prefer I’m from elsewhere.”

As for the ideal means to say Boise, Thornes states “It’s even more in the ears of the listener, then in the voice of the speaker.” He makes a aware effort to say Boy-view to world that live right here, assuming that’s how they would certainly favor it said. He’s accommodating the listener.

There"s no shortage of hard-to-say words in Idaho. Here are suggestions from you, that we took a closer look at.

Kamiah (KAM-ee-eye) in Lewis County was the winter residence of the Nez Perce wright here they made "Kamia" ropes. Kamiah means the area of "many rope litters."


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Credit Kara Oehler / Flickr Creative Commons

Kooskia (KOOSS-kee) in Idaho County. The town started out via the name Stuart, however before lengthy it was changed to Kooskia bereason that was the name of the railroad depot. The name is a contractivity of Koos-koos-kia, which implies "wbelow the waters satisfy." Appropriate, given that the tvery own sits at the confluence of the Southfork and Middlefork of the Clearwater River.

Pocatello (poe-kuh-TELL-oh) in Bannock County. It originates from the name of the Indian chief of the Shoshone that offered the railroad a right-of-means through the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. But some say Pocatello wanted to be dubbed Tondzaosha, a Shoshoni word definition buffalo robe. As for the origin of Chief Pocatello"s name, no one appears to recognize. His daughter states the name did not expect anypoint.

Moscow (MOSS-koe) in Latah County is regularly pronounced by outsiders choose the Russian funding. Before it was Moscow it was dubbed Hogs" Heaven (bereason the farmer"s pigs loved to root out the wild camas freduced bulbs) and also Paradise Valley (bereason the farmer"s wives chosen that name better). When it was time to pick an main name, postunderstand Samuel Neff decided Moscow, though why he picked that name is not clear. One hint: he was born in Moscow, Pennsylvania.

Lake Pend Oreille (pond oh-RAY). The French name originates from fur trappers and also it means "hangs from ears." That originates from the round shell earring worn by male and also female Pfinish d"Oreille/Kalispel tribe members. To further the confusion, Idaho also has a town called Ponderay, and also there"s a Montana county dubbed Pondera, all with the exact same pronunciation.

Leadore (LED-or) sounds simply like it"s spelled. The old ghost tvery own is in Lemhi County, and this particular day has fewer than 100 occupants.

Dubois (DOO-boyss) in Clark County, Idaho has its origins in a French surname. In France, it"s likely pronounced doob-WAA, however in Idaho, it"s DOO-boyss. Dubois, Idaho most likely obtained its name from Fred Dubois, a influential politician and one of the state"s initially UNITED STATE Senators.

Mackay (MACK-ee) in Custer County sits beneath Borah Peak, Idaho"s tallest mountain. Sun Valley Magazine says the old West mining tvery own was established in 1901 and acquired its name from the owner of the White Knob Mining Company.

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Cocolalla (koe-koe-LAW-luh) is in Bonner County, Idaho. The origin of the word isn"t totally clear, although the book Native American Placenames of the United States by William Bbest, says Cocolalla is a Coeur d"Alene (Shalishan) name interpretation "incredibly cold."

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Editor"s Note: We initially said Mackay was in Oneida County (that"s oh-NYE-duh), when it really sits inside Custer County in Central Idaho.