Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

NC Pronunciation Guide

Posted November 3, 2011
Updated July 10, 2017

NC Flag, Legislative Building, Raleigh

Hello! As promised, my North Carolina Pronunciation Guide. I've been studying NC towns and places since I was a young lad growing up in Morganton. I hope this helps and that I don't attract too many rotten tomatoes.

North Carolina names often mispronounced

(Accented syllable is capitalized)

Cities & Towns

Ahoskie ah-HOSS-kee

Angier ANN-jur (never ann-JEER)

Arapahoe uh-RAP-uh-hoe

Bahama bah-HAY-ma (not like the islands)

Beaufort BOE-furt

Buies Creek BOO-ees Creek

Camp Lejeune la-SHZOON or la-ZHERN

Cashiers KASH-urs

Chalybeate Springs ka-LIB-ee-ut

Cherryville CHAIR-ee-vil

Clinton KLINT-un (though some locals insist on KLINN-un)

Chocowinity CHOCK-uh-WIN-uh-tee

Concord KON-KORD (stress on both syllables)

Conetoe ka-NEE-tuh

Corolla ka-RAW-la (not like the car)

Durham DURR-um

Fuquay-Varina FEW-kway vuh-REE-nah

Icard EYE-kurd

Glen Alpine GLEN AL-pun

Kure Beach KURR-ee Beach

Lucama loo-KAH-ma

Mamers MAY-murs

Manteo MAN-tee-oh

Mebane MEB-un

Micaville MY-ka-vil

Momeyer MOE-my-ur

Norlina nor-LY-na

Ocracoke OAK-ra-coke

Raleigh RAH-lee

Richlands RICH-LANDS

Rocky Mount rocky MOUNT

Rodanthe roe-DAN-thee (though some locals prefer roe-DAN)

Salisbury SAULS-berry

Saxapahaw SAX-uh-puh-haw

Shallote sha-LOTE

Spivey’s Corner SPY-vees

Tabor City TAY-burr

Valdese VAL-dees

Wagram WAY-grum

Wendell wen-'DELL

Zebulon ZEB-yoo-luhn. (It is not a lawn service)


Bertie burr-TEE

Buncombe BUNK-um

Cabarrus kuh-BEAR-us

Carteret KAR-tuh-RETT

Catawba kah-TAW-ba

Chowan cho-WAHN (though some give equal accent to both syllables)


Edgecombe EDGE-comb

Forsyth for-SYTH. Accent on the second syllable

Harnett HAR-net (never HAR-NET)

Iredell EYE-ur-dell

Lenoir la-NOR

Pasquotank PASS-kwah-tank

Perquimans purr-KWIM-uns

Robeson ROB-uh-son. (There is no robe in Robeson)

Rowan roe-WANN (like row Anne row!)

Tyrrell TAIR-uhl (first syllable rhymes with hair)

Watauga wah-TAW-guh


Appalachian ap-uh-LATCH-un (It is not ap-uh-LAY-chun)

Bodie Island BOD-ee like Body

Contentnea Creek kon-TENT-nee-uh

Cullasaja River KULL-uh-SAY-ja

Croatan CROW-uh-tan

Skibo SKY-boe

Mattamuskeet MAT-uh-ma-SKEET

Murchison Road MURK-uh-son

Toisnot TOYS-NOT

Uwharrie you-WAHR-ee