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Pronunciation: Tucson, etc.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Cracker Jack, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. Cracker Jack Senior Member

    I am intrigued by the way this Arizona city is pronounced. Is the c mute or is it pronounced? There are other places in the US of A wherein the pronunciation is not what it seems; like Illinois, Arkansas, etc.

    I want to know the correct pronunciation through this forum. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. ROBINHOODLYM Junior Member

    Phoenix
    USA - English
    Well, having lived in its neighbor city for the last 6 years (Phoenix), I can attest with all accuracy that Tucson is pronounced without the hard "c" sound - basically, the "c" is silent... so it is Tu - (long "U') cson pronouced more like "sahn" rhyming with the word "dawn"... Hope this helps!!

    Come here and enjoy the warm weather some day! Everyone's welcome!
     
  3. WongFeiHung

    WongFeiHung Senior Member

    USA English
    I've always heard it pronounced like 'tooson' (the 'on' being prounced like... 'on')
     
  4. Indigo Girl Junior Member

    British Columbia
    Canada, English
    Yes..WongFeiHung is correct in his pronunciation.
     
  5. Cracker Jack Senior Member

    Thanks a lot ROBINHOODLYM, WongFeiHung and Indigo Girl for the responses. However, I still have one question left. What is the origin of this name and pronunciation? It seems to me like French.
     
  6. Tabac Senior Member

    Pacific Northwest (USA)
    U. S. - English
    There are gazillions of place names in the U.S. that are based on the language of the original occupants. The spellings are sometimes a result of evolution; they are also sometimes the result of a "bad" representation of the French or English settlers who attempted to put in their language something from the original.

    My city is Seattle, which is an evolved, or mistaken, spelling of Chief Sealth's name.

     
  7. mplsray Senior Member

    According to a University of Arizona Web page, the local Indians called it S-tukson, meaning "black base."
     
  8. Cracker Jack Senior Member

    Thanks a lot Tabac and mplsray. I first wanted to hear from you before I conjecture. I think, aside from the evolution, it has also something to do with miscommuncation between the original settlers and colonizers. The colonizers would ask the natives the name of the place and the natives would reply one thing. However, the colonizers pick up another thing. And sadly enough, the latter remains up to the present day.

    The one about the ''black base'' thing is new information for me. Thanks mplsray.
     

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