Des Plaines (IL, USA) [pronunciation]


American English
My question: How do Chicagoans pronounce "Des Plaines"?

I am watching the show Soul Food, which is set in Chicago.

I can't entirely recreate the sentence, but I heard something like:
I've been seeing license plates from Highland Park and Des Plaines.

One of the characters, African American says "De Plaines", which would be slightly closer to the French, but I've never heard it pronounced that way in Chicago (I spent a few years there).

Des Plaines is a suburb of Chicago (as is Highland Park).

Is there a difference between African American Vernacular English and the white pronunciation of Des Plaines, in Chicago?

I know there are some Illinoisans, and Wisconsinites, and Indianians on here, who may hear this too.

I have only ever heard the "s" stressed in "Des". I went to college with someone from there who pronounced the "s".

EDIT: I just realized "Da Bears" would fit in with "Da Plaines". (In Chicago-speak.)
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  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Now you'll know how to read it when you pick up Bill Bryson's The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America, which I've read a couple of times and which begins: I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to.

    Here's a bit more on Amazon. Go down and click on Chapter 1.


    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Not that it's necessary, but as a current Chicago resident I can confirm Glenfarclas's response from my own experience: both s's are pronounced.


    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Yes, of course, Miss Julie. That's what's called a coarticulation effect. In English, whenever a word-final "s" follows an "n," the "s" is pronounced [z].

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Da Moin. :D Although some else might say De Moin. But it's not Dee Moin to anyone I know.
    We stopped briefly in Des Moines a few years ago. My first question to one of the locals was "How do you say the name of this place?":D They said Da Moin (and laughed at the stupid British and Italian tourists, although not unkindly).:)

    And thanks to the others for providing the pronunciation of Des Plaines. That would have caught me out too.:)


    Senior Member
    English - British
    It' good to know that Americans have confusing place name pronunciations, even to some natives. Of course, in the UK we specialize in famous examples like Kirkudbright. Then there's Shrewsbury which even the natives can't agree how to pronounce :)
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