Did you know that many television reporters do a stint in Cleveland to “lose” their accents? Listen closely to the national anchors as they read the evening news and you’ll hear how they all sound fairly midwestern (no southern drawl, no New England clip, no Valley Girl twang), so although Clevelanders and Akronites might sound different to a newcomer, the Midwest (Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, etc.) is considered the most accent neutral part of the country and is a training ground for those with national tv news ambitions!
Still, we do say some words differently than you might guess as a newbie, so here is a newcomer’s guide on how to pronounce a few of the most commonly mispronounced words:
Cuyahoga – KIE yah HOE gah – a Native American word meaning “crooked river”, it is the name of our river, the county Cleveland is located in, a major road from downtown to the eastside and more. It is from the Iroquois language. It means crooked. With our new county government in place, it is only the river that reflects the nature of the name! (some people also say Kie yuh HOG uh, which tends to be more Pittsburgh pronounciation, but it’s acceptable also)
Solon – a southeastern suburb of Cleveland is pronounced Sew lin (not like a hair salon)
Carnegie – Andrew Carnegie built a few libraries here. Pittsburgh residents say it differently than we do (they emphasis the 2nd syllable) . In Ohio we emphasis the 1st syllable so it’s CAR neh gi” here
Akron – pronounced ACK rin
Medina is both a city and a county and is pronounced Meh DINE uh
Wooster – pronounced just like Worcester, MA, if that helps. If not, try saying it like this Wuss stir
Tallmadge you would think it was pronounced “tall madge”. Actually the first “l” is silent and it is pronounced “TAL midge”
If you want to share any others that stumped you when you arrived in NE Ohio, add a comment!
And if you’d like to learn more about how Executive Arrangements can provide local Guides to your recruits, new hires and VIP visitors, call us at 216.231.9311.