23 June 2008

Correct Mispronunciations of Some South Carolina Names

By “correct mispronunciations” we mean, of course, pronunciations that are considered correct in South Carolina but will seem wrong to you if you’ve just arrived from Connecticut, bless your sun-seeking heart, and you’ve never been in the Palmetto State before.

We’d like to preserve these traditional pronunciations. We are South Carolinians and to a South Carolinian the impulse to preserve tradition is almost as instinctive as breathing.

There’s the story about the three dogs who met at the corner of Broad Street and Meeting Street in Charleston. One of them was a mongrel who said, “I’m from New York and my name is Spot. That’s spelled S-P-O-T.” Another was a German Shepherd to said, “I’m from Ohio and my name is Rover. That’s spelled R-O-V-E-R.” The third was a French Poodle who said, “Welcome to [South Carolina]. My name is Fido and that’s spelled P-H-I-D-E-A-U-X.”

We hope…that [these] too-frequently mispronounced names will be helpful to broadcasters and to newcomers who’d like to pronounce the names of local people and places in the ways that South Carolinians have traditionally preferred.

--Claude and Irene Neuffer, authors of Correct Mispronunciations of Some South Carolina Names, excerpt from pages v-vii.

Today’s Historic Beaufort District Correct Mispronunciations:


ASH-i-POO (OO as in boot)

Ashepoo is an Indian word which may mean eel. Appropriately, the Ashepoo River is curling and narrow. Between the Combahee and Edisto rivers in Colleton County, the Ashepoo empties into St. Helena Sound near Beaufort. (p. 6)



After the BUE pronunciation for Beaufort, South Carolinians’ inconsistency is evident in the BOE for Beauregard. The fort on Port Royal Island on the southeast coast is named for Confederate General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, who was in charge of the defense of the South Carolina coast. (p. 12)

The Beaufort District Collection is a division of the Beaufort County Library, a department of Beaufort County Government of South Carolina.

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