What is it called when locals intentionally "mispronounce" (compared to the common or historical pronunciation) their home town or other words? I've read somewhere a while back that it was intended to know the difference between a local and a non-local person, e.g. someone who might not belong there.

  • 4
    One could make an argument that it's the correct pronunciation.
    – Spencer
    Sep 12, 2017 at 0:29
  • It's called "Louisville".
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 12, 2017 at 1:40
  • @Spencer, Sometimes, yes, othertimes, no.
    – MikeP
    Sep 16, 2017 at 0:25

1 Answer 1


Are you by any chance conflating the concepts of an endonym and a shibboleth?



Shibboleths are when the pronunciation of word distinguishes a 'non-local' from a 'local', and endonyms are an indigenous name or pronunciation, as opposed to the exonym used by outsiders. Neither word applies exclusively to placenames, but placenames are commonly examples of both.


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