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Taneytown, Thames, Towson and other Maryland places y'all say wrong

At this year's Honfest, we asked people to try and say some of the most mispronounced Maryland words. (Ulysses Muñoz / Baltimore Sun)

If "put the water in the sink" is to Baltimore as "Park the car in Harvard Yard" is to Boston, then Worcester, Mass. must equate to — well, um — Worcester County, Maryland?

So our chaps to the north might have the more recognizable accents, but we've got our equal share of butchered words here in Maryland.

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Can Tom Brady pronounce Taneytown? Has Dustin Pedroia ever correctly taken an Uber to Thames Street? Think those smartypants at Harvard ever draw out the school's name and pretend they attend Harford Community College?

(OK, so that was me quickly pronouncing "Harford" when asked where I went to school during my first two years of college. Guilty.)

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I've always been a little interested in how we pronounce things here in Maryland — and not just so I can irk my wife with my intentional use of "Bawlmerese" now and then. I grew up in Havre de Grace; pronouncing things the right way — and correctly capitalizing words — is kind of second nature there.

So I ran down a list of a couple places in Maryland that are often butchered — either by out-of-towners or through our own accents here in Bawlmer. Click through the gallery below to see all of them.

There were a few that stood out.

Auchentoroly Terrace

If a guy named Ock had a trolly, and you saw them together, they would be the tag team of "OCK-en-trolly" — which is how you pronounce the name of this street and enclave in Baltimore.
If a guy named Ock had a trolly, and you saw them together, they would be the tag team of "OCK-en-trolly" — which is how you pronounce the name of this street and enclave in Baltimore. (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)

Ijamsville

Don't get yourself into a jam with this one — Ijamsville in Frederick County is pronounced "EYE-emz-vill"
Don't get yourself into a jam with this one — Ijamsville in Frederick County is pronounced "EYE-emz-vill" (Flickr)

Riviera Beach

You're going to want to say this like the Riviera Maya — but you'll be wrong. In Maryland, Riviera is pronounced like the former Yankees closer — Mariano Rivera — or like the historical figure Paul Revere — as in "re-VEER-uh."
You're going to want to say this like the Riviera Maya — but you'll be wrong. In Maryland, Riviera is pronounced like the former Yankees closer — Mariano Rivera — or like the historical figure Paul Revere — as in "re-VEER-uh." (Perry Thorsvik / Baltimore Sun)

Taliaferro Hall

It doesn't look like it should sound like "Tolliver," but this College Park building is pronounced exaclty that way.
It doesn't look like it should sound like "Tolliver," but this College Park building is pronounced exaclty that way. (Nanine Hartzenbusch / Baltimore Sun)

Taneytown

Taneytown in Carroll County has a unique pronunciation that most in Maryland already know. There's an invisible W in there — so, pronounce it "TAW-nee-town."
Taneytown in Carroll County has a unique pronunciation that most in Maryland already know. There's an invisible W in there — so, pronounce it "TAW-nee-town." (KATHRYN WHITNEY / Baltimore Sun)

Thames Street

The river and namesake street in London are pronounced "Tames" .. but in Baltimore, the locals pronounce it like they would read it right off the street sign: "Thaymes"
The river and namesake street in London are pronounced "Tames" .. but in Baltimore, the locals pronounce it like they would read it right off the street sign: "Thaymes" (Baltimore Sun archive)

Towson

There's no E, no E and no Z. So forget about Townsend, Toeson, or Towzen. Try "TAO-sin." If you're still unsure, it starts with "ow!" like the sound locals will make if you butcher it.
There's no E, no E and no Z. So forget about Townsend, Toeson, or Towzen. Try "TAO-sin." If you're still unsure, it starts with "ow!" like the sound locals will make if you butcher it. (Baltimore Sun file photo)

So that takes us to the state itself. Maryland. Seems simple, right?

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Well, let's turn to the resident Englishman to give us the proper rundown on how to pronounce the state's name. Take it away, James Corden!

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