This pronunciation guide is specifically intended for Austin newbies who may be having trouble figuring out the correct pronunciations of 10 of the most confusing Austin street names, such as Manchaca and Manor. Still, some Austin veterans may find this guide useful as well, if only for setting the record straight and helping get all the new folks across town as fast as possible without clogging up the highways any more than we have to.
10. Nueces Street
If you do any exploring in Central Austin or are looking for real estate downtown, you’ll likely drive down Nueces Street, which runs north-south from the late Austin Music Hall to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd near The University of Texas. To that end, “Nueces” is appropriately pronounced “New-AY-sez.”
9. Burnet Road
There’s no escaping Burnet Road while sightseeing in North Austin, so you’d better learn the correct pronunciation! Now, you may be tempted to drawl out “Burnet” into something like “Bur-NETTE” — or even “BRU-nette” for the especially sloppy — but don’t you dare. Here in ATX, we have a saying: “It’s BURN-it, durn it. Learn it!”
8. Guadalupe Street
Guadalupe Street is known as “The Drag,” especially in UT circles. Discussions about how to pronounce “Guadalupe” can become fairly heated, since the traditional Spanish pronunciation would sound something like, “Wad-ah-LOOP-ay.” That’s perfectly acceptable, of course, but most of us just call it “Gwad-uh-LOOP.”
7. Pedernales Street
Let’s start with how not to say “Pedernales.” Do not say “PEE-dur-nahl-ez,” “PEH-dur-nahl-ez,” “PEE-dur-nalles,” or “PEH-dur-nalles,” and don’t even think about trying to drop that “S” or emphasize “les” as in “PEH-dur-nal-LEZ.” None of those pronunciations will make you look like a local; in fact, use ’em and you’ll probably become the butt of long-time Austinites’ good-natured joking. “Pedernales” is said “PUR-der-nal-ehz” or “PUR-den-nal-ehz.” Don’t ask us where we got the extra “R.”
6. Dessau Road
Dessau Road lies east of I-35, so you’re likely to encounter it during your East Austin adventures. We’ve heard a lot of different pronunciations for Dessau — “deh-SOW,” “des-ay-ew,” and “DESS-ow,” to name a few — but locals favor “deh-SAW.”
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