You’ve been pronouncing your holiday destination all wrong! Fifty of the most commonly


It’s the sting in the tail.

You’ve remembered all your essentials, booked the taxi from the airport, secured a beautiful rental… but then you arrive at your holiday destination and get funny looks from the locals because you can’t actually pronounce it.

To save you from embarrassing yourself on your next trip, MailOnline Travel has rounded up 50 of the most commonly mispronounced places across the globe, with their correct and incorrect pronunciations revealed. 

Scroll down to see which ones you’ve been saying all wrong… 

Mousehole, Cornwall, England

MailOnline Travel has rounded up 50 commonly mispronounced places. Mousehole is one of the spots with the most mysterious pronunciations

MailOnline Travel has rounded up 50 commonly mispronounced places. Mousehole is one of the spots with the most mysterious pronunciations

This tiny village and fishing port in West Cornwall is frequently mispronounced. Despite what the name might suggest, it’s ‘Mow-zuhl’ not ‘Mouse-hole’.

Edinburgh, Scotland 

Edinburgh’s cobbled streets, historic castle and striking architecture draw in millions of tourists per year – yet many struggle to pronounce it, often calling the city ‘Ed-in-berg’. The correct pronunciation is ‘Ed-in-bruh’ or ‘Ed-in-bur-uh’.

Happisburgh, England

This coastal village has the potential to confuse anyone but locals. It’s pronounced ‘Haze-bruh’ not ‘Happis-burgh’.

Birmingham, England 

Americans might be tempted to pronounce this UK city as ‘Burr-ming-ham’, after their own city in Alabama. But the correct way to say it is ‘Bur-ming-um’.

Nottingham, England

Americans should drop the ‘h’ in Nottingham. It’s ‘Nott-ing-um’, not ‘Nott-ing-ham’. 

Bicester, Oxfordshire, England

Unless you’ve lived there, or nearby, you’ve no chance of getting this name right. It’s pronounced ‘Bis-ter’, not ‘By-sester’. 

Worcestershire, England

Many tourists struggle to pronounce Worcestershire in England, often referring to it incorrectly as 'Wore-chest-er-shire'. Above is the city of Worcester

Many tourists struggle to pronounce Worcestershire in England, often referring to it incorrectly as ‘Wore-chest-er-shire’. Above is the city of Worcester

You wouldn’t necessarily know how to pronounce Worcestershire unless you live in England. Most tourists automatically default to ‘Wore-chest-er-shire’ or ‘War-sest-er-shire’, but the correct pronunciation is ‘Wuh-stuh-shuh’.

Leicestershire, England 

Those unfamiliar with this county often pronounce it ‘Lie-chester-shire’ or ‘Lie-cess-ter’, rather than ‘Less-ter’.

Loughborough, Leicestershire 

Many wrongly pronounce it as ‘Loff-borough’, but the correct way to say it is ‘Luff-bruh’. 

Gloucester, England 

Gloucester is pronounced ‘Gloss-ter’ not ‘Glo-cess-ter’.  

Ruislip, London, England

This west London suburb is often pronounced wrongly as ‘Roo-slip’ or ‘Roo-i-slip’, but the correct pronunciation is ‘Rye-slip’.   

Greenwich, London

Tourists might be unaware that this southeast London borough is pronounced ‘Gren-itch’ not ‘Green-witch’. 

Prudhoe, Northumberland, England

The small town of Prudhoe is commonly mispronounced as ‘Proood-ho’ or ‘Prood-ee-ho’, but is actually pronounced ‘Pru-doh’.

Marylebone, London 

London's chic Marylebone area attracts thousands of tourists per day, but not everyone can pronounce it properly

London’s chic Marylebone area attracts thousands of tourists per day, but not everyone can pronounce it properly 

Those unfamiliar with London’s chic shopping area might refer to it as ‘Mary-le-bone’, but most Londoners refer to it as ‘Maa-li-bone’.

Chiswick, London

This West London district is often mistakenly pronounced ‘Chis-wick’ instead of its correct pronunciation – ‘Chiz-ick’.  

Frome, Somerset, England

This Somerset town is commonly mispronounced as rhyming with ‘home’, but it’s actually meant to rhyme with ‘broom’, as in ‘Froom’. 

Southwark, London 

If you stop a Londoner and ask for ‘South-wark’ station, you might get a baffled look in response. This London district is pronounced ‘Su-thuk’.

Towcester, Northamptonshire, England

The small market town is pronounced ‘Toh-ster’ not ‘Toh-ces-ter’. 

Llandudno, North Wales 

This coastal town in north Wales is pronounced ‘Llan-did-noh’ or ‘Clan-did-no’, not ‘Land-dun-no’ or ‘Lan-dun-no’.

Youghal, County Cork, Ireland

This seaside resort in County Cork is often mispronounced as ‘Yog-hal’ or ‘Yug-hal’. The correct way to say it is ‘Yawl’.

Donegal, County Donegal, Ireland

You might anger a few locals if you pronounce it ‘Dun-egg-all’ or ‘Don-igal’. It’s pronounced ‘Don-e-gaul’.

Versailles, France

Versailles is one of France's frequently mispronounced places. Above are the Gardens of Versailles Palace

Versailles is one of France’s frequently mispronounced places. Above are the Gardens of Versailles Palace

If you want to avoid embarrassing yourself in this Paris suburb, don’t refer to it as ‘Ver-sales’ or ‘Ver-say-les’, say ‘Ver-sye’. 

Marseille, France

Marseille is not pronounced ‘Mar-sales’, it’s ‘Mar-say’. 

Cannes, France

If you want to pronounce it correctly drop the ‘es’ completely and say ‘Can’. 

Ibiza, Spain

You might regularly hear different versions of Ibiza from tourists. Don’t call it ‘Ih-bee-za’ or ‘eye-bee-tha’. If you want to sound Spanish say ‘ee-bee-tha’, but ‘Ih-bee-tha’ is acceptable.

Nice, France 

If you haven’t heard of this city located on the French Riviera, you might be tempted to say it as it’s spelt. But it’s pronounced ‘Neess’. 

Belarus, Eastern Europe 

This Eastern European country is pronounced ‘Bel-uh-rooz’ not ‘Bel-air-us’. 

Reykjavik, Iceland

Many tourists visiting Iceland’s most popular city might refer to it as ‘Rake-juh-vick’, but it’s pronounced ‘Rake-yah-vick’ 

Seoul, South Korea 

A popular mispronunciation of Seoul is ‘See-ole’ or ‘See-ule’, but the South Korean capital is pronounced ‘Sole’.

Phuket, Thailand 

Phuket in Thailand is known for its white sand beaches and azure waters - but not all tourists pronounce it correctly

Phuket in Thailand is known for its white sand beaches and azure waters – but not all tourists pronounce it correctly

Many tourists mistakenly pronounce the ‘ph’ in Phuket with an ‘F’. It’s actually pronounced ‘Poo-ket’, not ‘foo-ket’ or ‘fu-ket’.

Laos, Southeast Asia 

A common mispronunciation for this landlocked country is ‘Lay-ouse’. In English the pronunciation is ‘Louse’, but in the local language (‘Lao’) the ‘s’ is silent and it becomes ‘Lao’. Both are considered correct. 

Arkansas, U.S

Many people pronounce Arkansas in the same way you would pronounce its neighbouring state, Kansas. Though they share all but two letters in common, their names are nothing alike. It’s pronounced ‘Arkansaw’ not ‘Arkanzis’.

Oaxaca, Mexico

If you’re pronouncing it ‘Oh-Ax-uh-cuh’ you’re on the wrong track. It’s ‘Wah-ha-kuh’. 

La Jolla, California, U.S

This seaside neighbourhood in San Diego is pronounced ‘La Hoy-a’ not La Jo-la’.

Louisville, Kentucky, U.S 

If you’re unfamiliar with American cities, you might mistakenly refer to Louisville as ‘Loo-is-ville’. But the correct pronunciation is ‘Loo-ee-vil’. 

Des Moines, Iowa, U.S

The capital city of Iowa is pronounced ‘Duh-Moyn’, not ‘Des-Mones’.

Yosemite National Park, California, U.S

You’d be forgiven for thinking this national park is pronounced ‘Yoh-se-might’, but it’s actually ‘Yo-seh-mu-tee’. 

Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda, The Caribbean  

Many people mistakenly add ‘gwah’ when pronouncing this Caribbean island, and end up saying ‘An-tee-gwah’. It’s actually pronounced ‘An-tee-guh’. 

Barbuda, Antigua and Barbuda, The Caribbean

The second major island to make up the Caribbean nation Antigua and Barbuda is pronounced differently depending on where you’re from. Many mispronounce it as ‘Bar-boo-dua’. For Americans, it is ‘Bar-boo-da’, while others say ‘Barb-you-da’.

Melbourne, Australia 

Those not from the land down under may be tempted to say ‘Mel-borne’, rather than its correct pronunciation of ‘Mel-bn’ or ‘Mel-burn’. 

Cairns, Australia

Often referred to as the ‘gateway to the Great Barrier Reef’, due to its close proximity to the coral reef system, Cairns is commonly mispronounced. While it might feel natural to call it ‘kerns’, the correct way to pronounce it is ‘keuh-nz’ or ‘Caeh-ns’.

Brisbane, Australia 

Brisbane is one of many places in Australia tourists struggle to pronounce

Brisbane is one of many places in Australia tourists struggle to pronounce 

Queensland’s capital is commonly mispronounced as ‘Briz-bain’, but the correct way to say it is ‘Briz-bn’. 

Mackay, Australia 

Located on Australia’s east coast, this sunny city is pronounced ‘Muhk-eye’, not ‘Mac-kay’. 

Iran, Middle East

Many English speakers frequently pronounce Iran as ‘Eye-ran’. But a more acceptable way to say it is ‘Ih-ran’. To those from Iran it’s ‘ee-rahn’.

Iraq, Middle East

Iraq is pronounced ‘Ih-rahk’ and not ‘eye-rack’. Locals would say ‘ee-rahk’.

Qatar, Middle East 

You’ve probably heard Qatar pronounced ‘Ka-tar’, but the correct pronunciation is ‘kuh-tar’. 

Djibouti, Africa 

Many people are unsure of how to pronounce this East African country. But it’s much easier once you discover the ‘D’ is silent. It’s pronounced ‘juh-boo-tee’. 

Maldives, South Asia 

This paradisiacal South Asian country should not be referred to as the ‘Mal-dives’, but the ‘Mull-deeves’. 

Colombia, South America

If you want to impress the locals, the correct pronunciation of the country is ‘Co-lohm-bee-ah, not ‘Co-lumh-bee-ah’.

Saskatchewan, Canada

This province in Canada comes from the native Cree word for swift-flowing river – ‘Kisiskatchewanisipi’ – meaning it can be tricky for English speakers to say. Some may be tempted to say ‘saska-choon’, but the correct pronunciation is ‘suh-ska-chuh-wn’.



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