How to pronounce Connecticut town names

The names of Connecticut’s 169 towns are mostly derived from Native American and English names. Pronunciation of some of them is regional, of course. Here’s a list of some of the irregular ones, as spoken by a lifelong resident.

Avon – Ayv-on

Barkhamsted – Bark-ham-stead

Berlin – BERlin (accent on 1st syllable)

Bolton -Bowl-tin

Coventry – Cah-ven-tree

Danbury – Danberry

Durham – Durrum

—–ford – this ending is invariably pronounced ferd

Gilead – Gilly-ed

Greenwich – Grennitch

Groton – Grah-in (glottal stop)

Hebron – Hee-brun

Ledyard – Ledgerd

Mashamoquet state park – Mashmuckit

Meriden – Mare-ih-din

New Britain – Nu Brih-en (glottal stop)

Niantic – Nye-antic

Noank – No-ank with accent on No

Norfolk – Norfick

North Grosvenordale – North Grove-ner-dale

Norwich – Norrich

Pawcatuck – Paw-kit-uck with accent on Paw

Poquonnock – Poe-kwa-nick with accent on Poe

Quinebaug – Quinnabog

Quinnipiac – Quin-ah-pee-ack with accent on the Quin

Somers – Summers

Southington – Suthington (most other names containing South in them pronounce it like the direction)

Thames River – Just as it’s spelled. Long A. No temms here.

Tolland – Tahlend

Windham – Windum

Wolcott – Wool-kit

16 thoughts on “How to pronounce Connecticut town names

  1. Kate says:

    Stumbled across this by mistake… and I get a kick out of “Nu Brih-en (glottal stop)”. I grew up in Berlin (New Britain’s next door neighbor) and still get harassed–even now living in Iowa for seven years–for not being able to “correctly” say anything with that same stop: kitten, mitten, curtain. So instead, I hang drapes, wear gloves, and have dogs. 🙂

  2. Beth says:

    Some Darien residents pronounce it “DERRY un”, but the rest of us just think that’s silly. What makes me crazy are the people who pronounce New Haven or New London with the accent on the “New”, as if they’d taken to referring to London, England as “OLD London. Or, of course, those who pronounce the second C in Connecticut.
    Only two of our official 169 towns and cities have Indian names: Norwalk and Naugatuck.

    • John says:

      There are numerous villages that have been absorbed into larger towns for purposes of taxation, municipal services, etc. Though not “official”, they often retain separate postal codes, and are recognized individually for census as well. Residents of these villages tend to identify themselves with the village rather than the larger town. Some examples with native American names are – Niantic, Noank, Pawcatuck, Poquonnock, and Quinebaug.

  3. Jean says:

    As a lifelong resident I want to point out that not everyone pronounces Norwich as “Norrich”. It’s pronounced “NOR-witch”. In my entire life (43 years), I have only heard two people say “Norrich”.

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