It's easy for native and also non-native Texans to get perplexed by several of Texas' much more unique location names. Here's a pronunciation guide and the back story on unexplained names.

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It"s simple for native and non-native Texans come get perplexed by few of Texas" more unique location names. Bexar sounds choose "bear." Gruene is pronounced favor the color. And also don"t obtain us began on Pflugerville.


Then, there room the towns through names that are basic to pronounce yet hard to understand. Think about Cut and also Shoot, an insect Tussle, Levelland, Uncertain and also DISH.


Two readers, Richard Todd native Highland village and Jacque Vilet indigenous Richardson, wondered how some Texas towns got their names, and also how they"re pronounced.


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We"ll take it a stab at answering these concerns submitted to Curious Texas, a job of The Dallas Morning News the invites friend to join in our reporting process. The idea is simple: You have actually questions, and also our journalists are trained to track under answers.


This is by no method a finish list of distinct Texas town names. There room whole publications written ~ above the subject. But consider it an introductory geography course for the recently inducted Texan, compiled native local and also state historians, records and also books.


Terlingua

tur-LING-wa

Terlingua method "three languages" and also was established in one area near big Bend wherein speakers of English, Spanish and American Indian language met.
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Terlingua has been the chili cook-off funding of Texas because the 1960s.

Gruene

GREEN

This little community, residence to "the earliest dance room in Texas," on the north next of brand-new Braunfels, was established by ernst Gruene in 1845.
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A "Welcome Cowboys" sign is displayed over the bar at Gruene Hall, presented in 2015. (Ashley Landis / staff Photographer)

DISH 

Dish, in Denton County, was originally named Clark. The town voted come rename chin in 2005 as part of a publicity stunt with Dish Network to give the town cost-free satellite service.

Uncertain

The beginning of uncertain is, well, uncertain. It either was the location of a landing wherein it was daunting for watercrafts to moor or the was residence to less-than-dependable fishermen.
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Caddo Lake in Uncertain, Texas. The 25,400-plus acre lake is the only herbal lake in the state.(Vernon Bryant / employee photographer)

Fate 

It"s short for Lafayette, although it is unclear i m sorry Lafayette this city is named for.

Boerne

BURN-ee

called by a group of German inhabitants for Ludwig Boerne, a German author.

Texana

tex-ANN-a

Originally called for Santa Anna, the mexican general. In 1835, in ~ the height of the revolution against Mexico and Santa Anna"s army, the city voted to adjust its surname to one more friendly come the cause of Texas independence. The old town was flooded to do Lake Texana, yet you have the right to still visit a Texana Museum in nearby Edna.

Tarzan

Tant lindsey submitted 14 book names because that the town"s name. The U.S. Postal company approved Tarzan.

Telegraph

The first telegraph poles in Kimble county were built from trees reduced down in this town.
William Alexander Anderson Wallace, well-known as "Bigfoot Wallace." His nickname is spelled both "Bigfoot" and also "Big Foot" in miscellaneous sources.(AP)

Bigfoot

named for Texas revolutionary william A. "Bigfoot" Wallace.

Buda

bee-EUH-duh

Legend has it, a widow operated a hotel here for years. Once, a traveler asked a Spanish-speaking regional where he was, and he replied that this to be the city that widows. Viuda is the Spanish word because that widow.

Lickskillet

LICK-skill-it

cow drivers, that is said, sipped feather water in ~ this spot and "licked their skillets clean." This Texas city sits just throughout the border indigenous Bethany, La.

Dumas

DOOM-us

named for surveyor louis Dumas.

Quanah

KWON-uh

called for legendary Comanche cook Quanah Parker, that fought against American soldiers in the Red river War and also eventually surrendered, bringing his world onto the commonwealth reservations. 
In 2001, Paul Moore and also filly, Tarzan, talk 10 blocks into town for a burger and also fries in ~ the Sonic Drive-In ~ above a Tuesday night in Quanah. Moore said his equine likes the french fries. (Tom Fox / staff Photographer)

Balmorhea

BALL-mah-REY

Three males named Balcom, Morrow and Rhea developed the town, residence to mountain Solomon Springs and Balmorhea State Park.

Cibolo

SIB-uh-lo

Cibolo equates to buffalo in Spanish, and also this was when the site of an American Indian hunting ground.

Nacogdoches

nack-uh-DOH-chess

called for the Nacogdoche human being who once called this area home.

Palacios

pull-ASH-us

Originally named "Tres Palacios," or three palaces, there room a couple of stories around the town"s origin. The most likely, however, is the the governor of the area at the moment was called Palacios.

New Braunfels

new BRAWN-fulls

named by German settlers for Prince Carl de Solms-Braunfels, indigenous the Braunfels heritage on the Lahn river in Germany.

Mobeetie

mo-BEE-tee

An American Indian word because that "sweet water," Mobeetie was recognized for its organic spring.

Fair play

Travelers through this component of Panola County to be impressed by same fees in ~ a boarding house and also general store here.

Sweetwater

Local elm trees and gypsum offered the water below a sweet taste. Texas ranger knew the spot as a ar to obtain refreshed.
A dust devil rolls across a field near Sweetwater, one area commonly referred to by locals as The big Country.(David Leeson / The Dallas Morning News)

Bug Tussle

Legend has actually it, over there was as soon as a Sunday picnic here that was so overrun through a swarm that bugs that it to be forever enshrined together "Bug Tussle."
Traffic stops as a cow crosses the road in pest Tussle in 2002.(Dan Bouge / Sherman Herald Democrat)

Pflugerville

FLEW-ger-ville 

named for German settler Henry Pfluger, forever the reason of consonant consternation.

Levelland

LEVEL-land

If you"ve ever been to this part of the Panhandle, you"ll understand why this town was so named. It is, truly, level land.

Gun Barrel City

The city"s motto, "we shoot right with you," motivated this unique name once the town was included in 1969. The city map additionally looks like a gun"s barrel.

Cut and Shoot

As legend has actually it, there was a pastor accused that impropriety with neighborhood married women. One Sunday, a lot of males came ~ him through knives and guns come "cut and shoot."

Mexia

muh-HEY-uh

named for Texas revolutionary Jose Antonio Mexia. There"s a joke around two visitors who saw a dairy Queen in Mexia and were debating how to express the name. Castle asked the neighborhood behind the counter and also he looked at them funny for a moment, then said slowly, "Daaairy Queen."
Diners eat in ~ Kirby's Barbeque in Mexia. Several of the picture depict the life of Comanche chef Quanah Parker, whose mother Cynthia Ann Parker to be kidnapped during the raid of ft Parker, which is right outside Mexia.(Chris Wilkins / The Dallas Morning News)

Refugio

re-FURY-oh

called for the Nuestra Señora del Refugio Mission, established here in 1793.

Waxahachie

walks-uh-HATCH-ee 

This one"s an additional mystery. The oft-repeated story says it"s one American Indian word that way "cow creek" or "cow chips," but that"s not fully true. The city"s founder can have combined words because that "creek" -- "hatchie" -- and the surname of the Waxawa people.

Palestine

PAL-es-teen

Some of the earliest settlers below were native Palestine, Ill.

Italy

IT-lee

over there are many stories about how and also why this Ellis County city was called after the Mediterranean country because of its climate comparable to "sunny Italy."

Dime Box

called for a community mailbox the charged 10 cent per postal delivery.

Ding Dong

brothers I.V. And Z.O. Bell had a store here with a clever advertising sign special the indigenous "Ding" and "Dong."
Muleshoe boasts of having actually the world's largest muleshoe, i beg your pardon was set up in 1994 follow me U.S. Hwy 84. The is likewise the hometown the Oklahoma Sooners head soccer coach Lincoln Riley. (Tom Fox / employee Photographer)

White negotiation

This Tarrant county town, originally started by white settlers, got its surname to distinguish it indigenous other surrounding settlements that American Indians, according to the White Settlement historic Museum.

Iraan

ira-ANN

Ira and also Anna Yates, who made a fortune from oil in the area, donated the land because that the town.

Telephone

A local store operator had the only telephone in town when he applied to ar a post office here.

Happy

It is said that in the middle of the Panhandle, cowboys to be happy to uncover a spring here.

Lazbuddie

LAZ-buddy

In 1924, D. Luther "Laz" Green and Andrew "Buddie" Sherley opened a save here. To name the town, they linked their nicknames.

Circle earlier

Local cattle were branded v a one on your backs.

SOURCES: The Texas State historical Association"s Handbook the Texas, Texas historical Commission markers, town histories and Fred Tarpley"s "1001 Texas place Names," released in 1980 by college of Texas Press.

CORRECTION, 3:00 p.m., Feb. 15, 2018: Even the many seasoned Texan deserve to make mistakes when pronouncing some of Texas" distinct names. This story has actually been to update to display that Palacios is pronounce "pull-ASH-us," no "PLAY-shus."

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What perform you wonder around the culture, people and institutions of phibìc Texas -- and also the remainder of our great state? aid us investigate stories that issue to you.


Charles Scudder, employee writer. Charlie Scudder is a basic assignment reporter and has worked on the features and news workdesks for 7 years. He's additionally an adjunct professor in ~ UNT's Mayborn college of Journalism. Raised in Colleyville, that is a graduate of southerly Methodist University and Indiana University.

cscudder

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