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    Wednesday, September 20, 2006

    I say Cuyahoga, you say Tomato

    It came up last week: what is the proper pronunciation of our county's name? 
     
    A local "authority" on the subject claimed that was "Cuy" like "guy", and for "hoga," "hog" like "dog."
     
    I agree totally with the "Cuy" part.  REM says "coy" when they sing it, but they are from Georgia.
     
    But the "Hog" part... I don't say that.  I say "ho-ga" with a long "o."  I still put a stress on "ho."
     
    But I didn't grow up here.  I grew up in Ashtabula County with parents who were born and raised in Erie County, Pennsylvania. 
     
    The other day I heard a radio ad with Jimmy Dimora.  He said CuyaHOGa. 
     
    It has me all self-concious.  Am I saying it wrong?  Should I be saying CuyaHOGa?  Am I giving away that I am a transplant, someone who moved here, someone who adopted this place as his own?
     
    Granted, I actually like this place -- and people from here tend to dis it.  I do not.  If I didn't like Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, I wouldn't live here.  That's that.
     
    So, how do YOU say it?   

    Comments on "I say Cuyahoga, you say Tomato"

     

    Blogger Mrs. Bebout said ... (2:41 PM, September 20, 2006) : 

    Both. I never know which will come out. I too am a transplant

     

    Blogger Kristen said ... (2:47 PM, September 20, 2006) : 

    I say ho all the way baby!

     

    Blogger Gina Ventre said ... (4:16 PM, September 20, 2006) : 

    Ho.

     

    Blogger Brian Kornell said ... (4:17 PM, September 20, 2006) : 

    I say ho

     

    Blogger aliasgrace said ... (6:37 PM, September 20, 2006) : 

    Hizzo-oh.

     

    Blogger Christine said ... (8:35 PM, September 20, 2006) : 

    how odd...my boyfriend (from troy, ohio) and i were just discussing this after a trip to Cayuga Lake (one of the Finger Lakes). I told him that our innkeeper (from southern california) pronounced "cayuga" like someone who's trying to imitate a great lakes accent.

    then the discussion turned to the many creative ways I recall the east/west coast students at Oberlin (where I went for a year) trying to pronounce "cuyahoga". (with "cuy" rhyming with "tree" - my favorite.)

    Anyway, the BF brought up the "ho/hog" question and I'm a definite hogger - my personal opinion is that said "authentically", it comes out more like "Cogga".

    But...who am i to judge.

     

    Blogger melcarrel said ... (10:06 PM, September 20, 2006) : 

    I am backwards from you, I grew up in Cuyahoga county, only to move to Ashtabula later. I've always said it kI-a-hog-a, but you tend to say things as you first hear them, so.... I guess it really doesn't matter.

    As far as Ashtabula goes, I prefer
    ash-TaB-U-la myself. But, I always knew I was a little different.

     

    Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:56 AM, September 21, 2006) : 

    i say ho, but perhaps for other reasons... thinking of ashtabula, though, when steph got married a bunch of mark's friends and fam came from IN and couldn't pronounce ashtabula... they just called it nasty-booty, which i believe to be the most accurate yet.

     

    Blogger Mr. Bebout said ... (8:27 AM, September 21, 2006) : 

    I am always reminded of the Pretended song where they mention Cuyahopa Falls. In the song, which is probably more well knownthan the actual city or county witht he name, it is "ho".
    So, I think it would benifit us all to adopt the "hog".
    Furthermore, what is this "Great Lakes Accent"?

     

    Blogger Betty said ... (8:49 AM, September 21, 2006) : 

    I am from Tuscarawas county, home of the Deleware Indians....yeah, as you can imagine there are many ways to pronounce or mispronounce my birth county too.

    I say Ho!

     

    Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:07 PM, September 21, 2006) : 

    I just "it"

     

    Blogger Kate Anne said ... (12:39 PM, September 21, 2006) : 

    Ho, ho, ho.

    But then it is was originally Hash'-ta-blah, "River of many Fish" for Ashtabula. (And yes there is an Ashtabula River which is therefore redundant, like saying Rio Grande River.)

    Yes, ho, ho, ho.

    Has anyone checked with any American Indians? Audient is only 1/32 Iroquois so he doesn't really count, or at least not much :-)

     

    Blogger anne said ... (2:34 PM, September 21, 2006) : 

    I say ho.

    P.S. I have relatives from NY who drove through Ashtabula to visit and called it Ash-TAB-ula. I couldn't figure out where they were, I thought they had gotten lost. True story.

     

    Blogger Christine said ... (12:32 PM, September 22, 2006) : 

    Furthermore, what is this "Great Lakes Accent"?

    This should give you an idea... also look at this.

    (nerd alert: regional English is a hobbylike interest of mine)

     

    Blogger asdfsdf said ... (1:17 AM, September 23, 2006) : 

    Ho.

    But maybe I'm just partial to the word...

     

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