1. Travel
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

How To Pronounce Common Arizona Words


There are many words that have either Mexican or Indian influence here. Learning how to pronounce them will allow you to speak like a native Arizonan.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Not too long

Here's How:

  1. Phoenician - I am one, and you're trying to speak like one. Pronounced: fun-ee-shun
  2. Saguaro - large cactus, often with arms, found only in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and Mexico. State flower. Pronounced: suh-wah-roe
  3. Cholla - a cactus. There are many different varieties. Don't get too close. Ouch! Pronounced: choy-ah
  4. Ocotillo - a tall spiny cactus that gets red tips in the spring. Pronounced: oh-cat-tee-yo
  5. Gila monster - a lizard, about two feet long when fully grown. Pronounced: hee-lah
  6. Javelina - often mistaken for a wild pig, it is found in desert areas. It's a collared peccary (Pecari tajac). Don't try to make friends. Pronounced: have-a-leen-a
  7. Mesquite - Various shrubs or small trees. Popular wood for fireplaces, since it burns slowly and doesn't smoke. Pronounced: mess-keet
  8. Yucca - various types of desert plants, mostly with long pointy leaves. Pronounced: yuk-uh


  1. Sometimes 'saguaro' is spelled 'sahuaro'. It's pronounced the same.
  2. Generally speaking, if you come across two 'L's in a row, they'll be pronounced like a 'Y' sound. In the case of 'saguaro' and 'Juan', the 'gu' and 'ju' are pronounced like a 'W'.
  3. Sometimes, when you come across a 'G' or 'J' it will be pronounced like an 'H'.
Related Video
Desert Botanical Garden
Guide to the Phoenix Zoo

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.