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How To Pronounce the Names of Places in Arizona


How To Pronounce the Names of Places in Arizona

Tlaquepaque is fun to say, once you get the hang of it. It's also fun to shop there.

© Judy Hedding

When you come to Phoenix, there are certain words that are tough to pronounce. If you say these correctly, everyone will surely think you're a native Arizonan.

Difficulty: Hard

Time Required: Too much

Here's How:

  1. Tempe - a city in the East Valley and home to Arizona State University. Pronounced: tem-pee
  2. Mesa - a city in the East Valley that has a large Mormon population. Pronounced: may-suh
  3. Ajo - a small city in southern Arizona. Pronounced: ah-ho
  4. Nogales - there are two cities by this name, one on each side of the Arizona/Mexico border. Pronounced: no-gal-iss
  5. Canyon de Chelly - in northern Arizona, a beautiful natural landmark. Pronounced: can-yen duh shay
  6. Mogollon Rim - the northern Arizona, marks the southern border of the Colorado Plateau. Pronounced: mug-ee-yun
  7. Gila River - southeast of Phoenix area, popular for rafting. Pronounced: hee-luh
  8. Hohokam Expressway - also known as S.R. 143, a north south road originating at the airport. Pronounced: ho-ho-kam
  9. Ahwatukee - a middle to upper middle class community in southern Phoenix. Pronounced: ah-wuh-too-kee
  10. Tlaquepaque - a wonderful collection of shops in Sedona. Pronounced: tuh-la-kuh-pah-kee
  11. Estrella - a community and airpark west of Phoenix. Pronounced: es-tray-uh
  12. Casa Grande - a city between Phoenix and Tucson. Pronounced: kah-suh grand


  1. If the words have Spanish influence, as many do in Arizona, a "J" or a "G" is usually pronounced like an "H".  An "LL" is usually pronounced like a "Y".
  2. There are exceptions to tip #1. For instance, when renting a villa, use the hard "LL" sound (or if you aren't sure just ask for large adjoining rooms.)

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