In Phoenix, many locals use words that have Mexican or Indian influence. If you’re new to the area or don’t speak Spanish, you might be baffled when it comes to saguaro, cholla, Gila monster, and some of the other words found in the native Arizonan vocabulary. Learning to pronounce them will allow you to speak like a native of Arizona.
How to pronounce Phoenician
This word is used to describe someone who lives in Phoenix. You’ll see it as part of the trade names and even in the namesake Scottsdale resort. It is pronounced “fun- e- shun.” A common mistake: pronouncing the first syllable as if it were a telephone .
How to pronounce Saguaro
This large cactus, often with arms, is found only in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and Mexico. The saguaro flower is the state flower of Arizona. Pronounced “suh- wah -roe.” You don’t pronounce the word with a hard “G”
How to pronounce Cholla
Cholla is a common Arizona cactus of which there are many different varieties. Don’t get too close. Oh! It is pronounced ‘ choy -ah’. Common mistake: pronouncing the double L as the word ball .
How to pronounce Ocotillo
Ocotillo is a tall, spiny cactus that receives red tips in the spring. It is pronounced ” oh -cat- tee -yo.” Like “cholla,” a common mistake is pronouncing the double L as the word ball .
How to pronounce Gila Monster
This lizard is about two feet long when fully grown. It is pronounced ” hee -lah”; you don’t pronounce it with a hard “g”.
How to pronounce Javelina
Often mistaken for a wild pig, this animal is found in desert areas. It is a collared peccary ( Pecari tajac ). Don’t try to make friends. Pronounced “have-a- -a read.” Common mistake: pronouncing the first letter “J” as the name Judy .
How to pronounce Mesquite
These shrubs or small trees are popular wood for fireplaces because it burns slowly and does not smoke. Pronounce “Mess- keet”. Don’t say the last syllable as it rhymes with the word » white «.
How to pronounce Yucca
Yucca is the name of several types of desert plants, mainly with long, pointed leaves. Pronounce it as » yuk -uh». A common mistake is to pronounce the first syllable that rhymes with the name » Sue «.
Tips for pronunciation
- Sometimes “saguaro” is spelled “saguaro.” It is pronounced the same.
- Generally speaking, if you come across two ‘Ls in a row, they will be pronounced as one’ Y ‘sound. In the case of ‘saguaro’ and ‘Juan’, ‘gu’ and ‘ju’ are pronounced as ‘W’.
- Sometimes when you come across a ‘G’ or ‘J’ it will be pronounced like an ‘H’.
- If you love Mexican food, but aren’t sure how to pronounce some of your favorite menu items, this guide will help you with that.