Moscow, ID and Berlin, WI...

Many American cities are named after after famous places in the old world, but they're often pronounced very differently. I've been to Berlin, Wisconsin—but no cheesehead calls their city "burr-LINN" like the capital of Germany. Instead Wisconsinites pronounce their town "BURR-linn" with the emphasis on the first syllable. So it's altogether normal for a Wisconsinite traveling from Berlin, Wisconsin to Berlin, Germany to say he's going from BURR-linn to bur-LINN.

It gets weirder. People in Moscow, Idaho become irritated if you pronounce their city like the one in Russia "mahs-cow." That's because Idahoans pronounce their city "mahs-go." Moscow, Idaho ends in "go" not "cow."

I long thought that maybe this was a result of Americans trying to distance themselves from unpopular regimes in the old world. But now I'm not so sure. After all, Cairo, Illinois is pronounced "KAY-row." And Egypt's never had a dictator bent on world domination... well, as far as we know. So chime in readers on your famous-city-names-pronounced-differently. Is Tripoli, Iowa really pronounced "Trip-OH-luh"? Is Palestine, Texas really "Pal-ess-TEEN." Chime in!

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