You can tell when someone is not from your neck of the woods when they have trouble pronouncing certain town names. I grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania, so one of the big tells for when someone wasn't from around there was how they pronounced a place called Wilkes Barre.

Everyone had their own different way of pronouncing this town in Pennsylvania. Some called it "Wilkes BAR" while others called it "Wilkes Barry" or "Wilkes Bear."

It's never the big cities that people have trouble pronouncing, right?

Everyone outside of Iowa usually knows how to pronounce Des Moines since that's one of the only places they really know about. The smaller towns that not many have heard of are likely suspects for having names that get mispronounced.

One Iowa town is considered one of the most mispronounced places in America.

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I was scrolling online when I came across a special report from 27WallStOfficials compiled a list of some of the most difficult to pronounce towns in the entire country.

The data comes from 24/7 Tempo, which researched names of 29,000 town names in America from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey.

The top five mispronounced places in America can be considered doozies for some people.

  1. Acequia, Idaho
  2. Ahwatukee, Arizona
  3. Aiea, Hawaii
  4. Arapahoe, Wyoming
  5. Auxier, Kentucky

Most of them are names that are derived from foreign languages or Native American traditions.


And the town is...


Located in Van Buren County, the town has a population of 936 people, according to the most recent census that has been taken. If you want to travel to Keosauqua you'll find the town right on the big bend of the Des Moines River.

The town comes in at twenty-two on the list of most mispronounced places in the country.

Described as "a unique blend of historic architecture, natural beauty, small-town values, quaint shops and business opportunity."

The town name Keosauqua is pronounced “KEE-o-SAW-qua” and is the Native American word for “Big Bend.”

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