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#527708 - Tue Jun 08 2010 07:25 AM Arkansas v Kansas
tezza1551 Offline
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Registered: Tue Feb 05 2008
Posts: 439
Loc: Western Australia
This is going to seem a really dumb question to anyone from the USA, but I would love to know why one of the above states is pronounced as it's spelt, while the other, though spelled in a similar way is pronounced Arkinsaw.
Can anyone help this poor confused Aussie please ?
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#527709 - Tue Jun 08 2010 07:42 AM Re: Arkansas v Kansas [Re: tezza1551]
BxBarracuda Offline
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Registered: Wed Sep 05 2007
Posts: 4536
Loc: Bronx
New York USA     
Not exactly sure, I am still trying to figure out why the more well known Kansas City, is actually across the river in Missouri.

I remember being suprised and thinking someone was kidding with when I first saw Arkansas spelled rather then spoken.

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#527710 - Tue Jun 08 2010 09:45 PM Re: Arkansas v Kansas [Re: BxBarracuda]
veronikkamarrz Offline
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Registered: Thu Dec 28 2006
Posts: 915
Loc: Carson City
Nevada USA 
Well, then there is 'Illinois.' Sounds nothing like it's spelled. More, I'm sure...
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#527711 - Tue Jun 08 2010 09:47 PM Re: Arkansas v Kansas [Re: veronikkamarrz]
veronikkamarrz Offline
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Registered: Thu Dec 28 2006
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Loc: Carson City
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Sorry, not "nothing" but singular, never plural...
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#527712 - Wed Jun 09 2010 07:58 AM Re: Arkansas v Kansas [Re: veronikkamarrz]
deputygary Offline
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Registered: Thu May 24 2007
Posts: 252
Loc: South Dakota USA
It is somewhat of an unrelated coincidence that Kansas and Arkansas are spelled similarly. The names have separate origins.

Kansas was named for the Kansa tribe. The plural would have been Kansas.

Arkansas was named for an Algonquin tribe who lived "downstream"--the Ugakhpah. That later became the similar-sounding Arkansas.
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#527713 - Wed Jun 09 2010 05:31 PM Re: Arkansas v Kansas [Re: deputygary]
tezza1551 Offline
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Registered: Tue Feb 05 2008
Posts: 439
Loc: Western Australia
Thanks Gary. It has confused me since I was about 11, and encountered Arkansas in a news article I was reading.
Have never found anyone who could explain it before.
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#527714 - Thu Jun 10 2010 04:10 AM Re: Arkansas v Kansas [Re: tezza1551]
TabbyTom Offline
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Registered: Wed Oct 17 2001
Posts: 8136
Loc: Hastings Sussex England UK    
Quote:

I am still trying to figure out why the more well known Kansas City, is actually across the river in Missouri.



According to Brewer's Dictionary of Names, Kansas City is so called because it's at the mouth of the Kansas River, where it flows into the Missouri.
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#527715 - Thu Jun 10 2010 10:35 PM Re: Arkansas v Kansas [Re: TabbyTom]
dg_dave Offline
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Registered: Sun Oct 05 2003
Posts: 19214
Loc: Dallas, TX USA              
This thread has been interesting. I've been to all the places mentioned here: Arkansas, Kansas, and Kansas City (both Kansas's and Missouri's).

The Missouri River flows into the Mississippi River, but those states don't even touch, however, they do get close.
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#551389 - Wed Sep 15 2010 10:08 PM Re: Arkansas v Kansas [Re: dg_dave]
kalanej87 Offline
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Registered: Wed Sep 15 2010
Posts: 2
Loc: Iowa USA
Illinois is a French word which is why the 's' is not pronounced. As for the pronounciation of Arkansas, the state government had it changed from 'Ar-Kansas to Arkansaw' so as not to be confused with Kansas.
Also in the state of Kansas, they pronounce Arkansas as it is spelled.

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#551485 - Thu Sep 16 2010 10:37 AM Re: Arkansas v Kansas [Re: kalanej87]
agony Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 11430
Loc: Western Canada
If Illinois were pronounced as a French word, though, wouldn't it be Ill-en-wah (more or less), rather than Illinoy?

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#551490 - Thu Sep 16 2010 11:07 AM Re: Arkansas v Kansas [Re: agony]
reeshy Offline
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Registered: Tue Aug 11 2009
Posts: 741
Loc: Glasgow Scotland UK           
I think the thing with Illinois is that pronunciations like this always end up very different over time, e.g. I've heard Boise, Idaho, pronounced like "boys" - I'm unsure if that's how most people would pronounce it or not, but I'd say "bwahz", as it's named for the French word. Or Des Moines, Iowa - I'd say "day mwahn" but have heard "dess moyns". Another example may be Germanic surnames such as Weinstein, which would in Germany be pronounced as "v-eye-n-sht-eye-n" (hope this is clear, I'm not sure how else to convey the "eye" sound), but from Americans you nearly always hear "wine-steen".


Edited by reeshy (Thu Sep 16 2010 11:08 AM)
Edit Reason: spelling error
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#551536 - Thu Sep 16 2010 02:38 PM Re: Arkansas v Kansas [Re: reeshy]
darksplash Offline
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Registered: Sat Nov 03 2007
Posts: 490
Loc: Tyrone Northern Ireland UK 
All I know about Boise is that Harry Chapin mentioned it in "W*O*L*D", and he called it Boyzee.
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#551558 - Thu Sep 16 2010 03:12 PM Re: Arkansas v Kansas [Re: darksplash]
reeshy Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Tue Aug 11 2009
Posts: 741
Loc: Glasgow Scotland UK           
Ah, well, perhaps "boyzee" is the more common American pronunciation? A friend of mine from Pennsylvania also pronounces it like that!
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