Arkansas v Kansas

Posted by: tezza1551

Arkansas v Kansas - Tue Jun 08 2010 07:25 AM

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 ?
Posted by: BxBarracuda

Re: Arkansas v Kansas - Tue Jun 08 2010 07:42 AM

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.
Posted by: veronikkamarrz

Re: Arkansas v Kansas - Tue Jun 08 2010 09:45 PM

Well, then there is 'Illinois.' Sounds nothing like it's spelled. More, I'm sure...
Posted by: veronikkamarrz

Re: Arkansas v Kansas - Tue Jun 08 2010 09:47 PM

Sorry, not "nothing" but singular, never plural...
Posted by: deputygary

Re: Arkansas v Kansas - Wed Jun 09 2010 07:58 AM

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.
Posted by: tezza1551

Re: Arkansas v Kansas - Wed Jun 09 2010 05:31 PM

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.
Posted by: TabbyTom

Re: Arkansas v Kansas - Thu Jun 10 2010 04:10 AM

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.
Posted by: dg_dave

Re: Arkansas v Kansas - Thu Jun 10 2010 10:35 PM

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.
Posted by: kalanej87

Re: Arkansas v Kansas - Wed Sep 15 2010 10:08 PM

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.
Posted by: agony

Re: Arkansas v Kansas - Thu Sep 16 2010 10:37 AM

If Illinois were pronounced as a French word, though, wouldn't it be Ill-en-wah (more or less), rather than Illinoy?
Posted by: reeshy

Re: Arkansas v Kansas - Thu Sep 16 2010 11:07 AM

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".
Posted by: darksplash

Re: Arkansas v Kansas - Thu Sep 16 2010 02:38 PM

All I know about Boise is that Harry Chapin mentioned it in "W*O*L*D", and he called it Boyzee.
Posted by: reeshy

Re: Arkansas v Kansas - Thu Sep 16 2010 03:12 PM

Ah, well, perhaps "boyzee" is the more common American pronunciation? A friend of mine from Pennsylvania also pronounces it like that!