The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

13 September 2005

French moss hanging from a big oak tree

A paragraph from the back pages of Rich Appel's invaluable Hz So Good newsletter (10/05):

[I]s there actually a correct pronunciation for "New Orleans"? Or, has the official pronunciation changed over the years? If you let the music be your guide, it's New Or-LEANS, as sung by Chuck Berry, Labelle, Gary U.S. Bonds, Paul Simon, Freddy Cannon, Harry Connick Jr. and Johnny Horton, among others). Actually, Paul Simon refers to it as "The New Orleans." Arlo Guthrie pronounces it "New OR-leans" in "The City of New Orleans." If you go by the news media, the correct pronunciation is "New OR-lins"; Fats Domino comes closest to that, although it really sounds like he's "Walking to New Or-lun" (which is mighty French of him, since the 's' would indeed be silent). If you have an aircheck of WTIX from 1966, the top-of-the-hour jingle singers pronounce the city of license "New Or-lay-ans" (which is almost as French as you can get with it). And then there's "N'awlins," which I first heard when Fuddrucker's used it as the name of its cajun catfish sandwich. Of course, maybe the idea is that there's no one pronunciation, reflecting the beauty of the true melting pot that is New Orleans (and, will be again).

I've got to say, I like the way this (these?) sound(s).

(Get your own Hz So Good once a month from audiot.savant—at—verizon.net.)

Posted at 7:20 PM to Almost Yogurt


The correct pronounciation is 'Nawlins' - ask anyone from the area. ;)

Posted by: Kathy K at 9:01 PM on 13 September 2005