Local Pronunciations When Buying or Selling Houses in Oregon

If you are buying or selling houses in Oregon, you need to know how to pronounce certain words like a native Oregonian.  Pronouncing locations differently than an Oregonian, is a sure way to let people know that you are freshly new to Oregon.  For example, many non-Oregonians pronounce Oregon wrong.  Pronouncing it (Or-ee-gone) not only irritates Oregonians, it instantly lets everyone know that you are not from here. Oregon is pronounced (Ore-uh-g’n).  If it rhymes with gun, you are saying it correctly.

Tumalo, north of Bendis becoming a hot place for buying or selling houses in Oregon. This is a word that is constantly pronounced wrong. I hear people calling it Toomalo.  It’s Tum (like the Tums antacid) – uh (like in duh) – lo (like in low).

Scappoose, northwest of Portland,  is another up-and-coming community for buying or selling houses in Oregon. It is often mispronounced. It is pronounced Sca (rhymes with scat) – poose (rhymes with moose). The accent is on the first syllable.

The Willamette valley is lush, green and beautiful. The people who live there consider it God’s country. This is one of the hottest places in the country to buy or sell houses. It is pronounced Wil (as in the boy’s name) – Lamm (sounds like lamb) – it (rhymes with bit).  The accent is on the second syllable.

Aloha, west of Portland, is a sought after community for buying and selling houses. It is not pronounced uh-low-hah, like you are in Hawaii. Since Aloha is a community in Oregon, it is pronounced uh-low-uh, with the accent on the second syllable.

If you’re interested in buying or selling houses in Oregon towns that are small, you might want to look at Madras. Make sure you pronounce it Mad-russ with the accent don the first syllable. Madras is a small community north of Bend.

Wallowa is a Nez Perce name in eastern Oregon. It is pronounced wal-ow (like the word ouch) -ah, with the accent on the second syllable.

Couch is a street in northwest Portland. Many people want to pronounce it like it is a sofa but it’s actually pronounced cooch.

Don’t confuse Lebanon, Oregon, south of Salem, with the country in western Asia.  In Oregon, it is pronounced leba-nin, not Leba-non.

One word that bothers me is lava.  As a kid in Bend, Oregon, lava was pronounced la (rhyming with at) – va. With the influx of people into Bend, it is now pronounced lah (rhyming with tot) – va.  So, my old high school mascot is now pronounced Lahva Bears – not Lava Bears.  Today Bend High cheerleaders shout, “Lahva Bears are big and bold,” rather than “Lava Bears are big and bold” – bummer.

Using the above pronunciations will help you sound like a native Oregonian.  Now the people you deal with when buying or selling houses in Oregon will never know you haven’t lived here your whole life.  Welcome to Oregon!




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