If you are from Kentucky, born and raised, there’s a special way we say places in the Bluegrass, and believe me brother if you say it “wrong,” boy are we ready you to correct you. It’s not a particular word or phrase that comes to mind, but how we say certain cities, for example, Paris, now if you are going to Paris, France, it might be pa-REE or PA-riss, but if you venture to Paris, Kentucky, it sound more like pear-ISS or even how you would say pairs.
Now if that’s too simple, we also have the beautiful quaint town of Versailles, now if you were going to the Versailles, you might say “Verr-Sai,” or “”Ver-sigh” but if it’s in Kentucky it’s “ver-sales” or “VER-sails,” and if you pronounce it like the french word that’s it’s named after, you are not from here, and you are upity!!! We probably wouldn’t trust you too much.
There is one city whose pronunciation you might be most familiar with because of this week’s derby, and even if you are from Kentucky, there still seems to be a debate how one should say Louisville. In our own home, and of the course the most correct way, is to say “LOOuh-vuhl,” but if you are unclear or new, “Lewis-ville,” “LOOey-vil” or LU-vul can also be the norm, and depending on where in state you are, you might be corrected or not. Maybe keep it simple, say you are going to the home of the Kentucky Derby 😉