New Orleans: One City, Many Pronunciations

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — You may be able to correctly spell the name of the city hosting the Super Bowl matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers but that doesn’t mean you can say it.

Folks throughout Maryland, Virginia and the District can’t seem to agree on the pronunciation of New Orleans.

In fact, there’s even a difference of opinion on how many syllables are in the name of the city that’s home to Mardi Gras, the French Quarter and this weekend’s big game. Two? Three? Merriam-Webster divides into into four syllables: New – Or – Lee – uns. But, then again, who said Merriam-Webster knows anything about culture and style?

The man behind Bardia’s New Orleans Cafe in Northwest is a native of Louisiana. Bardia Ferdousi tells WNEW that if you spell New Orleans phonetically it would be N-A-W-L-I-N-S.

Still, he argues, everyone likes to say it the way they like it. It’s kind of like the Jambalaya he’ll be cooking up for Sunday’s big game. Some like it spicy; others like their Cajun cooking more mild.

You’d think we could all agree on one thing: the name of the team that will win the Super Bowl. Baltimore, of course. But even that’s somewhat a matter of opinion. If you’re from there you pronounce it Ball-mer.

WNEW’s Kevin Patrick contributed to this report. Follow him on Twitter.

Follow WNEW on Twitter.

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