Reddit Users Debate On How To Pronounce ‘Penobscot’
If you are a true Mainer, there is only one way!
Reddit can be such a treasure trove of bizarre topics, videos and photos. Yesterday, I came across a debate started by "unnecessarycharacter" on how to properly pronounce "Penobscot". Living in Bangor, just a brief walk away from the Penobscot River, I feel like I am 100% certain of how to say it the right way.
This topic opened up the flood gates for lots of responses from folks, and their interpretation of how it should be said. Check out some of our favorite answers:
Emphasis on the middle syllable, but the don't deemphasize or rush the "scot" (as New Englanders are otherwise wont to do). Puh-KNOB-scott. But there are other rivers with the same suffix (like the Presumpscot) where the 'scot' is shortened down to a brief 'skit'.
I say Puh-KNOB-skit/skut
Which honestly seems closer (but admittedly still incorrect) to how the tribe actually calls themselves:
The ‘scot’ is a mis-transcribe like a lot of native-> English words.
Emphasis is on 2nd and 3rd syllabus pretty equally, I would say.
Honestly, I had to say it a few times before realizing that I sort of push the P into the Nob part. Not really a Puh or Pah, more of a P'nob-Scott.
The right answers have been said here!
Pronunciation of Maine names is a real right of passage. I've always thought any movie or TV show set in Maine should spend money on a consultant for authenticity. They probably won't be able to do much about bad Maine accents (just don't try, most of us have a neutral accent and just say a few words differently), but could at least stop people from butchering the local names.
I remember watching the TV adaptation of The Dead Zone, and right away they had a reporter saying she was from the "Banger Daily News." Red flag! My favorite though was a scene where an actor playing a nurse was probably on her 15th take of trying to say, "Piscataquis County General." Her final solution after a noticeable pause: "PISS-cah-TAW-quis." She looked relieved just to have finished the sentence.
As it reads. The only thing you need to worry about is NOT calling it "banger" like every fucking newscaster in the country for some reason. It's "bangor" lol
Watch an old episode of MASH. Hot Lips' boyfriend is Maj. Penobscot. They pronounce it correctly on the show, IIRC.
I moved to Detroit Michigan a few years ago, and was surprised while walking downtown - there is a huge building called the Penobscot building! Turns out, it was named so by the builders, they worked the lumber camps along the river when they were younger, and admired the Native American tribe the river was named for. So I’ve got a piece of home close by me! https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penobscot_Building
There’s a neighborhood in Clifton, NJ that are all Maine street names— Kennebec, Bowdoin, Lisbon, Orono, Waldo, and Penobscot!
I was a bit lost one day and it made me feel so wonderful to find that collection of roads. I bet the developer had some Maine connection.
Old school pronunciation breaks the last syllable in two...
Pen- OB- skah- UT. You have to hear it to appreciate it and it always makes me smile.
Always heard it rhyme with “hot.”
I pronounce it "scot", and I put the stress on "ob". Am I weird? lol
When I'm feeling snooty I go with p-noob-scoot.
After dissecting all of this, I dug up some videos on not only how to pronounce various Maine names and towns, we also found one of people from out of state, attempting to do it!