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Texas | © Kevin Dooley/Flickr

How To Pronounce Local Town & County Names In Texas

Picture of Aubrey Cofield
Updated: 9 February 2017
Among the many quirks of Texas lie the oddly pronounced city and county names. The Texas Almanac sets it straight; here are the proper ways to pronounce some of the most mispronounced Texas town and county names.


This is in large part due to the percentage of German and Mexican immigrants who migrated to Texas during the state’s early development. You’ll notice, however, that the original pronunciation of inspired city or county names frequently differs from the way it’s properly pronounced in Texas. For example, Buda, widely pronounced just the way it’s spelled, is properly (BYOO – duh) in Texas.

Gruene (green)

Gruene, a small city along the Guadalupe River, is pronounced just like the color green. Founded by German immigrant Ernst Gruene and his wife Antoinette Gruene, the community later took the name of its founding German father.

Waxahachie (wawks uh HA chi)

Waxahachie sits just south of Dallas‘ suburbs. Named after a United States Naval Ship delivered to the Navy at Pearl Harbor, the city is now best known for holding one of the largest renaissance festivals in Texas.

Bexar County (Bear)

Bexar is the county seat for San Antonio. The county, like the city it belongs to, was named after San Antonio de Bexar, the first municipality established by the Spanish in Texas.

New Braunfels (nyoo BRAHN f’ls)

Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels established New Braunfels in 1845. Prince Solms later named the community New Braunfels after his home in Germany, Solms-Braunfels. German-Texan Ferdinand Lindheimer started the city’s first newspaper in 1852. The Zeitung newspaper stood the test of time and is still running today as the Herald-Zeitung.

Nacogdoches (nak uh DO chis)

Often considered one of the first ‘towns’ in Texas, Nacogdoches has proof of indigenous inhabitants dating back more than 10,000 years ago. Caddo Indians remained here until the early 19th century, with their primary village named Nacogdoche.

Buda (BYOO – duh)

Buda is one of Austin’s fastest-growing suburbs. The town first appeared along the railway for the International-Great Northern Railroad, which extended from Austin to San Antonio in the 1880s.

Refugio (re-FYOO-ri-o)

Once the settling grounds for the Karankawa Indians, in 1831, a group of Irish and Mexican colonists established Refugio, running much of the indigenous out.

Pflugerville (FLOO – ger – vil)

Around 1849, Henry Pfluger, a German immigrant, bought the land that is now Pflugerville for $960, and eventually, he maintained a fairly successful plantation growing things like wheat, beans, and sugar cane.

McCulloch County (muh – KUH – luhk)

Proof of early Native American inhabitants in McCulloch date back to 5000 BC. Among the native inhabitants include the Apache and Comanche tribes. McCulloch is also currently declared as the geographical center of Texas.

Boerne (BER ni)

Boerne, a city northwest of San Antonio, is home to the Boerne Village Band, considered one of the ‘Oldest Continuously Organized German Band[s]’ in the world outside of Germany itself. The band was even recognized by the Federal Republic of Germany.

Bastrop (BAS trahp)

Bastrop was named after a fleeing convict, Felipe Enrique Neri, Baron de Bastrop. Felipe, wanted for embezzlement in his home country of the Netherlands, served in Texas as Steven F Austin’s land commissioner.

Balmorhea (bal – muh – RA)

Officially named a town in 1906, Balmorhea may sound like an odd name and for a good reason. The town name is an amalgamation of the founder’s surnames: Balcom, Morrow, and Rhea.

Palestine (PAL uhs teen)

Palestine is home to the NASA Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility. In 2003, it was found that Palestine received a majority of the debris from space shuttle Columbia after the disaster that killed seven astronauts.