17 words only a true Iowan knows how to pronounce
Editor's note: This story was first published in 2019.
Iowans seem to have their own language — newcomers and visitors to the state can tell you that. This parlance extends to the names of small towns with pronunciations that, for non-Iowans, seem to defy logic.
Here are 17 words that only Iowans know how to pronounce:
Madrid is a town of over 2,000 in Boone County.
Fun fact: In 2017, the town was featured in a television show in Spain about other places in the world with the same name as the country's capital.
Des Moines is Iowa's capital city, located at the confluence of the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers.
Fun fact: Des Moines wasn't the first capital city of Iowa. It became the capital in 1857 when a vote was held to move the designation from Iowa City.
Buena Vista County is one of 99 in the state, located in northwestern Iowa and home to Storm Lake, among other towns.
Fun fact: The county is named for one of the final Mexican-American War battles fought by Zachary Taylor, a general who would later become a short-lived president.
The seat of Dallas County in central Iowa, Adel is home to over 4,000 people.
Fun fact: The town is home to Harry Stine, Iowa's wealthiest man, and his company, Stine Seed.
A town of over 6,000 in Story County.
Fun fact: Despite having a much smaller population than nearby college town Ames, Nevada remains the county seat of Story County.
The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa covers the width of Iowa. The route changes each year.
Fun fact: The popular biking event was founded by Register columnist Donald Kaul and writer John Karras in 1973.
This city of nearly 2,000 people is on the Mississippi River on the state's eastern edge.
Fun fact: The small but historic town features pre-Civil War limestone buildings built by early German immigrants.
A little over 1,000 people live in this town located in northeastern Iowa.
Fun fact: The town is home to the Sweet Marsh Wildlife Management Area.
A town of just over 100 people in Iowa's most southeastern county.
Fun fact: The tiny town actually has more manufacturing jobs than it does residents.
A town of over 4,000 people in the northeastern part of the state bordering the Mississippi River.
Fun fact: Four-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Terry Bradshaw lived in Camanche for a short time while he was growing up.
Home to just a few hundred people, this town sits squarely in the northeastern heart of the state.
Fun fact: Jack Cunningham, a prolific screenwriter in the early decades of filmmaking, was an Ionia native.
Nearly 6,000 people live in this town in eastern Iowa.
Fun fact: The Maquoketa Caves are a well known attraction and part of a landscape of limestone and rock that allows visitors to step back thousands of years in geologic time.
The famous actor is an Iowa native hailing from the Cedar Rapids area.
Fun fact: Kutcher helped start the nonprofit The Native Fund, which is dedicated to raising funds and volunteers to help Iowans in times of need.
WAT-cheer or WUH-cheer
A little over 600 people live in this town in south-central Iowa.
Fun fact: The name of the town, put forth by Civil War veteran Joseph Andrews, is likely derived in some way from the traditional English greeting, "What Cheer?"
This town just north of Davenport is home to just over 5,000 people.
Fun fact: The town was named after DeWitt Clinton, the sixth governor of the state of New York.
A town of fewer than 100 people in the depths of southeastern Iowa.
Fun fact: The town is home to the grave of the oldest man to serve in the Civil War, Curtis King.
A town of over 400 people in northeastern Iowa.
Fun fact: Founded in the early 1840s, the town was formerly the seat of Delaware County, but it was subsequently moved to nearby Manchester.