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town pronounciations

Massachusetts Pronunciation Guide

From the Massachusetts Travel Survey, pulled out of the appendix and cleaned up.

The following list of Massachusetts cities and towns have somewhat unusual pronunciations. In addition to the text below, audio samples will be used to help interviewers to understand the local dialect. Please note that each interviewer will need to pass a pronunciation test demonstrating a general knowledge of the local dialect before being allowed to dial.

Note: Many, but not all, Massachusetts residents “drop their Rs” – meaning the vowel before the R is all that is heard. It often comes across as an “h” sound at the end of words. In most cases, it is not critical that you pronounce it this way, but the guide below is provided to help you understand the respondent. There are a few towns and cities to which you should pay particular attention, and they are marked with an asterisk (*):

Abington AB-ING-TON



Allston ALL-STUN

Amesbury AIMS-BER-EE

Amherst AM-HURST

Andover AN-DOV-ER (sometimes “er” pronounced “uh”)

Arlington AH-LIN-TIN (“r” is silent and “g” is silent)

Ashburnham ASH-BURN-UM (second “h” is silent)

Ashland ASH-LAND

Athol A-THOL

Attleboro- ATTLE-BORO

Auburn-AW-BURN or OBBIN (sometimes “ur” pronounced “uh”)

Ayer AIR (single syllable)

Barnstable BAHN-STUBBLE (“ar” pronounced “ah”)


Bedford BED-FUD (“or” pronounced “uh”)

Bernardston BURN-ARD-STON (sometimes “ar” pronounced “ah”)

Beverly- BEV-ER-LY (sometimes “er” pronounced “ah”)

*Billerica BILL-RICK-A (“e” is silent)

Bourne- BORN

Brewster-BROO-STUH (“er” pronounced “ah”)

Brighton-BRIGHT-UN (“o” is silent)

Cambridge- CAME-BRIJ

Canton- CANT'N (“o” is silent)

Carver- CAH-VAH (sometimes “er” pronounced “ah”)

Charlemont SHAR-LA-MONT

Chatham- CHATUM

Chelmsford- CHEMS-FID (“l” is silent and “or” pronounced “id”)

Chicopee CHIC-UH-PEE (“oh” is pronounced “uh”)

Clinton-CLIN-TN (“o” is silent)

Cohasset- KOH-HASS-ET

Concord-CONK-ID (“or” pronounced “id”)

Danvers- DAN-VUS (“er” pronounced “uh”)

Dartmouth DART-MUTH (“o” is silent)

Dedham-DEAD-UM (“h” is silent)

Dighton DI-TON

Dorchester- DAH-CHES-TER (sometimes “Dor” is pronounced “Dah”)

Dunstable DUNS-TA-BLE


East Weymouth- EAST WAY-MUTH (“Mouth” is pronounced “Muth”)

Everett EV-RETT


Falmouth FAL-MUTH (“mouth” is pronounced “muth”)

Florence- FLAWR-ENCE

*Gloucester GLOSS-TER (The “ces” part is silent)

Goshen- GO-SHN (The “I” is silent)

Groton-GRAWT-N (The “O” is silent)

Groveland GROVE-LAND

Hampden HAM-DEN (The “P” is silent)

Harvard- HAH-VUD (The “R” is silent)

Harwich- HAR-RICH

*Haverhill HAV-RILL (long A as in “save” the “er” is silent)

Hingham- HING-UM (“Am” is pronounced “Um)

Holyoke HOLY-OKE

Ipswich- IPS-WHICH

Lancaster- LAN-KESS-TAH

Leicester LESS-TER (“I” is silent)

*Leominster LEM-INSTER (“O” is silent)

Leyden LAY-DEN

Marblehead- MAHBL-HEAD

Marlborough- MARL-BORROW or MALL-BROW (First “R” is silent, borough pronounced“Brow”)

Mattapoisett MATTA-POIS-ETT

*Methuen METH-OO-EN

Monson- MAHN-SUN (“Son” is pronounced “Sun”)

Montague MONT-A-GUE

Mount Washington- MOUNT WASHEN'TIN (“G” is silent, “Ton” is pronounced “Tin”)



Northfield- NORTH FIELD

Norton- NORT-IN (“Ton” is pronounced “Tin)

*Peabody PEA-BUD-E (“Bod” is pronounced “Bud”)

Pelham- PEL-UM (“H” is silent, “Am” is pronounced “Um”)

Pepperell- PEP-RIL (“Rell” is pronounced “Ril”)

Petersham PETER-SHAM

*Quincy QUIN-ZEE

Raynham RAIN-AM (“H” is silent)

Reading RED-ING (“Read” is pronounced “Red”)

*Rehoboth Ruh-HOE-buth

Rochester- RAWCH-IS-TUH (“Roch” is pronounced “Rawch”, “Ter” Pronounced “Tuh”)

Rockland- ROCK-LIND (“Lan” is pronounced “Lin”)

Rowley RAUL-LE (“Y” is silent)

*Salisbury SAWLS-BURY

Saugus SAW-GUS

*Scituate SIT-CHOO-IT (“A” is silent)

Seekonk SEE-KONK

Sherborn SHER-BORN (sometimes “Sher” is pronounced “Share”)

Shrewsbury SHROOS-BURY

Spencer- SPEN-SUH (“R” is silent, “Cer” pronounced “Suh”)

Stoneham- STONE’M (“H” and “A” are silent)

Stoughton STOW-TON

Sunderland- SUN-DUH-LIND (“R” is silent, “Land” pronounced “Lin”)

Swansea SWAN-ZEE (“Sea” pronounced “Zee”)

Taunton TAUN-TON

*Tewksbury TUKS-BURY (“Tewks” pronounced “Tuks”)

*Tyngsborough TINGS-BORO (rhymes with kings)

Wareham Ware-UM (“H” is silent, “Ham” is pronounced “Um”)

Wellesley WELLS-LEE


*Weymouth WEY-MUTH (“Mouth” is pronounced “Muth”)

Winchendon WINCH-EN-DON

Winchester- WIN-CHESS-TER

Winthrop- WIN-THRUP (“Throp” is pronounced “Thrup”)

*Woburn- WOO-BURN (sometimes “R” is silent, “Burn” is pronounced “Bin”)

*Worcester WUHS-TER (or WUHS-TAH)

Yarmouth YAR-MUTH (“Mouth” is pronounced “Muth”)

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