The first lesson I learned the week I moved to Abilene was, "Make sure you keep up with everyone going over the speed limit on the freeway entrance and exit ramps." It was easy enough. The second lesson I learned was to pronounce it "puh-TOE-see", not "POT-uh-see." I quickly figured out that I was going to need a pronunciation guide for all the quaint Big Country places I could neither spell nor pronounce.

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Here's how you say Potosi, Tuxedo, and a bunch of other Big Country towns with funny names.

LOOK: Abilene Area Towns That Are Hard to Pronounce

I'll go ahead and admit that not every single town name listed above is difficult to pronounce — some of them are just unusual or bizarre-sounding. Places like Hamby, Merkel, and Ovalo can be sounded out phonetically to the best of one's ability before getting confused.

In scanning across a map of the Big Country for research, I also noticed that many of these hard-to-say places aren't exactly easy or convenient to get to on major highways and byways. Places like Benoit and Leuders have very little structure in the way of a "town proper" if there are even any signs of a town at all. For small-town purists who like their Texas towns that way, the Big Country is full of wide-open places along the roads.

And then there's Colorado City. Do I understand why the locals are insistent on pronouncing it as "cuh-luh-RAY-duh" instead of the more common "col-uh-RAH-doe"? No, but the folks of that fine Big Country town don't seem too concerned as long as you pronounce it correctly according to them. I would know, as I was corrected several times after moving to Abilene.

Part of what's great about moving to a new place is learning the history and idiosyncrasies of your new hometown, and in Abilene, that means learning the correct pronunciation of 'Potosi'.

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