© 2024 Louisville Public Media

Public Files:
89.3 WFPL · 90.5 WUOL-FM · 91.9 WFPK

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact info@lpm.org or call 502-814-6500
89.3 WFPL News | 90.5 WUOL Classical 91.9 WFPK Music | KyCIR Investigations
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Stream: News Music Classical

Curious Louisville: Why Do We Say 'Loo-uh-vull'?

Jeremy Thomson

Chelsea Graham moved to Louisville from the Chicagoland area 20 years ago, when she was in high school. Like most transplants, she quickly learned the surest way to mark yourself as new in town: say Loo-eee-ville. (Or even, heaven forbid, Lewis-villle).

But why? Why do we say the name of our city so differently than it's spelled? And even differently than its namesake? After all, he wasn't King Loo-uh XVI.

Chelsea asked Curious Louisville, and WFPL's Lisa Gillespie — who wondered the same thing when she moved here to work as our health care reporter — went looking for an explanation.

Lisa called Jennifer Cramer, associate professor of linguistics at the University of Kentucky, and things soon became clear. But since this is a story about how words are pronounced, you'll have to listen in the audio player above for the answer!


Laura is LPM's Director of Podcasts & Special Projects. Email Laura at lellis@lpm.org.