Pronouncing Wisconsin Town Names is HARD! Waukesha West vs. Mukwonago?


It's a learning curve for any new radio or TV personality who gets their first job in the State of Wisconsin. Trying to pronounce the names of some of our towns is rough. Covid has been rough for Sports stations across the nation. So we thought, let's move our high school football games from the AM band (The Big 920) to our new FM sports station (97.3 The Game). The PD, Tim Scott thought...let's do it up big! Tim has great relationship with Fox Sports...let's have their voice-over guy cut our promos for the game. The first couple worked out great. Brookfield East vs Brookfield Central was easy.....how about Waukesha West vs Mukwonago? It's not Bob Schmidt's fault. Even if you follow the phonetic spelling....it's tough to hit the right syllable. On News Talk 1130, WISN, Jay Weber and I played that promo. Have a listen...

Native American City Names in Wisconsin

The name of the state itself, Wisconsin, and many towns and cities have Native American origins. A listing of the state's more notable locations with Native American origins is as follows:

1. Wisconsin: This is anglicized from the French "Ouisconsin" which is a corruption of the Ojibwe (Algonquin) "Meskonsing." It is the name of the Wisconsin River.

2. Milwaukee: According to the website Milwaukee.org, the name for the city of Milwaukee originated from the Algonquin word "Millioki" which means "gathering place by the water." This could refer to the Indians' used area for tribal gatherings, or because the three rivers Menominee, Kinnickinnic, and Milwaukee met there before flowing into Lake Michigan.

3. Oshkosh: This small city in east-central Wisconsin was named after Chief Oshkosh of the Menominee tribe.

4. Wausau: It is a small city in central Wisconsin named after the Chippewa (Algonquin) word which means "far away."

5. Sheboygan: This small city in east-central Wisconsin is the Algonquin word for the Sheboygan River. It means "thundering under the ground."

6. Neenah: this small city in east-central Wisconsin is a Winnebago word and it means "running water."

7. Menasha: It is a small city in east-central Wisconsin named after the Menominee word meaning "thorn in the island."

8. Mukwonago: This is a small town in southeastern Wisconsin where I attended elementary school. It is a Potowatomi word which means "a ladle or a bend in the stream."

9. Oconomowoc: This is a small town in southeastern Wisconsin. It is a Potowatomi word which means "waterfall" in the vicinity.

10. Manitowoc: It is a small city in east-central Wisconsin, and it is an Ojibwa word which means "place of the good spirit."

11. Menominee: This is a small town in northeastern Wisconsin. It is a Menominee word (Algonquin) word which means "wild rice people."

12. Ozaukee: This is a county in east-central Wisconsin. It is a Chippewa form of the tribal name of the Sauk people. It means "people living at the mouth of the river."

13. Waukesha: This small city and county are in southeastern Wisconsin. It is a Chippewa word meaning "little fox."

14. Waupun: This small town is in central Wisconsin. Its name comes from an unknown Indian tribe, and the word means "daybreak or dawn."

15. Weyauwega: This very small town is in central Wisconsin in Waupaca County. Its name comes from the Menominee tribe word which means "Here we rest."

All of this reference material was taken from Wikipedia and the Wisconsin State Historical Society.