BOERNE/D'HANIS, Texas – We’ve logged hundreds of miles telling the stories behind towns and how they received their names. This time, we opted to talk to residents of towns that are often mispronounced. While there were many to choose from, our first choice was Boerne, just out I-10 from San Antonio.
"They always say 'Born,' Texas. Every time,” Boerne resident Casey Barthel said.
"You'd be surprised,” Boerne store owner Linda Crane said. “Some of the people from San Antonio don't know how to pronounce it.”
Those from out of town often mispronounce the name, according to Boerne residents.
"We tell people, 'Weekend at Bernie’s' or Bernie. That's how you pronounce it. It’s spelled oddly,” said Larry Woods, director of the Boerne Visitors and Convention Bureau.
The reason behind the interesting vowel structure is because of the town’s German heritage.
"Ludwig Boerne was the gentleman the town was named after, and oddly enough, he never came here,” Woods said.
The town is so often mispronounced that the Boerne Visitors and Convention Bureau opted to use it to their advantage. They put out a promotional video making fun of its unique spelling to attract visitors to the Hill Country community.
Meanwhile, D’Hanis, about an hour to the west, is yet another town often mispronounced. How often?
"Only every day,” said Bob Stewart, a resident of D’Hanis for 30 years.
D’HAN-is, D’HON-is and D’HAN-us are all common mispronunciations.
"We say it D’-HEN-is and we always tell people, it’s like a hen,” 40-year D’Hanis resident Linda Arnold said.
D’Hanis is known for its bricks and rich history. It was one of many towns settled by Henri Castro and it was named after one of his employees, William D'Hanis.
According to the history books, the origins of the town are French, so it was originally pronounced D’Ha-nee.
"Over the years, it’s been mispronounced, and now they say D’HEN-is," Arnold said.
Click on the links below to learn the stories behind more of Texas' unique town names.