Here in St. Louis, our bastardized pronunciations of French words is endlessly entertaining to outsiders.
It's a quirk of the area that has been around for hundreds of years. Long after Middle Mississippian Native Americans built their influential settlements here, French fur traders Pierre Laclède and Auguste Chouteau came along and founded St. Louis in 1764, naming it after Louis IX of France.
That French influence has stuck around for 250 years and counting now. But it doesn’t express itself in any of the good ways: We don’t have neighborhoods anchored by pastry shops or high-class fashions or casual cafes on every corner. Instead, we have a bunch of French-inspired street names that we can’t pronounce for shit.
To emphasize this point, the St. Louis Blues released a video of a group of Blues-related men all pronouncing a short list of St. Louis words.
Participants include French-speaking Blues prospects from Canada, a prospect from Minneapolis, a Russian former prospect and a “resident St. Louisan” who then drops the real-real on everybody.
These are the words they’re tasked with pronouncing:
- Des Peres
- Creve Coeur