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Here’s Why We Pronounce ‘Kansas’ And ‘Arkansas’ Differently

10 FEB 2014

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Two state names, Arkansas and Kansas, share all but two letters in the exactly the same order. So why do we pronounce them differently?

We can thank the French. Arkansas was named for the French plural of a Native American tribe, while Kansas is the English spelling of a similar one. Since the letter “s” at the end of French words is usually silent, we pronounce Bill Clinton’s home state “Arkansaw.”

Technically, Kansas and Arkansas stem from the same basic root, kká:ze: the native root for the Kansa tribe, often thought to mean “people of the south wind.”

Read full article: Business Insider