By Chad Nesbitt
How do you pronounce “Leicester”? People from Leicester, NC can alway’s tell if you are from Leicester or not by the way you pronounce it.
“It’s A Southern Thing” is a comedy Facebook page that salutes all things Southern. They recently made a video about the pronunciation of communities in the South. So far the video has been viewed almost a million times.
Genealogy Society volunteer Ruth Dilling said, “Leicester is named after Leicester Chapman whose Godfather was the Earl of Leicester, England. He named Leicester. The community had another name called “Lickskillet” and he (Leicester Chapman) thought that was “inelegant.” You think?
Natives from Leicester North Carolina and Leicester England pronounce Leicester “Lester.” “It’s A Southern Thing’s” video spelled Lester “Lestur,” which was quickly corrected by people who live in our community.
Leicester resident Wayne Smith said, “Leicester’s pronunciation depends on which side of the bridge you’re on. Some call it “Lester,” others “Lee-sess-ter.”
Cynthia Ward Dunn said, “I live in Leicester! Thank you for pronouncing it correctly. LESTER.”
Jeanette Rivera said, “We just moved here six months ago and we called Leicester ‘Licaster.’ We quickly learned it’s ‘Lester’ but I have to spell it out when giving our address to someone on the phone,” she said with a laugh.
Can you tell which part a native of Leicester was raised in by the way they “draw out” the pronunciation of Leicester? Yes, according to 10 natives the LL spoke with. Sheila Teague is from the Sandy Mush area of Leicester and when pronouncing Leicester she draws the “Lei” part of Leicester out a little bit longer than Joanne Swillen who is near the Alexander side of Leicester. Swillen pronounced Leicester “Lester.”
Ryan Tweed is from the Newfound area of Leicester and pronounced Leicester “Layster.” Asked why he pronounced it that way Tweed laughingly said, “That’s just the way Daddy said it. So that’s how we say it.”