At the waterfront, a hand-lettered painted sign advertising the Harraseeket Lobster Co. and the food they serve.

If you’re looking for lobster in Harraseeket make sure to say Hare-uh-SEEK-it. Photo © Jill M, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

Countless names for Maine cities, towns, villages, rivers, lakes, and streams have Native American origins; some are variations on French; and a few have German derivations. Below are some pronunciations to give you a leg up when requesting directions along the Maine coast.


Pronunciation 101: How to Say It Like a Native

ArundelUh-RUN-d’l
BangorBANG-gore
BremenBREE-m’n
CalaisCAL-us
CastineKass-TEEN
Damariscottadam-uh-riss-COTT-uh
HarraseeketHare-uh-SEEK-it
Isle au Hauti’ll-a-HO, I’LL-a-ho (subject to plenty of dispute, depending on whether or not you live in the vicinity)
KatahdinKuh-TA-din
LubecLoo-BECK
MachiasMuh-CHIGH-us
MatinicusMuh-TIN-i-cuss
MedomakMuh-DOM-ick
MegunticookMuh-GUN-tuh-cook
MonheganMun-HE-gun
Mount DesertMount Duh-ZERT
NarraguagusNare-uh-GWAY-gus
NaskeagNASS-keg
PassagassawakeagPuh-sag-gus-uh-WAH-keg
PassamaquoddyPass-uh-muh-QUAD-dee
PemaquidPEM-a-kwid
SacoSOCK-oh
SchoodicSKOO-dick
SteubenStew-BEN
TopshamTOPS-’m
WiscassetWiss-CASS-it
WoolwichWOOL-itch

Excerpted from the Fifth Edition of Moon Coastal Maine.