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Entry from September 29, 2007
“How do you pronounce the name of this place?” (Mexia)

How do you pronounce the name of Mexia, Texas? There’s even an old joke about this!


Mexia Area Chamber of Commerce
a great place
no matter how you say it

Wikipedia: Mexia, Texas
Mexia (pronounced [məˈheɪə], meh-HAY’-uh) is a city in Limestone County, Texas, United States. The population was 6,563 at the 2000 census.

The city’s motto, based on the fact that outsiders tend to mispronounce the name [ˈmɛksiə], is “A great place, no matter how you pronounce it.”

Named after General José Antonio Mexía, a Hispanic hero for the Republic of Texas Army during the Texas Revolution, the town was founded near his estate. Nearby attractions include Fort Parker Historical recreation, the Confederate Reunion grounds, and Mexia State School, which began as a prisoner of war camp for members of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Corps during World War II. Mexia is also home to the Mexia Public Schools Museum; one of the only museums in existence dedicated to the historical and social significance of a Texas public school system.

Mexia hosts a large Juneteenth celebration every year. 

7 January 1959, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Bought Tickets To ‘May-HAY-yer’” by Frank X. Tolbert, section 4, pg. 1: 
SUCH A TERRIFIC OIL BOOM hit Mexia in 1921 that the Limestone County city had to be placed under martial law. Before the big rush, though, a bunch of Tulsa, Okla., oil speculators got the news by telephone from a Mexia citizen: “You fellows better get down here to May-HAY-yer and buy some leases before they’re all took up.”

The Tulsa petroleum experts were so excited they didn’t ask their Mexia informant to spell the town. Yet they’d never head of Mexia before. They headed for the Tulsa railroad station and told the ticket agent: “Give us some tickets to May-HAY-yer, Texas!”

The man at the depot looked on his list and couldn’t find a May-HER-yer, Texas. So he suggested that the Tulsa men buy tickets to Fort Worth and then try to locate May-HAY-yer.

AM RECITING THIS ANECDOTE because it was in the avalanche of mail this department received about the pronunciation of Mexia. Last Monday I chided Television Sportscaster Tom Harmon for saying Mexia like it was “MEX-ee-ah” while he was chattering about the Cotton Bowl football game halftime ceremonies.

Quoting “A Guide to the Pronunciation of the Names of Texas Counties and Towns” by Dr. George Mitchel Stokes of the Baylor University speech department, I said that the proper way to speak Mexia is “muh-Hah-uh.”

In addition to all the mail, this provoked a tempest of telephone calls. There seems to be considerable argument over just how to say Mexia. Everyone seems to agree that you don’t pronounce the “X.” The majority seemed to think it is either “may-Hay-yer” or “mee-HAY-ya” or “mee-HAY-ah.” One Dallas lady, whose Latin family has lived in Texas for 200 years, said it should be “Me-HEE-ah, no matter what those folks in Mexia choose to call it.”

21 June 1962, Big Spring (TX) Daily Herald, pg. 4A, col. 1:
Mexia was named for the family of a Mexican general prominent in early Texas history. Its unique claim to fame lies, however, in the field of pronunciation.

By admission about half of Mexia’s citizens, themselves, are baffled by the way their city should sound—“May-hay-ah” with the “hay” accented. It is likely to come out “Mex”, “Mexy”, “Mexier.” Records show that mail was delivered correctly there addressed to “Mohair.”

24 September 1977, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Knowing Who We Are” by Jack Anderson, section D, pg. 3:
PAUL CRUME told of two men who stopped for a hamburger in Mexia, south of Dallas. While waiting at the counter, one asked the waitress, “How do you pronounce the name of this place?”

“I beg your pardon. What do you mean?” she replied.

“We are from out of state. How do you say where we are?”

Answering the question she thought she heard, she articulated slowly, “D-A-I-R-Y Q-U-E-E-N.”

This Dog’ll Hunt:
An Entertaining Texas Dictionary
by Wallace O. Chariton
Plano, TX: Wordware Publishing, Inc.
1989
Pg. 148: 
MEXIA, TEXAS
Pronounced Ma-hay-ya, a small town in central Texas which was made famous by the old joke about the two traveling salesman who were arguing over how to pronounce the name of the town. They decided to settle the argument by asking a local citizen so they stopped at the first place they came to and went inside. A young lady approached and asked if she could help. “Can you tell how to pronounce the name of this place?” asked one of the men. “Sure,” she replied, “it’s Dairy Queen.”

This Dog’ll Really Hunt:
An Entertaining and Informative Texas Dictionary
by Wallace O. Chariton
Plano, TX: Republic of Texas Press
1999
Pp. 1834-184:
Mexia (Limestone County): the name of this small town in central Texas is usually pronounced Ma-hay-ya, although some of the old-timers still say Ma-hair
[Mexia was made famous by the old joke about the two traveling salesmen who were arguing over how to pronounce the name of the town. They decided to settle the argument by asking a local citizen so they stopped at the first place they came to and went inside. A young lady approached and asked if she could help. “Can you tell us how to pronounce the name of this place?” asked one of the men. “Sure,” she replied, “it’s Dairy Queen.” The town is named for the Mexia family since the town site is on land in the family’s original land grant.]

Tint Dude
thetintshop
Mar 27 2004, 09:19 AM

me and a buddy were driving along when we came into mexia. (a town not far from me, some of you may remember this is where anna nicole smith is from)
he said “look, we’re in mexia” (mex-ee-uh)
i said “no, it’s pronounced mexia” (mu-hay-uh)
he said “no, it’s mexia” (mex-ee-uh)
i said “NO, it’s mexia” (mu-hay-uh)
he said well pull over here and let me ask someone who lives here. so i pulled over and he went in and told the girl behind the counter “now very slowly, pronounce the name of this place”
she said “D-A-I-R-Y Q-U-E-E-N”

Google Groups: rec.sport.football.college
Newsgroups: rec.sport.football.college
From: (El Goob)
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 15:52:01 +0000 (UTC)
Local: Fri, Jan 16 2004 11:52 am
Subject: Re: Anna Nicole Smith: Hawt or nawt? 

In article <150120042336217783%scutc...@airmail.net>,
Steve Cutchen wrote:

>Two yankees stop for lunch in Mexia on their way from Chicago to
>Houston.  They argue about how to pronounce it. 
>One says MEX-i-ah. 
>The other says mex-EE-uh. 
>They ask the waitress…
>“How do you pronounce this place?”
>“Day Ree Kwayne”

THE MEXIA DAIRY QUEEN HAS CLOSED!!!

DO YOU HEAR WHAT I AM SAYING??????

THE MEXIA DAIRY QUEEN HAS CLOSED!!!

LOST NATIONAL TREASURE!!!!

THE MEXIA DAIRY QUEEN HAS CLOSED!!!

DO YOU UNDERSTAND????

THE MEXIA DAIRY QUEEN HAS CLOSED!!!

DOOM, CERTAIN DOOM!!!

THE MEXIA DAIRY QUEEN HAS CLOSED!!! 

Sharirlyn Horner Business Concepts
Family Secret Revealed
May 24, 2006

“Young lady, could you settle a question between me and my wife?”

“Sure,” the girl nodded.

“One of us is a little confused about how you pronounce the name of this place. Could you pronounce it slowly for us?

And without hesitation, the girl slowly said, “D-A-I-R-Y Q-U-E-E-N.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (4) Comments • Saturday, September 29, 2007 • Permalink


That is what we named our daughter. Til this day she still hates and loves her name. Nobody can pronounce it right. LOL.

Posted by St George  on  02/22  at  10:37 PM

It is funny how pronounciation of simple short words can get this difficult! Thanks for sharing this smile
Texas Hill Country Ranches

Posted by Hill Country Ranch Land  on  10/23  at  02:46 AM

Mexia is rich with Southwestern history but I like the Dairy Queen name as a cute little anecdote.

Posted by hdtv antenna  on  01/22  at  08:15 PM

Mexia is also home to the Mexia Public Schools Museum; one of the only museums in existence dedicated to the historical and social significance of a Texas public school system.

<a href=http://www.boediger.net>boediger</a>

Posted by boediger  on  02/24  at  01:15 PM

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