LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan is famous for having a ton of cities with names that look like total tongue twisters at first glance.

Here’s a handful of unusual names you’ll come across living in the Mitten state that are hard to pronounce correctly on your first try:


This one can’t be hard, right? Well, it’s actually pronounced “shar-lot.” Charlotte is noted for its unusual pronunciation, which differentiates it from Charlotte, North Carolina, or the name Charlotte.


Named for Chief Okemos, the name of this city can sometimes trip up newcomers. To get it right, you must say “Oh-kah-miss.”


Watervliet is a city in Berrien County named after a Dutch word that means “where the waters meet.” The correct pronunciation is “wah-ter-vleet.”


Like Charlotte, Milan is not pronounced the same as its more famous counterpart. Michigan’s Milan is pronounced “my-lan.”


It kind of looks like Detroit, maybe? It’s pronounced “grash-it.” Gratiot is named after the mid-1800s U.S. Army Captain Charles Gratiot.


Ocqueoc is the largest waterfall in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. It’s pronounced “ah-key-ock.”


Kilmanagh is a small township in Huron County. Its name, which you may think appears short on vowels, is pronounced “kill-man-ah”

Bete Grise

Like towns named after Native American words, French is also a common find in Michigan. Bete Grise is pronounced “bay-de-gree”


This one is pronounced “doh-wah-jack.” This Cass County town takes it name from the Potawatomi word “dewje’og,” which means “fishing near home water.”


Lots of newcomers to Onekama mispronounce it by pronounce it like “one-kama.” The correct way is “oh-neck-em-uh.”


A small community in Emmet County with a difficult name. You can pronounce it the right way by saying “pon-shah-wang”