Does it bother anyone else when an outsider refers to Louisville as Lou-a-vul?

A female broadcaster doing a U of L-Cincinnati volleyball game quite proud of herself, going out of her way with an even more condensed version — Lou-vul this, Lou-vul that. The more she did it, the more irritating it became.

She was attempting to ingratiate herself with the U of L viewing audience. Her intentions may have been good but the result was counterproductive, almost offensive as far as the observer was concerned.

MILWAUKEE - FEBRUARY 25: Analyst Dick Vitale broadcasts a game between the Marquette Golden Eagles and the Connecticut Huskies on February 25, 2009 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Connecticut defeated Marquette 93-82. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

But then we noticed Jim Kelch, who broadcasts the Lady Cards’ games, saying it almost the same way at times.

Hello. Anybody home? We’re not talking about some cow town out in the hills of Kentucky.

“Lou-a-vul” is a lazy, slovenly, mindless abuse of the name. We’re all guilty, doing it without thinking. We can get away with it, but outsiders  should refrain from calling us that. We should refrain for that matter.

One may or may not consider ESPN’s Dick Vitale a blabbermouth but he always gets the name of the city right.

Smooth, clear and concise:


Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

17 thoughts on “This one Dick Vitale gets right

  • November 23, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    I’m reminded of the time an arriving passenger at our airport asked me, thinking he would be oh so clever, how I would pronounce the name of our state capital. My response “Well, I pronounce it Frankfort” really deflated his ego! GO CARDS!

  • November 23, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Umm, Charlie…

    Among long time is (with a smile) Lou-ah-vul…

    But when I’m talking to Northerners from
    say…, oh,
    I pronounce it correctly–as u note: Louie-ville 🙂

  • November 24, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Gotta go with “Lou-ah-vul” here. Even though the city is named after some French king…we’re southern, by God, and “Louie-ville” brings to mind those Jersey wiseacres who gave us such a hard time 2 years ago at the Rutgers-UofL football embarrasment.

    (I prefer ‘Shebby-ville Road’ as well…)

    Happy Thanksgiving ‘U ah Vel’ Card Game Readers!

  • November 24, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Actually I don’t people put the “ah” in there either. Speak for yourself Paul. Louisville may have some of the southern charm but it’s definitely not in the South. More Midwest than anything.

    Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

  • November 24, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Better than Lewis-ville

  • November 24, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Its definatly not Louie ville. Its lou ah vul…. How long have u lived here??

    • November 24, 2010 at 7:20 pm

      How about five decades? I’m more Louie-villian than most Louisvillians. Home sweet home.

      • November 26, 2010 at 2:24 pm

        I have lived here 66 years physically and 144 years genetically. It’s Lou-ah-vul or at the least Lou-vul.

        This city, no matter how you pronounce it, was best described as a Southern city facing the North. As such there has to be an homage to the South in the pronunciation.

  • November 24, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I was born in Louisville and have lived in the area all of my life. (I’ll turn 49 next month.) I used to always pronounce it as “Louie-ville,” but discovered that other locals thought that I was weird for saying it that way. For the last thirty years or so I’ve usually pronounced it as “Lou-a-vul,” especially when communicating with other people in the metro area. It may not be technically correct, but it is what most people here are comfortable with.

  • November 24, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    I don’t understand it either Charlie. It is a lazy attempt to pronounce it like this. They are trying to sound warm and down home about it to the point where it can remind you about the dark hollows of the movie “Deliverance”. That is what runs through my mind every time. Gee, even Lou Holtz gets it right.

  • November 24, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Agree 100%, Charlie. You have to think “Looie-ville” and just be a little lazy with it. It comes out “Loo-ih-v’l” or something close to that. Out-of-towners can’t get it right by trying to pronounce it the way we do. It would be like you or me trying to say “Ballmer” for Baltimore or “Nawlins” for New Orleans. They should just say it however it naturally comes to them – as long as they don’t pronounce the S! The French king for whom the city is named pronounced his name “loowee.”

  • November 24, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Only in Kentucky. Also see: Versailles = “Ver-sales”

    • November 25, 2010 at 2:44 pm

      I was at the Richmond (Virginia) Volleyball Club one night and saw a limerick on the men’s room wall. It started “There once was a girl from Versailles…” It took me a minute to realize that, yes, it did rhyme.

    • November 26, 2010 at 2:25 pm

      No. They do the same thing in Ohio with their Versailles. Been there, heard it!

  • November 24, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    No matter how you say it, it sounds better than Layx-eeng-tun.

  • November 25, 2010 at 9:21 am

    I was asked where I live so they could hear me pronounce it. I responded “Fern Creek”.

    I like Louie-ville. And we are much more southern than midwestern. Kansas City, Omaha…that’s midwestern

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