Minutiae 101: How to pronounce “Worcester Hall”

"Not a dorm."

By Keith Hansen

It’s “Wuss-ter” (wstr), according to everyone who should know.

Worcester Hall isn’t a big dorm building. But the argument about its pronunciation has lasted, quietly, for years: It could either be pronounced “Wore-chester”, separating the word into two different parts, or “Wuss-ter,” the right way, ignoring the first ‘r’ in the word

Dropping the ‘r’ is the official pronunciation of the name, used by both county locals and the state government. The Maryland Department of Transportion’s 5-1-1 traffic service recording also includes the this pronunciation, and somebody who answered the phone at the Worcester County government office confirmed it.

It’s also reiterated by Don Desrosiers and Adam Helman, the authors of “How to Talk Maryland,” a thorough aside on a website otherwise dedicated to the peculiar hobby of visiting the highest points in U.S . counties. So from now on, you’ll get it right — it’s pronounced “Wuss-ter” like the sauce, not “War-chester” like a made-up Norse god.

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