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Pronouncing "Los Angeles"

The name "Los Angeles" in a highway sign. Los Angeles Almanac Photo.

There was once heated debate over how to pronounce “Los Angeles.” Although in 1952, the official pronunciation came to be "Loss AN-ju-less," its official Spanish pronunciation is “Loce Ahng-hail-ais.” Non-Spanish speaking Angelenos seemed to prefer the harder-sounding anglicized version. During the 1920s and 1930s, the Los Angeles Times vigorously defended the Spanish pronunciation and printed directly below its editorial page masthead, “LOS ANGELES (Loce Ahng hail ais).” When the U.S. Geographic Board recognized the anglicized version in 1934, the Times was outraged, declaring that the pronunciation made the city “sound like some brand of fruit preserve.” The newspaper further suggested that Easterners plotted to deprive the West Coast of its softer-sounding Spanish names, proposing that California would next have to tolerate such place names as "Sandy Ego," "San Joce," and "San Jokkin." In all fairness, however, the Times did not express the same distain for the prevalent pronunciation of San Pedro as “San Pee-dro” rather than the Spanish “San Pey-dro.”

Also see "Where Did the Name Los Angeles Come From?"