HI, NEW FRIEND! You live in ORE-uh-ghinn. NOT Ore-uh-GONE. NEVER Ore-uh-GONE. The first way is the only way you should ever pronounce the name of your new state. The second way is probably how your Aunt Hilda of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, pronounces the name of a state she's never been to. Aunt Hilda has a great excuse! You do not. You live in ORE-uh-ghinn. Don't ever call it Ore-uh-GONE. Seriously, even native Washingtonians (like me, born and raised in Seattle, I know, I'm part of the problem and I'm sorry) get real butthurt over this common but inexcusable gaffe. Let's learn more things!

Couch: Yep, it's for real pronounced "cooch." I recommend practicing at home—"I'm gonna go pick up a Craigslist couch on Cooch!"—to get your giggles out before you have to say it IRL. Also, there's a comedian in town who likes to tell a misogynist joke about Couch Street. It's doubly offensive because it's about injured vaginas, and also it isn't very funny. Don't be like that guy!

Glisan: Think Jackie Gleason, not a synonym for shiny.

Willamette: Say it with me now. Will-AM-mitt! Aw, doesn't that feel nice? It had better feel nice, because there is NO ACCEPTABLE EXCUSE for mispronouncing the name of the very river that slices our city into neat li'l halves. Seriously, if you can't handle saying Willamette right, or if you pronounce it like you're fancy and fake-French, I hope someone steals your Le Creuset from Burnside 26 and taints it forever by using it to make poor-people food.

Columbia: Weirdly, it's pronounced Columbi-YAY. The last syllable is screamed in mighty appreciation of the Mighty ColumbiYAY!

The Dalles: Not to be confused with the worst city in Texas, "The Dalles" rhymes with "the gals." You are welcome!

"No worries": No-WURR-ease. This is Pacific Northwest Nice™ for "You just ruined my day, but I am too polite to say so."

More Newcomers' Guide Articles:

Welcome to Portland!
Rain! Rain! Rain! Rain!
A Portlander's Pronunciation Guide
Overrated Portland
A Newcomers' Guide to Making Friends
Portland Free Stuff
Getting Around Town
Neighborhood Guide
Finding a Place to Live
How to Apologize for Moving to Portland
Comedy PDX
Bicycle Death Traps
Portland History 101
Portland Myth Bustin'!
Portland Tourist Traps