Do Western New Yorkers Say “West Seneca” Or “Wesseneca?”
If you have ever ran into a tourist on the New York side of Niagara Falls or come across a Buffalo transplant, they might have told you that you have, what they call, the “Buffalo accent.”
Is there a Buffalo accent? Yes. It’s doc-U-men-TARY, not doc-u-men-turr-ee, and let’s not forget that we add a “the” before pretty much every major highway. You can take the Buffalo accent quiz here to see how strong yours is.
Even though we live in Western New York, that does not mean that we say everything the same.
For example: take “West Seneca.”
Some people emphasize the “t” after “West,” while others let the two words blend together to create the informal term of “Wesseneca.”
Obviously there is only one way to say the Western New York town, but what pronunciation is most common?
We took a poll on social media to see what Buffalonians say when they are talking about “West Seneca.”
Here are some of the top responses:
- “I suppose if I am speaking normally in conversation with someone, it will sound more like Wessenica. When giving out my address, I enunciate.”
- “They’re the same?”
- “I don't know anybody that actually says ‘“West Seneca’”
- “It's pretty close to 100% for Wessenica. It's not a unique thing though, it is just how language evolves in real usage. It's similar to how nobody fully pronounces the show Saturday Night Live. It's more Saturday night live. It's just a natural thing people do to smooth out words without losing their meaning.”
- “There is no 't' in that town's name.”
- “I empathize West....WEST Seneca, so that it doesn't get confused with East Seneca.”
- “Probably more like westseneca… I definitely pronounce the T but there isn’t emphasis on it being 2 words.”
don’t ditch the ‘t’ when sending a piece of mail to West Seneca.