Say It Right: Demystifying Danbury’s Most Mispronounced Road Name
I have lived in Danbury for years and prior to living in the Hat City, I lived just over the border in Brewster, NY.
With many years under my belt, I've heard one particular name butchered more than any other, Padanaram Road. Padanaram Road is a busy one, and its identity changes many times along the way but its name remains the same. However, if you listen to different people try and say it you wouldn't know they were talking about the same place.
I've heard people say "Pad-uh-ran-um", "Pud N' Are-Um", you name it and it has been tried. I believe I've been saying it the correct way for a long time, pronouncing it: "Paid-un-ah-rum." If I were on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, I would smile, answer with that pronunciation and lock in my final answer but I wanted to be sure so I did some digging.
First, I set out to find the origin of the word and learned something new, apparently Padanaram is a biblical word.
Strong's Concordance #H6307
In the King James Old Testament, the area known as Padanaram is also spelled Padan in Genesis 48:7. Other Biblical translations reference it as Padan Aram or Paddan-aram.
Padanaram was a region in ancient Syria that included the city of Haran. Abraham, after he had lived in Ur for seventy years, relocated with his entire family to Haran. Although Abraham and Sarah, along with Lot and his wife, leave Haran five years later for Canaan, Abraham's brother Nahor and his family decide to stay."
She Knows says this about Padanaram:
"In Biblical Names the meaning of the name Padan-aram is: Cultivated field or table-land."
I was finally getting somewhere until I dug into the pronunciation again. There is a dude named Julian Miguel who teaches people proper pronunciation via YouTube and this is how he says it:
I wasn't satisfied with that so I went to a website called "How to Pronounce" and found this beauty.
That did not sound right either so I tried a popular text-to-voice service called Natural Readers and this is what I got from that.
After researching this for far too long I realized something, no one on this side of Syria knows how to say it. So, I am sticking with what has worked for me, say it slow.
I did the best I could with Padanaram and that is that. Don't even ask me about this Danbury road.
Yes, Oheyahtah Place is a real road in Danbury.