How do you pronounce the word reservoir, the dam or water storage facility. Obviously, it’s “res-uh-vwah“, but not if it’s the name of the suburb in Melbourne. That most certainly is pronounced “Res-uh-vorr” as any local will tell you.

There are many suburbs and towns in Melbourne that can trip up a newcomer, some that look rather counter-intuitive, and then some, like the aforementioned Reservoir, that will rile up a local if you get the name wrong.

Here’s the definitive* list of how to pronounce some places in Melbourne (and a few out of Melbourne too).

In the list, an ! is used to represent a schwa (ə). There are a lot of schwas in place names.

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first:

Melbourne: mel b!n
While we’re at it, a person from Melbourne is a Melburnian not a Melbournian as per the heading of this post.

Cremorne: cruh morn
Prahran: p! ran
St Kilda: s!n kil da
Toorak: tour rak
Malvern: moul v!n
Balaclava: bal uh klah vuh
Caulfield: caw feeld
Nunawading: nun uh wod ing
Ferntree Gully: furntri guh lee (not fern tree)
Doncaster: don cahst uh
Balwyn: ball w!n
Vermont: vurr mont (not v! mont)
Carnegie: Cah neg ee (not carn !ghee)
Sandringham: san drin ham (not san dr!n !m)
Beaumaris: bow morr !s
Cheltenham: chelt n!m
Mentone: ment own (not men t!n)
Moorabbin: m! ab !n
Dingley: din lee
Westall: wes tall
Keysborough: keez bur uh
Eumemmering: yoo mem m! ring
Doveton: duv t!n
Narre Warren: nar ree wor r!n
Cranbourne: cran bern
Berwick: berr ick
Bonbeach: bonb eech (not bonn beach)
Carrum: kar !m
Tooradin: tour ruh d!n
Pakenham: pak !n !m
Darebin: Dar uh b!n
Reservoir: res uh vorr (not res uh vwah)
Lalor: lay law (not law lah)
Bundoora: bun dour ah
Greensborough: greens brah or greens bur ah
Roxburgh Park: roks brah park
South Morang: south m! rang
Maribyrnong: mar ib uh nong
Tottenham: tot !n !m
St Albans: s!n all b!ns
Carinlea: care’n lee
Derrimut: derry m!t
Gisborne: ghiz b!n
Truganina: truhg a nine ah (not troog a nina)
Tarneit: tah neet
Wallan: woll !n
Ballan: b! lan
Geelong: j! long
Portarlington: port ah lin t!n
Stawell: storl

And finally Castlemaine: cass !l mayn  (absolutely never cah s!l mayn)

*This list is definitive in that it reflects the way locals actually pronounce the place they live.