When you see the name of the town of Fairhaven on paper, it seems like a pretty straightforward name to pronounce.

It’s really just about the emphasis. Deciding whether to say “FAIR-haven” or “fair-HAVEN” should be the only choice, and nobody would really fault you whichever way you go.

However, there’s a third, inexplicable pronunciation: “Fuh-HAY-vin.” Say it out loud, say it fast, and you’ll realize just how many people you know who say it exactly that same way.

But why?

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Awhile back, we took a look at how some people pronounce Dartmouth as “Darkmouth” – or rather “Dark-muth” – and we never really solved the mystery of how that pronunciation came about, although some speculated it has to do with the Portuguese accent of some folks on the SouthCoast.

“Fuh-HAY-vin,” however, is one we just can’t figure out.

Is it some kind of abbreviation? Do they think they’re saying it as if it was condensed into “F’haven?” It just doesn’t make any sense.

What makes this even stranger is that it seems a majority of the people pronouncing it this way are actually residents of the town. Wouldn’t you think they’d have some civic pride and want to proudly – and correctly – say the name of where they live?

Well, maybe it’s not too much of a stretch, considering the SouthCoast already has “New Beige,” “Fall Reev” (or sometimes “The Riv”) and “The Ham.”

Still, we guess it’s just one of those weird things that only people on the SouthCoast and especially people from Fairhaven – whoops, “Fuh-HAY-vin” – will understand.

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