CASA GRANDE, Ariz. — How do you pronounce the name of the city Casa Grande? It’s Spanish for great house, but if you drive to that town many of the residents say most people pronounce it CAH-suh GRAND.
We went to city hall to find out. Deputy City Manager Steven Weaver says he grew up saying CAH-suh GRAND but he also says the city council is actually split on the issue.
“It is fun play when they talk about it, but half of them think it is CAH-suh GRAND, and the other half says it is Casa Grawn-day.”
With city hall in gridlock we headed to the historical society for more answers.
“The ruins are not in the town, but the town is named after the ruins,” said Museum of Casa Grande Director Michael Sirota. “And it is pronounced with a Spanish accent.”
Sirota says the town gets its name from the ruins of Casa Grande built by the ancestral Sonoran Desert people. A Spanish explorer found it abandoned hundreds of years later and called it Casa Grande or “great house." Sirota says railroad executives ended up naming the whole area after the ruins many years later.
Sirota says he actually flips back and forth between pronunciations depending on how he feels or who he’s talking to.
“I would say now the majority call it CAH-suh GRAND.”
We went into town to get some public opinion and heard even more ways of pronouncing it. Some people swear the "e" on the end of grande means you need to pronounce the end of the name with a hard "E" sound.
Michael Norris says his family likes to drop the R and call it Casa Gandy!
“There’s like 10 million different ways they say it,” said Norris.
People here seem pretty accepting of any way they hear the word said.
“I think you can say any one of the ways and you are just fine,” said 59-year-resident Dean Wells.