Place: Cotopaxi

Usage: Small town in central Colorado (according to the 2010 Census, 47 people were living there)

Shares a Name With: Active volcano in Ecuador

Pronunciation: K-oh-toe-pax-ie (not k-oh-toe-pah-x-ie)

Expert: “People mispronounce the name all the time. It happens a lot over the telephone, when they’ve got something written in front of them. There’s a big pause, and then they give it a shot, and move right on.” —Nancy Oswald, historical fiction author who lives on a family ranch in Cotopaxi. Oswald has been a resident in Cotopaxi for the last 22 years.

Fun Fact: Oswald says that the old postmaster used to keep a list on the wall of all the letters that came through with terrible misspellings of the name Cotopaxi. It was a pretty long compilation.

—Image courtesy of Shutterstock