Where’s Oriental, NC? And How The Heck Do You Pronounce “Neuse?”

If you’re from somewhere else (we’re a very small town, so who isn’t?), you may never have heard of Oriental. And you may not have a clue about how to pronounce “Neuse.” That’s Neuse, as in Neuse River, where Oriental lies. All right, that’s not exactly a felony, but hey– you have to blend in, right?

Here’s a Google Map locating us in Oriental

Now, about the pronunciation of “Neuse:” it’s pronounced as “nyoose.” Historians say the name can be traced back to an indigenous tribe named Neusiok that was contacted by the early Sir Walter Raleigh expeditions. So sorry, but you francophiles are wrong.

Bonus Factoid:
But just wait until you outsiders try to pronounce New Bern, the largest town to our northwest. Aha. If you think it’s “nyooBERN,” as it would logically follow (after all the city is named after Bern, Switzerland)– then you’re wrong. It’s “NYOObern.” When in Rome…

Moving Right Along…
But don’t worry about pronunciations when you visit us here in Oriental. You can sit in local restaurants and coffee shops and hear cosmopolitan accents and any number of foreign languages, right here in a village of about 900 souls. No, seriously: you can go to The Bean, our main downtown gathering place at the Oriental town dock on any given morning and hear, as I have, British, Dutch, Norwegian, Spanish, German, French, Quebecois, Swiss French– and one that I think was Czech at a local restaurant the other day– well, you get it.

We’re a unique little place tucked away on the Carolina coast, right on the Intracoastal Waterway and therefore a favored harbor for long distance sailors and circumnavigators– and we’re sure you’ll just love visiting us for a few memorable days.

Y’all come and see us in Oriental!