Vanderhorst Street in Radcliffeborough and Vanderhorst Wharf South of Broad: You may have heard that this name is pronounced "VAN-DROSS." Well... it's not how I, personally, say "Vanderhost." Read on to learn more.
There are locals who will tell you (emphatically) that this name is pronounced with two syllables: “VAN-DROSS” (or "VAN-DRAWS," depending on the accent of the accent of the speaker).
With this seemingly insider knowledge, many go on their way feeling happily in the know about how to say this Charleston name.
However, I’ve heard more than one old Charlestonian insist that this is pronounced just like it looks (“VAN-DER-HORST”) and that the “VAN-DROSS” pronunciation is a mid-to-late 20th century movement, which picked up steam when Kiawah Island (previously owned by the Vanderhorst family for nearly two century) ownership changed in the 1950s and again in the 1970s, and, presumably the "Vanderhosrt" name was in the news.
Ek, so which is it?
I consulted one of my favorite books, and the only one I know of on the subject of pronunciations of South Carolina names, and it reports that both are correct, though it does point out that the street name in Charleston is pronounced "VAN-DROSS" (this book was first published in 1983).
So, my conclusion is that both pronunciations ("VAN-DROSS" or "VAN-DER-HORST") are acceptable, but, personally? I tend to go old school and use the more traditional “VAN-DER-HORST.”
What say you? "VAN-DROSS" or "VAN-DER-HORST?"