Local legend explains the unusual pronunciation of the village's name in several possible ways: During the nineteenth century, Chauncey was a prominent stop on the Underground Railroad. The assumption was that those who come from far away and had merely read the name would seek directions using the phonetic pronunciation, identifying these individuals as Southerners in search of escaped slaves. Locals would then point these travelers in the wrong way.
Another local legend regarding the name relates to the fact that Chauncey was a mining town. It says that the owners of the mines had the name of the town pronounced "Chancey," so that any people that came in wishing to unionize the mines would be recognized immediately, by their pronunciation of the name of the town.
Yet another version holds that the name change occurred during Prohibition, when it was necessary to recognize outsiders.