"It's pronounced 'Bouquet'..."Someone tries to class up something by "pronouncing it poshly". Most commonly this is done as response to other people pronouncing the word in such a way that it sounds much sillier. Whether the fancy pronunciation or the obvious yet silly one is "correct" is usually beside the point. The point is, that for some people, keeping a name filled with aristocratic airs is Serious Business. This practice likely originated (at least as far as we know) in the Middle Ages among upper class families who had common surnames and didn't want to be associated with their lowly upbringing. The Featherstone-Haughs for example were named for a poor farming village, so in order to make themselves sound posher, they changed the pronunciation of the name to "Fanshaw". Usually the "high-class pronunciation" uses French pronunciation, with varying accuracy. Today this is probably because Everything Sounds Sexier in French and as we all know sexy people can't be made fun of. The original reason for this is likely because from the 17th Century all the way until the mid 20th century, French was considered the Common Tongue of European diplomacynote . This trope is related to the linguistic phenomenon known as hyperforeignism. May overlap with My Nayme Is but not every name that's pronounced differently than its spelling would indicate is this trope. Compare also with AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle and Insistent Terminology, with which it sometimes overlaps. NOTE: Saint Tropez actually is pronounced Tro-pay. "Trope" isn't, though, obviously. Contrast No Pronunciation Guide. See also Uranus Is Showing.
— Hyacinth Bucket, Keeping Up Appearances. And no, it's not.
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- One A&W rootbeer commercial features a particularly clueless job candidate repeatedly referring to his interviewer as Mr. "Dumbass". Eventually, the interviewer states that his name (clearly visible on a nameplate as "Mr. DuMass") is actually pronounced "DOO-Mahss"note . Then he says behind the candidate's back, "What a dumbass."
- In one commercial for Glade-scented candles, a woman tries to pass off her new candles as fancy foreign candles. She removes the label and attempts to throw it away, but struggles with the adhesive and it ends up sticking to her skirt in the vicinity of her rear end. After she responds to questioning about whether it was a Glade candle with, "No, it's, uh, French. From France," one of her friends pulls the label off of her and sarcastically asks, "Haven't you ever heard of glah-DAY?"
- This ad for the Hyundai Genesis luxury sedan ends with "Win one little award, and everyone gets your name right. It's pronounced "HOHN-day", like Sunday." In the UK, the adverts actually pronounce it "High-OON-die". Australians split the difference, pronouncing it "hee-UN-day". In Korean, it's "HYUN-dae." ("Hyun" being one syllable, kind of like "Fun" but actually a vowel sound that's halfway between "ah" and "oh", and the "dae" being pronounced the same as "day", though Koreans have heard foreigners used to Japanese names say it as "die" so often, they occasionally say it that way, too, at least when speaking English).
- McDonald's is running a couple of commercials for their McCafé coffee drink which has random words getting an "é" pronounced "a" stuck on the end, with whispering voices humming "a, a, a, a" in the background. For example: They show a man hosing down his car in his driveway. He looks bored. The voiceover says "Rinse." But when the guy takes a sip of his McCafé, he feels much livelier, and the voiceover says "Rin-SAY."
- A series of ads several years ago for the everything-shop Argos featured a (mysteriously Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen-esque) rock star (played by Richard E. Grant) making "helpful" suggestions to his PA (played by Julia Sawalha) about how to have his flat decorated. As soon as he leaves, she calls up the store and they soon deliver furniture, wall hangings and so on. When he returns, he's impressed and inquires as to who she hired to decorate the place. She casually says "Argos", but then backpedals, trying to impress him, saying that of course she was referring to a Lithuanian designer called "Argús" (AHR-goos).
- Lampshaded in a Kiwibank advert where an Australian banker tries to say the town-name Whakatane (properly "fah-cah-tah-neigh") as "whack-a-tain"
- Subverted by this commercial for Labatt Blue Light.
- Just about any lingerie advert that uses the pronunciation "lohn-zher-ay." The correct French pronunciation is closer to "lan-zher-ee."
- Target department stores did an ad that co-opted the commonly-used facetious pronunciation of "Tar-ZHAY" to jokingly act posh.
- The blaxploitation-satire movie I'm Gonna Git You Sucka had a TV ad with classical music and a PBS-grade announcer presenting it as a highbrow art film with the title "I Am Going to Get You, Sucker".
- A UK advert for Tesco featured a Mrs. Belcher, who insisted "It's pronounced 'Bell-SHARE', actually," though no one seemed to believe her.
- On loaves of Bimbo's bread, the slogan "Say beem-bo!" is displayed prominently, because the original name is Italian, where 'Bimbo' is the diminutive of 'bambino', or childnote .
- An advert in Sweden for Swedish clothes manufacturer Blåkläder (pronounced "Bloh-klay-der") featured an American who consistently mispronounced it as "Black-lah-der". After about 30 seconds of this, a Swedish guy approaches him and says "Say after me: Blåkläder!" The guy responds "That's what I said. Black-lah-der!"
- Italian-American restauranteur Ettore Boiardi opted to market his canned food line under the name "Chef Boy-Ar-Dee", later Boyardee, specifically to avert this trope's confusing aspects. (He also Anglicized his first name to "Hector").
- The most common American pronunciation still gets it wrong, by putting the AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle. The 2013 commercials where they're actually saying his family name pronounce it slightly differently than the brand name (basically boy-AR-dee vs. BOY-ar-DEE).
- The new cider—er, cidre—from Stella Artois is pronounced SEE-DRA.
- In a Walmart StraightTalk commercial, a woman insists a certain vegetable is "absolutely pronounced ahn-deev" because of her supposed new riches after cutting her cell phone bill in half.
- On the Sprint "Framily" commercials, the older son has a weird friend named Gordon who insists that his name is pronounced 'Gor-DAWN.'
Anime & Manga
- In Haibane Renmei, one character corrects the fact that Rakka refers to him as Hiyoko, pointing out it's "Hyohko", with exaggerated emphasis on the "oh" sound to make the pronunciation difference clear.
- In Umineko: When They Cry, French readers are usually baffled when they hear Ange's name pronounced "enjeh". You normally pronounce it ɑ̃ʒ, which in Japanese should have given something like "anju" (no, not that one). Maybe it was less pretty.
- Stephan in Pokémon: Best Wishes wants you to know it's "Stef-AHN", not "Steven" or "STEPH-an."
- He had this problem in the original Japanese, where his name was Kenyan. "Keniyan" was the most common mispronunciation. Somehow they didn't have any trouble with the mouth flaps when translating this even though "Keniyan", unlike "Kenyan" or any of his dub names, has three syllables.
- In the American dub of Tokyo Majin, the Shogunate is pronounced "SHO-goo-na-tay" instead of "SHO-goon-nate". The dubbers mistook an English word for a Japanese.
- The words anime and manga themselves get this. In Japan, anime would be pronounced "AH-nee-meh" not "ANN-im-ay" and manga would be pronounced "MAHN-guh" not "MANG-guh." In North America, while the correct pronunciation of "manga" is pretty common (it's about half-and-half with the incorrect pronunciation among fans), "anime" is almost universally pronounced incorrectly (even among fans pronouncing "manga" correctly). Although it's mostly out of habit, since the pronunciation is so ingrained in North American anime culture, the "correct" pronunciation can sound unusual.
- From Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, Goodwin is supposed to be pronounced as "Gohd-win", causing fan translators to spell it as "Godwin" which sounds similar, but Goodwin's name has a long O, not a short O. This is Lost in Translation when the official dubs pronounce his name as "Gud-win", pronouncing the double O as a U.
- Also, in the Japanese dub, "signer" is pronounced phonetically, like SIG-nurr. In the English dub, it's pronounced "sigh-nurr", like the English word.
- A character whose name is either Lotten or Rotten (even the series itself spells it both ways) is actually pronounced "LAW-tun" (or "RAW-tun", since R and L sound the same in Japanese) in the Japanese dub. English media actually spells it Lawton.
- The Earthbound Immortal cards have a hard time with this, since they're named after the Aztec words for things, and therefore pronounced in the Aztec way. Most of them are roughly phonetic, except for Ccapac Apu (Koh-ka-pack Ah-poo), Ccarayhua (Koh-ka-RYE-ah), Chacu Challhua (CHACK-oo CHALL-oo-ah) and Wiraqocha Rasca (WEER-a-KOCH-a RASS-kah).
- Yu Gi Oh Zexal: The X in the word "ZEXAL" is silent in the Japanese version since it's supposed to be the word "zeal". Other dubs just ignore this fact.
- Despite what Funimation's English dub of YuYu Hakusho will tell you, it's supposed to be Yusuke "OO-rameshi". Keiko'snote last name, the other hand, is indeed pronounced "Yukimura"note .
- In the anime of Sword Art Online, when Kirito first sees the name of A Lfheim Online, he pronounces it ALF-haym. Later on, his friend informs him that it's actually pronounced "ALV-haym", with the F being pronounced as a V.
- "Dragon Ball Z": Quite a few names are mispronounced in the English dub made by Funimation. For example, Goku (pronounced "go-koo") in the dub, is actually pronounced "go-kou"). Saiyan is pronounced "say-an" in the dub, despite the actual pronunciation being "cyahn" (similar to the word "cyan", but the "a" is pronounced differently).
- Brian Regan has a comedy routine in which he has trouble remembering names, and he stresses the difficulty of making a mistake when somebody else's name is similar to another.
"Oh, hey there, Carolyn."
"It's Caroline. It's Caroline, Brian."
"It's Bri-awnh! Yes, my name is Brauaaagh! It's very hard to say my name correctly, because my name is Brynamengenjah! Can you say that? Very few can."
- Dawn French had a bit where she would show off her new dress saying "It's by Pinay — J.C. Pinay"
- Zach Galifianakis frequently mispronounces words such as stage (stahj).
- Jimmy Carr had a joke where he mentioned how he read the word "chav" before actually hearing it, and thought it was pronounced "shav".
- In one skit, Tim Wilson begins talking about hummus, which he pronounces "hoo-moos". After an audience member tells him that it's pronounced "hum-us", he defends himself by saying that his wife's Israeli and serves it all the time, then questions how much "hoo-moos" the audience member has eaten in his lifetime.
- Key & Peele have this in the form of their "Substitute Teacher" skit, where a substitute teacher with a Hair-Trigger Temper mispronounces the name of every student (except one, the black kid that serves as the punch line) and flips out whenever he's corrected. Unusually for this trope these are all normal names with the normal proper pronunciations; the sub simply taught for many years in the inner city and thinks every name is a Ghetto Name and that the kids are hazing him when they correct him. "Balakay?" "...Do you mean Blake?"
- Writer Christopher Priest added a recurring character named Dr. Vilain during his run on Steel. The doctor wasn't really evil, just ruthless, and would constantly remind people. "It's French, it's pronounced 'will-HAYN'". Of course, it's not pronounced like that in French. For the record, "vilain" does exist in French, but an accurate translation would be something like "naughty" or "ugly" (or even "peasant"), not exactly fitting for an evil alias.
- Both "Vilain" and "Villain" are real-life surnames in Francophone countries; the most notorious bearer of the "ll" form was Raoul Villain, who assassinated French socialist and pacifist leader Jean Jaurès on 31 July, 1914.
- Make no mistake, Victor Fries' last name is pronounced "Freeze" (off-topic, but just like Charles Fries of Fries Entertainment).
- Now if only we can resolve whether it's "RAYSH" or "RAZZ"-al-Ghul. Word of God pronounces it "RAYSH" on one of the DC animated movie special features. And in this case, it's the character's actual creator: Denny O'Neil. And yet, the actual Arabic pronunciation is "RAZZ," which makes things confusing. Batman Begins follows this loosely and goes with "RAHZ". The people at DC are confusing the word "Ra's" with the letter "Resh", which is not even used in the spelling. Considering the character is from the Middle East/South Asia, has a name that is an actual Arabic phrase (with both correct spelling and grammar) and the foreign letter (represented by a ' in western writing) is barely audible when followed by a consonantnote , pronouncing his name as "Raysh" is comparable to calling a South American character "el Hombre Roja" and pronouncing his name as "Al Khom-bre Row-ya".
- What is causing the confusion is that the writers are mixing up the Arabic letter Ra's with the Hebrew letter Resh, both corresponding to the letter r. In Hebrew, the Resh letter is also variant of the word rosh meaning head. (The first word in the Torah is b'reshith commonly translated as In the beginning).
- An issue of The Batman Adventures had Commissioner Gordon seeking out a crime informant named "Wiesel". Gordon, like every other character this man had ever encountered, pronounces the name to rhyme with "weasel". He tries to tell Gordon that the accent is on the second syllable, but gets cut off.
- In the Marvel Mangaverse, Benjamin Grimm's first name is pronounced as it is in Hebrew: "Ben-ya-MEEN". Johnatha goes out of her way to emphasize the unusual (to English speakers) pronunciation every time she talks about him, as an insult.
- Ghost Rider: Heaven's on Fire features an Antichrist who actually goes by Anton Satan, pronouncing it [ʃatan] ("Shuh-TAN") like Miroslav Šatan of the Boston Bruins and Slovakia.
Anton: Actually, that's pronounced Shuh-TAN. It's Czechoslovakian.
- Hellblazer: John's last name is pronounced Constan-TYNE ("rhymes with 'fine'") in keeping with the British pronunciation, not the American Constan-TEEN that many fans often use. This gets a bit muddled when you consider the movie adaptation switched his nationality to American which means it should be pronounced Constan-TEEN for purposes of the film.
- Even more confusing is that the TV version of the character, who is British, also uses the Constan-TEEN pronunciation.
- In The Order of the Stick's prequel book Start of Darkness, Big Bad Xykon repeatedly corrects people who spell his name "Zykon"... even in their speech balloons. It's possible that the two names actually are pronounced differently, though.
- Hellboy's father. His name is Professor Trevor Bruttenholm. It's pronounced 'Broom.'
- Spider-Man goes out of his way to point out you gotta "pronounce" the hyphen so it's two words ("Spider Man") and tends to get up in arms whenever someone pronounces it as one whole word (Spiderman). Apparently, it makes it seem like a Jewish last name or something to that effect.
- Mi-Tse (villain from German comic Nick Knatterton) is not pronounced "Mieze" (typical name for cats in Germany; an approximate English equivalent would be "Puss").
- According to Mykan the author of My Little Unicorn, Celesto's name is pronounced "CHE-les-tow".
- Pacific: World War II U.S. Navy Shipgirls absolutely loves making this joke in regards to Louisville (see below in the Real Life section). Pretty much everyone gets Louisville's name pronounced wrong, including her two older sisters Northampton and Chester. Just see yourself.
- Ashley McFly/Leather Ashes from Pretty Cure Perfume Preppy. The "Leather" in "Leather Ashes" was originally pronounced with "lee-ther" instead of the usual "leh-ther".
Films — Animation
- In Finding Nemo, Dory reads the word "escape" on the hatch of the submarine but pronounces it as "Ess-ka-pay".
- Megamind seems to have this as something of a Verbal Tic. Most notably, he pronounces Metro City as "Metrocity" (rhymes with atrocity) and School as Shool. Well, he is an alien, and one who was kicked out of school pretty early.
- In the first Lilo & Stitch movie, one of the aliens mispronounces Earth as "Ee-Arth."
- Wreck-It Ralph:
Ralph: Thanks, Satan.Saitine: Ah, it's "Sa-teen," actually.
- Happens in Hoodwinked when Twitchy pulls out the dynamite and goes "Dee-na-mee-tay. Hmm, must be Italian."
- Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted: Inverted with Kowalski's special invention for the getaway car. Gloria certainly knows how to pronounce the word, but Skipper knows what it really is.
Skipper: We need more power! Time to fire up Kowalski's nucular reactor.Gloria: That's a nuclear reactor?!Skipper: (correcting her) Nuke-ular.
- As if that makes it any better...
- In Frozen, the Duke of Weselton insists it is pronounced "Wessel-ton" when everyone pronounces is "Weasel-town".
- At Bonnie's place in Toy Story 3, when Woody shows the inscription "Andy" on his boot sole to the other toys, he presents it upside down. Bonnie's toys wonder:
Buttercup: Who's "Yid-nuh"?Mr. Pricklepants: I believe it's pronounced "Yid-nay."
- In Shrek the Third, when Shrek and Donkey are going to find the young Arthur.
Donkey: (reading the word "Worcestershire" off the arch) War-sess-turr-shy-ree. Ooh, sounds fancy!Shrek: It's Worcestershire (wuss-turr-sheer).Donkey: Like the sauce?
Films — Live-Action
- Better Off Dead. When Lane Meyer (John Cusack) invites the French foreign exchange student from across the street to dinner, his mother, seeking to impress, serves exotic dishes like "Frahnch fries" and salad with "Frahnch dressing". And to drink: Peru! [Perrier]
- Coincidentally in another Cusack film, Serendipity, his character continues to pronounce mignon as "minion" despite a Frenchman's protests to the contrary.
- In The Bank Dick, W.C. Fields once played a character named "Sousé" and had to keep correcting people with "It's pronounced Sous-Ay! Accent grave over the e!"note The pun doesn't really work nowadays, but back then souse was a slang term for a drunkard.
- It's a Gift, in which W.C. Fields plays a shop owner Harold Bissonette, "Bis-son-NAY in front of the wife."
- One of the prisoners in The Shawshank Redemption is looking at The Count of Monte Cristo by "Alexandree Dumbass". He is promptly corrected.
- Small Time Crooks. Low class Frenchy (Tracey Ullman) calls crudites "crudd-iytes".
- For the first third or so of Mel Brooks's Young Frankenstein, Frederick Frankenstein consistently corrects people's pronunciation of his surname: "Fraun-kon-shteen." This causes his assistant Igor to insist on "Eye-gor", and calling him "Froderick" instead of Frederick. Ultimately Frankenstein accepts the traditional way of pronouncing his name when he takes up the family trade - Eye-gor sticks with his.
- Another Mel Brooks example: the protagonist of High Anxiety addresses his mentor as Professor Little Old Man (accent on Man), and is corrected: Little-Oldman (accent on Old).
- Yet another Mel Brooks example: Count DeMonet DEE-Moe-NAY, not, The Money) in History of the World Part I. When he's Distracted by the Sexy, even he has to remind himself.
- Apparently, Mel Brooks really liked having fun with this one. Reversed in The Producers: "Jacques Lepideux... Jacques Lepideux... Jack Lapidus?"
- An let's not forget Hedley Lamarr from Blazing Saddles. People tend to leave off the l in his first name.
- At the end, when someone actually is talking about Hedy Lamarr, he still corrects them.
- Honey Horneé in Waynes World 2. It's pronounced "hor-NAY", but Garth calls her "Ms. Horny" even after hearing it pronounced correctly.
- In The Comedy of Terrors, the central characters had several exchanges along these lines:
Gillie: Mr. Tremble...
Gillie: But that's what I said.
- In Corky Romano, the title character's FBI alias changes his surname to "Pissant" after a bumbling hacker misinterprets an insult as the answer to his question of what the name should be. It then becomes a running gag as Corky tries to convince people that it's pronounced "Pis-AHNT... it's y'know... French."
- Joe Dirt
Joe Dirt: Comin' to work. Joe Deertay.
KXLA Security Guard: Don't try and church it up son. Don't you mean Joe Dirt?
- The Abominable Dr. Phibes: "How do you pronounces this name? Phy-bees?"
- School of Rock: "Actually, it's 'Schnay-blay'."
- In the comedic slasher film Santa's Slay, when checking in at an airport, the attendant reads Santa's name as, "Mr. Satan", to which she is corrected. "Actually, it's pronounced Shuh-TAN."
- Inverted in L.A. Story: Harris (Steve Martin) and his friends agree to meet at a trendy new restaurant whose name is pronounced "leed-YO", but when the scene shifts there, we see that it's actually spelled "L'Idiot", and that is the correct pronunciation in French.
- The Last Airbender. Director M. Night Shyamalan instructed actors to pronounce several words ("Ong", "Ahvatar", "Soaka", "Ee-roh") as though their written forms followed transliteration conventions for Asian languages, rather than being intended to best approximate their actual pronunciation with conventional English spelling. Except "avatar" has long been an English word, and one can probably assume that the original creators of the animated series didn't have the voice actors incorrectly pronounce names they made up.
- In The Comebacks, George Johnson insists his name is pronounced "Jorge Juanson" in a feeble attempt to accentuate his Latin heritage.
- The Specials: Minute Man is constantly correcting people that it's "My-noot Man! Do I look like a soldier from the Revolutionary War? I don't think so! Am I wearing a three-cornered hat? No! I turn small. Think!"
- Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian has a security guard named Brandon who insists his name is pronounced "Brundon" despite being spelled with an A.
- A Christmas Story: "Fra-gee-lay...that must be Italian." "Uh, I think that says 'fragile'." Even funnier as the Italians wouldn't even pronounce it like that.
- True Grit: La Boeuf insists his last name is pronounced "La Beef", though that wouldn't be the French pronunciation.
- In the French movie Mesrine: L'ennemi Public n°1, which is about the life and death of the famous French 70s gangster Jacques Mesrine, the title character is often annoyed that the media pronounce the s in his name. It's pronounced MEH-rine, (insert French curse word of choice)!
- Pirates of the Caribbean: "It is pronounced 'eh-GREE-gius.'"
- There's also the argument between Pintel and Ragetti over how to pronounce "kraken." Settled with "It's a mythical creature, I can calls it what I likes."
- Freedom Writers:
Eva: It's "ay-vuh". Not "ee-vuh".
- In The Third Man, Dr. Winkle has to keep reminding Martins that his name is actually pronounced 'Vinkle'. Of course, Martins seems prone to these Accidental Misnaming moments as he keeps referring to Major Calloway as 'Callahan'.
Major Calloway: That's Calloway, not "Callahan." I'm English, not Irish.
- In Golden Eye, we have this helpful exchange...
Jack Wade: Who is that?Bond: Natalya Siminova.Natalya Simonova: Natalya Sim-yon-ova.
- Gnorm of A Gnome Named Gnorm (aka Upworld) pronounces his name (and that of his race) with a hard G. He meets a human detective who corrects him, claiming that the G is silent. Gnorm first replies "No it's g-not!" but later doesn't object to being called "Norm".
- In Get Smart, a George W. Bush Expy President (played by James Caan) pronounces "nuclear" as "nucular". Da Chief, obviously already on edge, blows up and corrects him.
- In Lemonade Joe, Joe's name LOOKS like the English name "Joe" when written but it's in fact pronounced as if it was written in Czech — Yoe with "e" as in "bed".
- At the end of My Fellow Americans, the Vice President, whom everybody thought was a bumbling idiot, reveals that it was all an act. Specifically, he calls that it was a "façade" but pronounces it "fah-KAY-d" instead of "fah-SAH-d".
- In Crazy Stupid Love, several characters pronounce David Lindhagen's last name as "Lind-hey-gen", even after he corrects them that it is pronounced "Lind-hah-gen".
- In The Dark Knight Rises, when Bruce and Selina are dancing at the masquerade ball:
Selina: His wife's in Ibiza. She left her diamonds behind, though. Worried they might get stolen.Bruce: Mm. It's pronounced "I-beeth-a". You wouldn't want any of these folks realizing you're a crook, not a social climber.
- In Final Justice, nobody Geronimo meets in Malta ever says his name correctly: It's "HAY-ronnie-mo" rather than "jurr-ONNA-mo." After a certain point he gives up on correcting people.
- In Muppets Most Wanted, the villain's surname is Badguy, but he insists on having it pronounced bædgee on account of being French.
- In the film The Bitter Tea Of General Yen, Megan Davis' first name is pronounced in the old Irish way as mee-GHAN, as opposed to the alternative pronunciation, MEG-en.
- A joke on a greeting card had George W. Bush ask a waitress for a "quickie." After the waitress storms off in disgust, Cheney tells him it's pronounced "quiche" ("keesh").
- There's an old joke: "How do you pronounce the capital of Kentucky? LooISville or LooIEville?" The punchline is "Neither, dummy. Frankfort is the capital of Kentucky," but neither of those pronunciations is technically correct to a native either. (See Real Life examples below)
- Lampshaded in Terry Pratchett's novel Hogfather: Psycho for Hire Mr. Teatime keeps telling people that his name is pronounced "Te-ah-ti-meh". Fortunately, he only considers it slightly annoying when they get it wrong.
- Amusingly, many of the cast in Sky One's Hogfather miniseries find more than one way to pronounce "Te-ah-ti-meh" each, including Marc Warren (Mr. Teatime himself).
- This is brilliantly translated in French: Mr. Teatime is called M. Lheureduthé (which means exactly Teatime) but wants people to pronounce it like "Le Redouté" — ("The Dreaded").
- Another Discworld one, from the Tiffany Aching subseries: "It's not 'Earwig', it's 'ah-WIJJ'." As the character is a self-important, etiquette-obsessed social climber, this may be a nod to Keeping Up Appearances.
- Also from the Tiffany Aching subseries: Roland de Chumsfanleigh, pronounced "Chuffley". Usually footnoted with, "It wasn't his fault."
- One more Discworld example: Edward d'Eath. This is a Real Life surname, though. And originally almost always spelled "Death". The surname derives from men who played the character of Death in the medieval mystery plays each English town put on — the roles were lifelong and hereditary. The "d'Eath" or "d'Ath" construction is meant to make the name sound Norman French (and therefore snooty).
- In The Science of Discworld, the wizards are observing life evolving on the Roundworld, in spite of both absence of essential elements like Narrativium and Deitygen, and of the constant disasters like comet strikes it faces. They suggest it has a quality that they could describe as a conceptual element that they have a difficulty coming up with a name for; "Bloodimindium" just doesn't sound right, so the Lecturer in Recent Runes suggests changing the accent: "Blod-di-min-dium".
- Lampshaded in Terry Pratchett's novel Hogfather: Psycho for Hire Mr. Teatime keeps telling people that his name is pronounced "Te-ah-ti-meh". Fortunately, he only considers it slightly annoying when they get it wrong.
- In the audio book version of The Indian in the Cupboard, the author pronounces Iroquois as "ir-a-quaw".
- Lord Peter Wimsey has two middle names: Death and Bredon. The first is supposed to be pronounced "deeth". This actually matters in one of the novels. In Murder Must Advertise (and in at least one other story: "A Matter of Taste" perhaps?) he uses the pseudonym Death Bredon and remarks, more or less, "It's usually rhymed with teeth but I find it so much more fun to rhyme it with breath."
- Perhaps inspiring the Count de Money mentioned above, the novel The Red and the Black has a character named the Comte de Thaler (thaler as in the German word that became "dollar") who is a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo of one of the Rothschilds and whose German name would be pronounced "Thalay" in France.
- From Harry Potter: Word of God states that the entire "Her-MY-oh-nee" discussion in Goblet of Fire came about after J. K. Rowling learned that fans were having trouble pronouncing Hermione's name. And people still call her "Her-my-nee", probably because its smoother (and because of the films). It's still wrong, but better than pronunciation that was challenged: "Herm-my-own", "Her-mi-own", or even "Her-me-wan". But it is pronounced correctly, as "Her-MY-oh-nee", in the films. The third syllable is subtle, but present. The reason JKR inserted that scene was because the usual pronunciation people were coming up with was "Her-my-own".
- From the first book, the "Wingardium Leviosa" scene during the "Halloween" chapter.
- The author's name is properly pronounced "rolling" (she says in interviews "as in pin"), though is often mispronounced "RAU-ling".
- Defied in ''The Intruders' with this little exchange.
Cassie: You say potato...Joel: And so does everyone else I've ever met.
- In Anne of Avonlea, the second Anne of Green Gables book, the mother of two of Anne's students insists on their last name being pronounced Donnell, accent on the second syllable. (She also insists on her son being called St. Clair, although he prefers his birth name of Jacob. Poor kid.)
- In the Victorian novel Barchester Towers from The Chronicles Of Barsetshire by Anthony Trollope, one character has the last name Slope, which the narrator informs us was originally Slop (he is supposed to be the descendant of a character from Tristram Shandy) but was changed for "euphony". The literary scholar John Sutherland posited that this may have been a self-deprecating reference to the author's own last name, which minus the "e" is a synonym for whore.
- Inverted by Chris Cwej in the Doctor Who New Adventures novels. His surname should be pronounced "Shvay", but because everyone pronounces it "Kwedge" he's decided to go along with it. In his first appearance, although his new partner Roz Forrester pronounces it correctly, he corrects her.
- In Don Juan by Lord Byron: In order to rhyme with such phrases as "new one" and "true one", the name Don Juan has to be pronounced "don-DZHU-an". It was pronounced that way in England during Byron's time.
- Sneaking onto Imperial Center as a battered, partly cybernetic Imperial pilot, Wedge Antilles goes by Colonel Antar Roat, and has to tell a customs official that it's pronounced Ro-at. The buzz of the voice modulator — cybernetic, remember? — makes him all but unintelligible.
- In M.L.N. Hanover's Black Sun's Daughter series, the main character, Jayné, is used to people mispronouncing her name as "Jane" when it is actually supposed to be pronounced "Zha-nay" in the French manner.
- P. G. Wodehouse had lots of fun with this. A particularly memorable example would be in Indiscretions of Archie, when the title character explains that his surname, Moffam, is pronounced "Moom". To rhyme with Bloffingham.
- Achilles from the Shadow series of the Enderverse is indeed pronounced as the French "A-sheel".
- This provides a small plot point, when Sister Carlotta is asked by Colonel Graff about Achilles and pronounces it in the American fashion. Carlotta immediately calls him out on reading Bean's journal instead of hearing the name from Bean himself. And that's not even close to the worst mistake Graff makes regarding Achilles.
- Also, Bonzo Madrid is not to be pronounced as "bone-saw" but in the Spanish way.
- Hubertus Bigend of the Bigend Books by William Gibson is another inversion. Bigend is Belgian, and the proper pronunciation is therefore closer to "bayh-jhan", but he seems to prefer to go by "big end" anyway.
- Robert A. Heinlein included an involved discussion of the real life surnames of Tolliver and Talliafero in The Cat Who Walks Through Walls. Essentially, the two names are related, but represent three surnames. Spelt the long way and pronounced the short way makes you old money southern. Spelt short and pronounced short makes you white trash. Spelt long and pronounced long makes you a damn carpetbagger yankee scum. There's some truth to this, as the name is prominent in the south, and should be pronounced "TOL - i - ver", and spelled "Taliaferro". So spelling it the short way means a period of ignorance, including illiteracy (hence white trash) in one's family history, while pronouncing it long means moneyed ignorance (a Johnny come lately, or one who's not from the south), while the correct pronunciation and spelling mean a long history with the name with no periods of illiteracy (old money).
- Slightly different version in John Brunner's "Coincidence Day" with Madam Senior-Jones. That is her NAME. Her father insisted that HIS family was the ORIGINAL Joneses, and she finally added the "Senior-" to make sure everyone got the point. He also named his daughter "Madam" because it is used to address queens... being unaware of the unfortunate implications of the other sense of the word.
- Thomas Raith in The Dresden Files goes by (as Harry puts it) "toe-MOSS" while posing as a gay French hairdresser.
- Lord Faucet from The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place insists his name is pronounced ''Fausay".
- Russian translators of the Vorkosigan Saga went out of their way with this trope in order to Keep It Foreign. Up to converting Ivan Vorpatril from Russian (ee-ONE) to Scotsman (EYE-van).
- Surfaces in A Brother's Price, where one of the Whistlers' neighboring families thinks the Whistlers put on airs by keeping the same pronunciations that the Queens use. Eldest Whistler prefers careful diction. A younger sister who fancies those neighbors imitates them to say, "Nay neighborly of 'er" and is corrected immediately.
- In V.S. Naipul's novel The Mystic Masseur, the main character, born Ganesh Ramsumair, goes from a nobody to an influential politician. At this point, he starts going by G. Ramsay Muir
- In the children's book Mr Stink and its television adaptation, the protagonist's family name is Crumb, but Mrs. Crumb, who is snooty and has political ambitions, insists on pronouncing it "Croome".
- Inverted by Sergeant Thibodeaux in Peter Benchley's Q Clearance. The protagonist pronounces it Tee-boe-doe the first time they meet, only to be corrected: "It's Tibby-doo. Pappy used to say, "'tain't my fault some Frog got into granny's jammies."
- At the start of Stephen Leacock's parody of 18th century English romantic novels "Gertrude the Governess, or Simply Seventeen," we are informed that the setting is Knotacentinum Towers (pronounced Nosham Taws), home of Lord Knotacent (pronounced Lord Nosh)...
- In Wolf Hall, when Thomas Cromwell first meets Thomas Wriothesley, Wriothsely tells him stuffily to "Call me Risley". After that, there's a running joke in the series wherein Cromwell exclusively refers to Wriothesley as "Call me Risley" or just "Call me" when speaking about him to his protegees, and actually nicknames Wriothesley "Call me".
- Rudyard Kipling explicitly stated that the name of the main character of The Jungle Book, Mowgli, is supposed to be pronounced such that the first syllable rhymes with "cow." However, most English-speaking people, including the characters of the Disney version, pronounce said syllable such that it rhymes with "crow."
- When Lewis Carroll wrote The Hunting of the Snark, he gave the following about the pronunciation of some words in "Jabberwocky:"
"As this poem is to some extent connected with the lay of the Jabberwock, let me take this opportunity of answering a question that has often been asked me, how to pronounce 'slithy toves.' The 'i' in "slithy" is long, as in 'writhe"' and 'toves' is pronounced so as to rhyme with 'groves.' Again, the first 'o' in 'borogoves' is pronounced like the 'o' in 'borrow.' I have heard people try to give it the sound of the 'o' in 'worry.' Such is Human Perversity.
- Dave Barry Slept Here has pronunciation guides mostly for the sake of jokes, such as "Versailles (Pa-REE)."
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Buffybot pronounces Giles as "Guy-els".
- Hyacinth Bucket from Keeping Up Appearances insists that it's pronounced Boo-KAY. "The Bouquet residence! The lady of the house speaking!!" Note that her husband always pronounces it Bucket when she's not around. Well, the sisters are all named after flowers... Apparently inspired by a real-life acquaintance of Roy Clarke who insisted their surname ("Bottom") was pronounced "Bo-TOME".
- In an episode of Happy Endings, the gang meets their old friend Shershow's fiance, and this exchange occurs.
Melinda: I am so happy that you guys were able to make it on such short notice. I'm leaving next week to deliver solar ovens to Hondooras.Max: Wow, Shershow, you hit it out of the park. She's both beautiful and says Honduras the fancy way.
- On the BBC's Wings, Lieutenant Gaylion's surname is pronounced GAY-lee-un. For much of the first season, Captain Triggers refers to him as gay-lion, pronouncing it as though he were a predatory cat that prefers the company of other male predatory cats.
- In an episode of Frasier, after a family embarrassment, Niles Crane's wife Maris tries to save face by adding an accent to the "e" of her name on her memos, so that her name is read as Maris Crah-NAY.
- The Colbert Report (Cole-BARE RE-pore). In one of the early adverts for the show, Colbert tries to justify it by saying that "It's French, bitch!" Colbert himself has said that the pronunciation is a way for us to tell the difference between his real personality (by pronouncing the T) and his stage personality (not pronouncing it).
- Inverted when one segment included Stephen's intern, Ja-Mès. ("It's pronounced 'James'.")
- Red Dwarf, "Kryten":
Rimmer: You always put the emphasis on "Rim" in "Rimmer". Makes me sound like a lavatory disinfectant.
Lister: Well, what do you want me to call you? "Rim-MAIR"!?
- A common Running Gag involves the particularly hirsute background character "Dr. Beardface". It seems like a nickname until Dr. Beardfacé corrects them that it's "Beard-FA-SAY, dammit!"
- Keith Dudemeister's last name is from German, properly pronounced "Doo-de-MY-ster". Keith and Elliot have both said it means "Master of Dudes".
- A Saturday Night Live sketch involved a couple trying to decide on a name for their expected child; the husband ends up rejecting practically every common name because it's too prone to being mocked. It's revealed at the end of the sketch that the husband's name is "Asswipe"... pronounced "ahs-WEE-pay".
- Another sketch has Jon Hamm and singer Michael Bublé doing a TV spot for their new restaurant that serves "fine pork dishes and sparkling Champagne," Hamm & Bublé. Jon pronounces Michael's last name as "BUH-blee." Michael corrects him: "Actually, it's pronounced BOO-blay," but Jon counters, "Well, boo-BLAY doesn't work, so now it's pronounced BUH-blee."note
- Thirty Rock
- Dr. Spaceman (who, as it turns out, is a certified — or rather uncertified — quack) pronounces his name "spa-CHEMM-'n". So does everyone else except resident Cloudcuckoolander Tracy Jordan, who calls him "Doctor Space-man."
- Subverted later on with Jeffrey Weinerslav, a human resources sexual harassment councilor, who assures Liz that his name is not "Weiner-slahv" but "Weiner-slave", and another time, when Liz called an NBC page "Ah-mohn-daah", only to be corrected "It's... Amanda".
- In another episode, Jack says he can't remember the name of the black kid on Community. Liz informs him it's Don-AHLD Glover.
- Jenna's husband Paul L'astnamé.
- At one point Toofer gets put in the writers' punishment corner because he said, "Time to end the char-ahd and adjust my shed-ule to buy a new vahse."
- Rik Mayall's character on The New Statesman, Alan Bastard, spells his surname "b'Stard" just to make sure everyone pronounces it the way he prefers.
- Another of Rik Mayall's characters insists that his surname "Twat" is pronounced "Thwaite". That's actually a real surname/pronunciation...
- In the first season of Yes, Minister, Jim Hacker's political adviser Frank Weisel (WYE-zel) is repeatedly (deliberately) addressed by Sir Humphrey and Bernard as "Mr Weasel".
- Family Matters
- Mr. Looney ("Loo-NAY. It's French."). This one actually would be pronounced like that in Frenchnote , though the French dub simply uses the US pronunciation for all names anyway.
- Steve Urkel's "cool" transformation, Stefan Urquelle.
- Guy Secretan from Green Wing went to Whiteleaf Public School, but call it that and face his wrath: it's pronounced Wit-lehf.
- Also appears with the suspiciously rare sport Guyball (pronounced Gee-ball) which may or may not be completely made up by Guy.
- Torchwood mentions the "estate agent pronunciation" of the Cardiff district of Splott. "Splowe" is a reasonable approximation of the estate agent pronunciation.
- Summer Heights High Jamie Louise King adds an apostrophe to her name “in year 8”, and becomes Ja’mie. Pronounced “Juh-May”
- In Between the Lions, Dr Nitwhit expressly prefers "nit-WHITE".
- Warren Buffett has appeared several times on All My Children since the early 90s. Opal always pronounces it Warren BOO-fay.
- Are You Afraid of the Dark? has two recurring characters who play to this trope. The first (and definitely the most memorable) was Doctor Vink ("with a vvvuh, vvvuh!") who was constantly referred to as "Doctor Fink". The other (and more in line with the trope) was Sardo, who would constantly berate people for emphasizing his name's first syllable, as well as adding the honorific ("It's Sardo! No "mister", accent on the do!"). The two actually met in one episode (and were surprisingly slashy...).
- Manservant Neville from The Middleman (pronounced "m'nSERvant").
- Shaun Micallef played with this once in a sketch about Dracula: (heavy Romanian accent) "It is actually pronounced, Dra-coo-la."
- Bertram Wooster, from Jeeves and Wooster, always has his name pronounced like Birdie Wooster (rhyming with rooster) by the American characters on the show. (Usually British actors pretending to be American.)
- Parodied on an episode of QI. After Rich Hall suggested the existence of a town called "Satanismymaster-on-Rye", Bill Bailey claimed that the correct pronunciation was "Simster".
- Another episode had Lee Mack genuinely mispronouncing J. K. Rowling's surname to rhyme with howling, with Stephen correcting him by saying "It's 'Rowling' like 'bowling'." Lee turns this into a running gag, suggesting that he and Adam should go "boweling" later
- I Carly
- A one-shot character name's was not Susie, it was Su-ZAY.
- The Jack Black character in "iStart a Fan War", absent the long-final-e pronunciation, would have been called "Aspartame".
- One episode of The Nanny had Maxwell Sheffield pronouncing Fran Fine's surname as "fee-NAY" in an attempt to impress his grandmother.
- How I Met Your Mother
- Barney's obvious alias of "Jack Package" when he visits the matchmaker's is given a paper-thin disguise by pronouncing it "pack-aahj".
- "Dear Ted; It's 'encycloPEdia,' not 'encycloPAYdia.' Why must you always pronounce things in the most pretentious way possible? It makes you sound douchey, and that's 'douchey', not 'douCHAY.'"
- The title of the New Orleans-set HBO series Treme is pronounced "Tre-MAY", and is based on a real place in The Big Easy.
- An ad for Psych had Gus find a number for "Dr. Kissyface" on Shawn's cell phone. "It's Dr. Kissy-FAH-chay," Shawn insists. At the end of the ad, Gus has called the number in disbelief, only to hang up in embarrassment when he gets a receptionist cheerfully answer, "Dr. Kissy-FAH-chay's office."
- Grunchlk, a character in two episodes of Farscape, as well as the Made-For-TV movie Peacekeeper Wars. Despite stating several times that it's pronounced "GROON-shlick," the crew still pronounces it wrong; probably because they don't care for him.
- One of Crichton's hats is his utter inability (or unwillingness) to pronounce alien names correctly. This only serves to enforce the "dumb human" stereotype many have of him, despite the fact that he's easily the smartest person on the ship (he has a degree in astrophysics and designed and built Farscape One). At least nobody tries to pronounce his name as "Kreechton", but that would require the aliens to be able to read English.
- In Monty Python's Flying Circus, there is a sketch about a man whose name is spelled "Raymond Luxury Yacht", but is actually pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove". In typical Python style, this is a parody, and the man is subsequently mocked and humiliated by the frustrated interviewer.
- On Arrested Development, Maeby convinces her prospective boyfriend, Steve Holt, that her mom is actually a man. She then buys her mother a shirt, with "Shemale" emblazoned across the chest. As her mom sees it, Maeby responds, "It's a she-mah-lay!"
- Tobias is a psychoanalyst/therapist. Buster was not put at ease to learn that it's pronounced "uh-NAL-ra-pist!"
- An example on the earlier Star Trek: The Next Generation: in Doctor Pulaski's first episode, she calls Data "Data", with a short A (dah-tah). He corrects her, as it is "Data" with a long A (day-tah). She asks what the difference is. He replies "One is my name, the other is not." Which is a Development Gag, since in the original series bible, the "correct" pronunciation was the other way around.
- One of the jokes on Kath and Kim involved the "correct" pronunciation of "Chardonnay" as "CAR-d'nay", because "it's French: the H is silent".
- In Wizards of Waverly Place:
Alex: Hi, I'm Alex. What's your name?
Paul: Paul [pronounces it as Pao-ul]
Alex: Oh, that's a cool name! How do you spell it?
Alex: (confused) ...Isn't that just Paul?
Paul: It's Pao-ul!
- In a different episode, Joey pretends to own the Porsche parked right outside their apartment building, and every time someone says Porsche, he corrects them "It's por-SHUH!".
- In Community, Britta insists the proper pronunciation for bagel is "BAG-uhl".
- This is in a Minnesota accent
- In the In Living Color! skit "Spike's Joint", Spike Lee (Tommy Davidson) tells his sister Joie (T'Keyah Crystal Keymah) that now that they're back in Brooklyn, her name is pronounced "Joy", not "Jwah".
"It's not Jac-KAY (Jackée), all right? It's JACKIE. It's not Shah-DAY (Sade), all right? It's SADIE! What you gonna call me next, Spi-kay?"
- Captain George Mainwaring in the British Sitcom Dads Army, whose name is pronounced "Man-er-ing". This is lampshaded in later series when the Welsh Pvt. Cheeseman joins the platoon, as he pronounces the captain's name phonetically - "Mane-ware-ing". As does Mainwaring's rival Captain Square, much to Mainwaring's frustration. The snobbish, upper-class Square may be doing this deliberately to emphasise Mainwaring's lower-middle-class background.
- Dippe from PJ Katie's Farm. It's pronounced DEE-PAY.
- In the third and final episode of the prequel Only Fools and Horses Rock and Chips, "The Frog and the Pussycat", Freddie Robdal manages to allay Joannie Trotter's (perfectly correct) suspicion that a diamond ring in a box from "Margate Jewellers" is stolen from a jeweler's shop in Margate by claiming it is the work of a French jeweler pronounced "Mar-jay".
- Inverted in a sketch on The Two Ronnies where one character very carefully pronounces a newcomer's name as 'de Ath', only to be cheerfully told that it is, in fact, pronounced 'Death'.
- The miniseries adaptation of Tales of the City includes dialog about the social embarrassment caused by not knowing the traditional correct pronunciation of Beauchamp's name ("beecham").
- Oliver Trask uses this to woo Marissa Cooper in The O.C., pronouncing mojito and crudités with a Spanish and French inflection, respectively.
- Parodied in a sketch on A Bit of Fry and Laurie, featuring a man whose last name is pronounced by dropping an object onto a desk. "It's as it sounds." It's spelled Nippl-hyphen-e. He's very offended when called "Mr. Nipple." Worse, his address (22 ..., King's Lynn) "..." is pronounced by doing a soft-shoe dance step and slapping you in the face. Just watch it.
- In Bones, episode "Mayhem on a Cross", crime evidence was found in the possession of a Norwegian black metal band named Skalle (Norwegian for skull). Dr. Brennan keeps correcting co-workers, she insists on "Skall-eh" pronunciation, up to the point where Cam avoids using "skalle" in her sentence, she uses pronoun "they" rather. Hilarious.
- When asked if she speaks Norwegian, Bones claims she knows how to say "skull" in any language.
- In the Doctor Who two-parter "The Sontaran Stratagem"/"The Poison Sky", it's Son-TAR-ans, not SON-ter-uhns.
- Subverted in Drake & Josh, where during a rainstorm, Josh's dad tells off one of a myriad houseguests for pronouncing "touché" with the correct French accent.
"It's pronounced TOOSH!"
- In another episode, Drake reads online that a rare pepper is found only in South America, which he pronounces "South Ah-mer-eeka".
- In yet another episode he is unable to pronounce the word "fuselage" read from a manual, coming as close as saying "Fu-sell-ah-gee". In this same episode he keeps pronouncing "cone" as "con".
- Married... with Children
- Kelly meets the man who made her parents' couch. His name is "Mary" but he corrected her, insisting it's "Mar-AY". She then comments about being Bus-AY.
- Kelly seems to have a lot of trouble with pronunciation generally. In the episode where a fitness guru tries to get the Bundys to exercise and eat more healthily, she looks at his jar of "wheat germ" and pronounces it with a hard g.
- When she was a weather girl, she pronounced their city as "CHICK-uh-go" and read another Midwestern city as "Street Louis."
- When Kelly tries out for a spokesmodelling gig in "Kelly Bounces Back," the woman running the casting, Miss Beck (played by Tina Louise), calls for one of the other girls, "Incense Berkowitz." The girl says it's pronounced "In-SAHNS," and Miss Beck just calls "Next!"
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 tends to have a field day with this. In Puma Man, Donald Pleasence's character keeps pronouncing the hero's name as "Pyew-ma" Man, leading to Mike and the Bots to launching into various mocking riffs. As well, the Hamlet episode has Tom renaming himself "Htom Serveaux", leading Crow to reply in frustration, "Hey, Htom, why don't you hlick me?"
- On a short dealing with winter sports, the announcer says that skiing is correctly pronounced "she-ing" - Joel replies "Yeah? Well, you're full of skit!" Tom reads the title card "Cross Country Sheing Amid Skenes of Winter Magnifishence in Sanada's Shnow-Sovered Playgroundshs!"
- On MLB Network's show Intentional Talk, a running gag arises from the multiple ways to pronounce the "Got Heeeeem!"note segment. Variations have included "Got Him," "Goatem," "Got Hema," Gotta Himma," and many more especially that the segment is now usually preceded by a fan or MLB player saying the segment's title.
- Key & Peele inverts this in the substitute teacher sketch - a black Inner City School teacher is angered when calling roll because his students not only fail to recognize his overstyled pronunciations of their names but repeatedly insist on the standard ones. ?He thinks they're pranking him...
- In Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters, the big(ger?) bad Messiah's name is pronounced in the English manner (Mes-SIGH-a) instead of the Japanese way (MEH-shi-a).
- And in Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger, Kyoryu Pink's name is Amy, pronounced as Ah-Mee. This is despite the fact that she's meant to be from America.
- In The IT Crowd - "The Haunting of Bill Crouse." Moss, on Spanish-themed small-plate dining: "It's pronounced, 'TAPE-ass'."
- Horrible Histories has recurring character Cliff Whitely, PR agent, who always has to remind people that his name is pronounced "White-LEE" rather than "White-LIE."
- Nanny And The Professor: Following the custom mentioned atop this page, Nanny's old friend "Mr. Cholmondeley Featherstonehaugh" pronounces his name "Chumly Fenshaw".
- The Amanda Show: People call Drake Bell's teen mobster Tony Pajamas "Tony Pa-JAM-uhs." He's quick to correct them by saying, "Pa-JAH-muhs!"
- In an episode of The Late Show with David Letterman, Bono shared an anecdote regarding an encounter with Sony Bono. The latter told him his name was pronounced "Bo-no" not "Buh-no".
- One The Golden Girls episode had a character who insisted his name, Pfeiffer, was actually "Puh-Feiffer" with the P pronounced.
- On the Singaporean parody TV show The Noose, news correspondent Jacques Ooi subverts this by insisting that his first name be pronounced "Jackass".
- In Storage Wars, the Harris Twins debate about the pronunciation of the words "badminton" ("bad-min-ton" or "bad-min-tuhn") and Bocce ("Bow-chee" or "Buh-chee").
- In the second "Comics Come Home" stand-up special, Eddie Brill was talking about hockey player Patrick Roy, which is pronounced "Patrick Rwa".
Eddie: Your name is "Roy", pal, cut the crap.
- Russel Berger on Royal Pains pronounces his last name "Ber-jay" in a very posh French accent. Except for when he gets fired from his job as an interior designer, in which case he pronounces it like "burger" until he's given a freelance job, in which case he goes back to the French.
- On That '70s Show, Donna Pinciotti’s last name is always pronounced at ‘pin-see-AW-tee’, while the orthography suggests it should be pronounced ‘pin-CHOT-tee’.
- In earlier seasons of The Good Wife, Elsbeth Tascioni’s last name was repeatedly mispronounced as ‘tass-see-OH-nee’, and corrected only in season 6 to ‘tash-SHOW-nee’.
- Played for Laughs in the Late Night arc of the season 3 of Louie, while Louie is waiting to meet Jack Dall, the CBS executive.
- Scorpion: In "Rogue Element", Happy uses Cabe Gallow's ID to gain access to crime scene. When the cop on duty asks her what kind of name Cabe is, Happy (who is Asian) claims that it's pronounced "Kar-Be" and that it's Korean.
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine has Ed Helms' character Jack Danger, who insists that it's pronounced "donger".
- Comic Strip Live was mostly just about the comics performing, but one episode had a bit where a fake member of the audience was using a camcorder (A PXL-2000 used as a prop), noting how he could see right up the host's nose while filming, and the host took a moment to talk to him. The audience member mentioned ROW-DEE-O drive, and was corrected that it was pronounced ROW-DAY-O. Then asked what he'd done recently, the audience member said he was there buying "this VI-DAY-O camera".
- As seen on an episode of Tennessee Crossroads, the proprietor of Richard's Cafe, a creole restaurant in Nashville, pronounces his name "Ri-SHARD", as in the French.
- The original pronunciation of "Jekyll" is a minor plot point in Jekyll. When Hyde is overwhelmed by Tom Jackman's memories and is trying to master them, he manages to tap into the memories of the original Dr Jekyll. His onlookers don't believe it at first, as this seems impossible. It doesn't help that Hyde describes what he's seeing as if he was watching TV. However, when he asks who "Dr Jee-kill" is, they realise he must really being seeing what he says he is.
- In one episode of Law & Order: SVU, a potential victim was reported missing by her boss, named Lavender. When Benson goes to see him for an identification, he corrects her that it's "l'VAN-der," because he's not a flower.
- Agnetha of ABBA's name is supposed to pronounced like 'An-yeh-ta', but everyone from Britain (and probably other places) pronounces it 'Ag-nee-tha' anyway. It isn't quite helped that she added the 'h' to her name because she liked the way it looked. When ABBA first were marketed overseas, she was referred to as Anna, but this caused confusion with Anni-Frid (Frida), so it never stuck.
- The Bee Gees: Call Maurice "MA-riss."
- Sade is pronounced "shah-DAY", or /ʃɑːˈdeɪ/ in IPA. And it was only supposed to be the name of her band, not the singer herself. Although she did change her name to Sade. Made worse in (most of) North America, as the first Sade album featured the pronunciation guide "Pronounced SHAR-DAY," assuming a British pronunciation. The result: many DJs and television hosts articulated the nonexistent "R" sound. The e is pronounced with long A sound in Yoruba, one of the main languages spoken in Nigeria (her father is Nigerian, and she was born there). Furthermore, Sade is her name. Or rather, Sade is the common short form of her middle name, Folasade.
- Lynyrd Skynyrd has an album called "Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd"
- The synthesizer manufacturer Moog rhymes with "vogue." Robert Moog pronounced his name as in original German, "mowg". This is used as a shibboleth amongst hard core synthesizer fans.
- "Björk" is actually pronounced "Byerk", which the Icelandic singer has pointed out rhymes with "jerk".
- Classical composer Aaron Copland's name is actually pronounced "Air-un Cope-lund". It is rare to find anyone called Aaron that pronounces their first name in this old fashioned way anymore, instead being pronounced like "Ah-ron".
- Copland's Rodeo is pronounced "roh-DAY-o".
- Johnny Vatos' surname is pronounced "VAH-toe".
- As he pointed out in his Behind the Music episode, Leif Garrett's first name is actually pronounced "Layf".
- When Sonny and Cher first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, Ed mispronounced Cher's name as "Chur".
- GaMetal is an inversion: In both the official bio and the music video for Revenge Of Meta Knight, it's heavily implied that Gay Metal is the one way that you cannot pronounce it.
Jonny, in the bio: "'Well, it's not Gay Metal', I told him. Not that there is anything wrong with gay metal, ya know."
- In-universe example in "You're Not in Kansas Anymore" by Jo Dee Messina: "I wanna be the first to tell you / Here we say ro-day-o, not ro-dee-o."
- Old-school announcer Gordon Solie, trying to class things up, would pronounce "Suplex" as "Souplay". (It's pronounced "souplay" in amateur wrestling, partly because of the sport's European origins.)
- The name DiBiase (as in both generations of WWF wrestlers named "Ted DiBiase") is always pronounced "dee bee-yah-see" by announcers and commentators (which raises the question of just why the "i" and the "e" are being pronounced exactly the same way). It actually should be pronounced "dee bee-yah-seh", but don't expect anyone not a stickler for pronunciation of the Italian language to ever do so.
- Norman Smiley of WCW once insisted that, since he was British, his last name should be pronounced "Smee-LAY." Especially ridiculous since the British pronunciation of that name is, in fact, exactly the same as the American.
- In a writing example, Japanese pro wrestling has the custom of some wrestlers writing down their ring names in all caps, which means they are using the "American letters" instead of kanji to distinguish themselves. In the past, this symbolised reject towards the native alphabet and thus it was a clear heel act, but nowadays this has been forgotten and wrestlers do it because it is cool. Examples are KENTA (Kenta Kobayashi), KUSHIDA (Yujiro Kushida), CIMA (Nobuhiko Oshima), TARU (Yoshikazu Taru), SUGI (Takuya Sugi). There are also mixed examples like TAKA Michinoku or NOSAWA Rongai who write a part of their names in foreign letters and the rest in kanji. Nowadays, stables are also using all caps, such as BULLET CLUB and TIME SPLITTERS.
- Subverted with Dragon Gate wrestler Gamma, who writes his name in foreign letters but not in all caps.
- An interesting case is played with Shingo Takagi. His name is written with kanji in Japan, but ROH billed as SHINGO apparently just because. However, this change is not as random as it looks: Shingo was an apprentice member of the late stable Crazy MAX, whose members were usually required to change their names to an all caps one, and albeit he never did it because the group disbanded before he were ascended, he would have do it eventually.
- John Cena is partly of Italian descent, and his last name, which means "supper," should really be pronounced "Chayna." But Santino Marella, who in Kayfabe is an Italian national, has been the only one to not pronounce it "Seena."
- Stacy Keibler spent her entire career getting called "Keebler", just like the baked goods company. Apparently, this is how her family has always pronounced their name. However, in German (the language the name seems to come from) it would be pronounced "KYE-bler."
- It's become common for "Superstars" with Spanish names to enter arenas with their names pronounced exactly as they would be in Spanish, even if spoken by a non-Hispanic announcer. Thus, Rey Mysterio has gone from "Ray Misteereeo" to "Ray Meestairreeo." (Announcer Lilian Garcia, being something of a language buff, goes even further, perfectly mimicking the accent of whichever language the Superstar's name is derived from, whether English, Spanish, Italian, or whatever.)
- Syuri, former Karate Girl of the New Generation HUSTLE Army, is always called "Shuri" by the announcers, even though she spells it Syuri on her own Facebook page. (crowd chants are more often the way it is spelled too)
- Fandango's gimmick revolves around refusing to wrestle against anyone unless people pronounce his name right (Fahn-Dahn-Gohh, not Fan-Dang-Oh). He even corrected the ring announcer after he had taken a savage beating!
Fandango: No, no, no. It's Faaaaaaaaahn-daaaaaaaaaahn-gooooooooooh. You have to breathe the A's.
- While cutting a promo on the inequities of SHINE Wrestling, Portia Perez stumbled over Ybor Florida when she got to the part where she was supposed to tell where the event was taking place and when she found out it's actual pronunciation, thought it was stupid and referred to the town as "Why-bore".
- In a story from The Book of Pooh called "Chez Piglet," Rabbit convinces Piglet to open a restaurant called Chez Piglet, pronounced "Chay Piglay." He sings a song about all of the dishes being served at the restaurant, ending with "peanut butter and jel-lay."
- The host of That Puppet Game Show is Dougie Colon, who insists on his surname being pronounced "Cologne". Ian the Armadillo always pronounces it "Colon", and is convinced that Dougie finds this endearing.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- The bulette, whose name is "pronounced Boo-lay." If it were really a French word, that is exactly how it wouldn't be pronounced. Apparently, it's now back to being the "bullet", as the person who wrote the 2nd Edition caption was being pretentious. In his last podcast before he left Wizards of the Coast, Dave Noonan joked that he pronounces it "land shark."
- There are also the evil fish-men called the sahuagin, which is frequently pronounced "sa-HWA-gin" but is officially (according to the sourcebook The Sea Devils) supposed to be "sa-HOO-a-gin".
- Also in the Monstrous Manual are the tabaxi, panther-like humanoids who are pronounced "ta-BAX-ee" or "tah-BAHSH-ee" depending on the clan.
- Writers for D&D tend to have lots of pronunciation misconceptions. It's listed in the Player's Handbook that the coup de grace action (correctly pronounced coo-duh-grahss, meaning strike of mercy) should be pronounced "coo-day-grah" (translated roughly as "bowl of fat"). You'd think they would check before printing it in the book. Not to mention that this particular mistake has been repeated over several editions of the game.
- One larp system dealt with the constant mispronunciation by introducing "coo-de-grah" as an actual call (as well as coup de grace) — effect: "your target is covered in butter and cannot be grappled for the remainder of combat, now stop being a moron and get your calls right!" Sadly this rule was open to abuse and had to be removed.
- In the future setting of Chaos, the pronunciation of the word "meme" (memes have become an even much more important concept in the future than they are today) has changed to "mem" (rhymes with "gem"), as opposed to today's "meem" (rhymes with "dream").
- Rifts has an alien race called the Xiticix. The books state it is meant to be pronounced "zeye-TICK-icks," but gaming groups (as well as many staff members at Palladium Books) almost never get the pronunciation right. As an example, Kevin Siembieda mentioned that his father called them "City Chicks." Siembieda has said that he dislikes the name himself, but they were named by the artist who did the concept art for them, so he kept it.
- As very little guidance (save various video games) exists to the pronunciation of a variety of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 names, players tend to call them as they see them.
- There has been some debate of the pronunciation of the Chaos God Tzeentch, with most people agreeing it to be a single syllable with a "tz'" hissing sound following by "zeentch" (as if the speaker were going to say "Zeentch", but had their tongue in a position to make a "T" sound), but others pronounce it "TER-zeentch", "Teh-ZEENTCH", "Teh-ZENCH", "Zench" or "Tench" in rough order of reading ability. As far as Tzeentch goes, it's explicitly said in various fluff sources that (in both fantasy and 40K) different cults and cultures have different pronunciations — indeed often different names — for the different Chaos gods. Which, makes sense, given that they're the gods of freakin' Chaos.
- Similarly with "lasgun" or "lascannon", most say "Laz", but a few go by the root of "Laser" and pronounce them as "Layz-guns". This was noted among some gaming communities as a point of contention in the otherwise well-received Dawn of War series, where Imperial Guardsmen mentioned "Layzguns", although not as egregious as the pronouncing of the Greek word "Chimera" as "Shimmerer"...
- Apparently it is Catachan is cat-a-can, no idea why.
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: Xyz is supposed to be pronounced as "ex-iez". Some players just call it "ex-why-zee" and even spell it as "XYZ", which is actually the name of an archetype.
- William Barfée ("it's Bar-FAY") from the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee often has his name mispronounced as "Barfy", and he is always quick to correct such instances. Well, Barfée in French would indeed be pronounced Bar-FAY
- Wicked: "My name is GAH-linda, with a GAH!" (and later, ""In honor of Dr. Dillmond, I officially change my name! From now on, I will be known as Glinda, without the GAH, because that's how he always pronounced it.")
- In H.M.S. Pinafore the first name of the character Ralph Rackstraw is pronounced Rafe, as was usual in the UK. (The name is rhymed with "waif" in "A many years ago.")
- In Ruddigore, Robin Oakapple's real first name is always pronounced "Rivven" except once, in the second act opening song:
With greater precision
(Without the elision),
Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd—ha! ha!
- Pop/Buddy does this all throughout We Will Rock You, most memorably with "Harley-Davidson" and "video tape".
- In "Sonatina" from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Admiral Cockburn corrects the pronunciation of his name:
And "Co'burn", not "Cockburn";
Though for that you are excused.
'Tis spelled c-o-c-k
But only half the cock is used.
- Derby [pronounced "DAR-bee"] in Bully. Which is how you pronounce the horse race, the city, or half of the county Derbyshire (DAR-bee-shur) in England.
- Charmles in Dragon Quest VIII refers to himself as "Sharm-LAY". He's the only one who does — everyone calls him "CHARM-ulz", or Charmless when he's not looking. Even his own father.
- The character of Dudley Cholmondely in Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon. His name is pronounced "Chumley"; justified in that "Cholmondely" is actually pronounced that way (see the Discworld example above).
- Qix = "Kicks". On the other hand, Japan pronounces it "Quicks" when written in katakana
- Taito (the company that released the above game) is pronounced "TIE-to", and not "tay-to".
- Ys is pronounced either "ease" or to rhyme with "peace" (or "yeece" as in the localization of Ys VI). Not "wise". (The spurious apostrophe the Sega Master System version added doesn't help at all.)
- Faxanadu is pronounced "fah-ZAN-uh-doo", not "faks-AN-uh-doo", being short for Famicom Xanadu.
- The obscure adventure Gene Machine features the main character Pierce Featherstonehaugh, pronounced Fanshaw. The phonetic variant is used for most of the game. The name is Truth in Television, though.
- Galaga (GAL-a-ga), similarly to how you would pronounce "Gallagher" (the comedian best known for his "Sledge-O-Matic" routine)
- Because of Japanese double consonants, Tekken is pronounced "Tek-KEN", and not "TEK-ken".
- Unlike English and many other languages, Japanese doesn't place emphasis on one particular syllable in a word. Instead, each syllable is supposed to be pronounced clearly and with emphasis.
- Yes and no. Japanese doesn't have loud stressed syllables (the "emphasis" part) or vowel reduction (the "clear" part) as in English. But it does have a pitch accent ("stressed" syllables are a downstep in the pitch of the sentence). In an English pronunciation of a Japanese word it'd be only natural to render the pitch accent as a normal English stress.
- Metroid: It's not "Zeebs", or "Zeebees", or even "Zeebus", it's "ZEH-behs".
- In Mega Man 8, because there's No Pronunciation Guide, the characters mistakenly calls Bass as the fish. Of course, it's actually BASE.
- The villain of the third season of Telltale Games Sam & Max: Freelance Police is an albino gorilla from space named General Skun-ka'pe (skoon-KAH-pay), so naturally our heroes call him "Skunk Ape". However, everyone understands who they mean, and no one corrects them.
- Pokémon. The name of this very franchise (and the general term for the species) is mispronounced frequently.
- The reason for this is probably because of the e-acute (é) in the word. The correct pronounciation is (as spelled on The Other Wiki) "POH-kay-mon". To elaborate each syllable:
- "Po" as in the red, smallest Teletubby.
- "ké" as in a small, low sandy island on top of a coral reef, which is called a "cay".note If that doesn't help you with the é, then you may remember that it is also found in words like "café", "cliché", "touché", and "Beyoncé". Either way, "é" is pronounced the same as the name of the letter "A".
- "mon" as in the first syllable of the second word in the franchise's original name, "Monster". Obviously.
- The most common mispronunciation is "POH-kē-mon"; even the animé makes this mistake from time to time.
- And the most stupid is "POH-kē-Man. Mostly people who don't know what they're doing say this.
- Another mispronunciation is "Poh-KUH-mon", which is common among the British as well as a good portion of North American fans. However, it's become a semi-official pronunciation in recent years. (Listen carefully to the Super Smash Bros. Brawl announcer in this video when he gets to "Pokémon Trainer".note Flip-Flop of God, perhaps?)
- Then there are some of the Pokémon species themselves whom people from the games and anime have trouble deciding pronunciation on. For example, Bonsly alternated on being called "bonz-lee" or "bonz-lie", before it seemed settled on the latter. Arceus was either "Ar-see-us", "Ar-say-us" or "Ar-kee-us" at times. Then there are other glaring mistakes, such as how the announcer in Stadium can call Ekans "Ee-kenz" when the mini-game featuring Ekans in Stadium 1* and the characters in the anime referred to it as "eh-kanz". (Or perhaps there's an in-universe potayto-potahto dialect difference.)
- The reason for this is probably because of the e-acute (é) in the word. The correct pronounciation is (as spelled on The Other Wiki) "POH-kay-mon". To elaborate each syllable:
- Drakengard has several:
- "Caim" rhymes with "time", not "aim".
- "Leonard" is "LAY-o-nard", not "Len-nerd".
- "Arioch" is "ARE-ee-ohsh", not "AIR-ee-ock".
- "Seere" is "SAIR-ay".
- "Furiae" is "furry-eye", which is the actual Latin pronunciation, but most English-speakers are probably inclined to think "Fury, eh?".
- The name of the protagonist of Drakengard 2 (Nowe) is pronounced "No-Way".
- NieR has Kainé, whose name is pronounced Kai-Nay, not Kain. There's a reason why there's an accent above the E.
- Monkey Island
Galeb: Don't worry, Carniferouswood—
- In the series, there's a running joke about the pronunciation of Guybrush Threepwood's name. It should be noted that most of the people who pronounce Guybrush's name wrong are doing it on purpose as a way of showing their disrespect for him. Rise of the Pirate God even lampshades it.
Guybrush: Oh, come on, that doesn't even sound like "Threepwood."
- Also, in Tales of Monkey Island the Marquis De Singe (and Joaquin D'Oro) pronounces his own name as "deh SANJ" (with the short "a" sound in "apple"), and the Voodoo Lady and Hemlock McGee pronounce the name as "day SAHNJ" (with the "a" pronunciation in "father"). Guybrush and Morgan LeFlay, on the other hand, pronounce De Singe's name poorly, coming out only as "deh SIHNJ", like the word "SIHN-jee" without the "ee", or like the English word "singe". It's possible this may have been them pulling a Malicious Misnaming with him, though. The correct pronunciation, incidentally, is how he says it himself, and it means "of Monkey" (not "of the Monkey", that would be "du Singe") in French.
- Tales also has every single character pronounce "La Esponja Grande" with "esponja" pronounced with a J sound (es-pon-JA). Not until the very end of the final episode does Elaine FINALLY say "Actually, it's pronounced 'es-pon-HA' with an 'H' sound at the end?"
- And of those who pronounce the word "Caribbean" as "CA-ri-BEE-an", only Morgan pronounces it as "cuh-RIH-bee-an".
- Persona 4
- It's a good thing the game has voice acting, otherwise everyone would be pronouncing the store name "Junes" as "Joonz". The correct pronunciation is "Joo-NESS".
- Similarly, Rise is pronounced "Ree-Say" rather than rhyming with "Size".
- The MMORPG RuneScape has lots of odd names that had remained unexplained in terms of pronunciation for numerous years; forcing players to use whatever they considered correct. When the game developers begun to explain the REAL pronunciations, needless to say, people got a little confused. It all came down to the creation of an actual official pronunciation guide to patch up the confusion. Good example is the infamous "Ardougne" pronunciation. "Arr-DOYN"!
- Chrono Trigger: It's "Ay-la", not "Eye-la" (the katakana for her name is Eira).
- It's Ninja GUY-den not Ninja GAY-den. This is explained by The Angry Video Game Nerd, who also explains that it's REE-you, not RYE-you. Which is the name of both Ninja Gaiden's main character and the Street Fighter character.
- Final Fantasy
- The title of the Toaplan shmup V-V is pronounced "V five" according to the furigana.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, Caesar is pronounced in the Latin form "Kai-Sarr" by members of Caesar's Legion while most other characters simply call him by the Anglicanized See-Zer.
- Chinese names tend to be mispronounced. Even Dynasty Warriors and other games set in that period get them wrong.
- In Dark Cloud, which predates Dynasty Warriors 3, "Xiao" can be pronounced as "Zya-oh", "Zee-oh", "Tsia-oh" or "Tsia-ow". It was supposed to be called "Shao". Didn't help that it's an uncommon name for an Asian group, which calls it "Tsia-ow".
- In Dynasty Warriors:
- Cao Cao and Cao Pi were called "Cow Cow" and "Cow Pi" until Dynasty Warriors 6 or Warriors Orochi, while it's supposed to be called "Tsao Tsao" and "Tsao Pi". The same also applies to all other names beginning in the "c" constant, such as Xingcai (said as "Shing-kai" in the past, but now correctly said as "Shing-tsai").
- Lu Bu, is called "Lu" as in the "LOO" in loose, where it's supposed to be called "Lee" Bu.
- Mortal Kombat has several characters with Chinese-sounding names that are all pronounced wrong. (Liu Kang, Quan Chi, Shang Tsung, Kung Lao) For instance, "Liu Kang" is pronounced "Loo Kayng" when it would actually be pronounced closer to "Lee-oo Kong."
- This extends to Japanese, as well: Raiden's name is pronounced "Ray-den", as opposed to "Rye-din", while Shirai-Ryu is pronounced "Sher-rye Rye-yoo", as opposed to "Shee-rye Ree-yoo".
- Neverwinter Nights 2 suffers from this. Examples include: 'Qara' pronounced as 'KWAH-rah'; 'Katalmach' pronounced as 'Ka-tal-MAK' (where it should be pronounced 'Ka-tal-MAKH' or 'Ka-tal-MACH'); 'Kalach-Cha' pronounced as 'Kalak-CHA' where it should be pronounced as 'Kalach-CHA'...
- Beyond: Two Souls: Jodie Holmes's Non-Human Sidekick/Poltergeist companion goes by the name Aiden; Jodie constantly pronounces it "eye-den" rather than the usual "ay-den."
- Apparently, for the longest time, some people pronounced "Sega" as "Sea-ga". This is due to the fact that in Italy, it was (and still is) pronounced "Sea-ga"; this is because in Italian, "Say-ga" is slang for the act of male masturbation, what probably helped people pronounce it correctly was the classic intro to Sonic the Hedgehog.
- The protagonist of the indie adventure game Dominique Pamplemousse in "It's All Over Once the Fat Lady Sings!" occasionally has to remind people that their last name is pronounced "Pamp-le-moose".
- In Far Cry 4, protagonist Ajay Ghale's name is either pronounced "A.J. Gale" by westerners such as Ajay himself or "Ah-Jay Gah-Lay" by the local Kyrati people.
- Clone from Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky is pronounced clo-ney. They could've added an accent on the e...
- In Bravely Default, when the party reaches Florem, Edea talks about keeping up with the latest trends and what it means to be "fashionaaaabluh", insistently correcting her allies every time they say "fashionable" instead.
- This also applies to one of the lead characters, Agnes. Despite its spelling, all of the other characters pronounce her name Ahn-yes instead of Ag-ness
- In Warframe, the V in Alad V's name is pronounced as the letter rather than being a roman numeral, meaning that his name is "Alad Vee" and not Alad the Fifth.
- Mario is pronounced "Mar-ee-o", not "Mary-o", that's how you pronounce the name in Italian, the fact that many games with voice acting like Super Mario 64 say the correct pronunciation didn't help much.note
- Ubisoft is pronounced "YOO-bee-soft", not "OO-bee-soft". Confirmed with their online service, called U Play (pronounced "you play", not "oo-play").
- Homestar Runner
- Strong Bad did this for Illinois ("Eel-ee-nwah"). He also calls Texas "Tejas", pronounces "California" the Spanish way, etc. "Eel-ee-nwah" is pretty much how it's pronounced in French, though. It's a French adaptation of an Algonquin word. The silent 's' was definitely added by the French. It was probably pronounced something like "Eel-ee-nee-weh".
- He also (at least once) pronounced Ohio "OH-HEE-OH". This could be a subtle, running gag about him making just as many goofs as he corrects in his SB-Emails or a part of his oft-childish personality and his accent.
- In another episode he read "Kelly, USA" as "Kelly Usa" and referred to her as an "exotic lady from the far east".
- In the last episodes of The Strangerhood it's revealed that Nikki's name is actually pronounced Nik-kay.
- In Red vs. Blue Reconstruction, a soldier sent to retrieve Caboose is named Jones, however, his commander pronounces it "Jo-ah-nes", annoying Jones ("It's a really common name!"). Later in Recreation, CT tells one of his mooks "Great shot Jones!"; the mook responds "Thanks, but it's actually pronounced Jo-ah-nes, Sir!".
- Inanimate Insanity II: When MePhone claims he is cured of his condition, Test Tube is quick to let him know it's pronounced conditi-ON, the way Tissues says it.
- Volklore's female protagonist, Femálë Protagonist.
- From Sluggy Freelance, we have Dr Hot-Chick: "It's pronounced HAUGHT-SHEIK!"
- Sam and Fuzzy: "It's Too-che-sto-nay instead of Touch Stone."
- The Cyantian Chronicles: Various Cyantian characters use odd pronunciations for their names.
- Chatin = Sha-Teen not Satin.
- Cilke = Sil-Kay not Silk (Cilke doesn't mind getting called Silk, because it's such a pretty fabric.)
- Chrome = K-Ro-May not Chrome, though he doesn't mind the alternate pronunciation.
- Cardde = Kar-Day not Card.
- Calle = Kal-ay not Cal
- Syrys = Sigh-russ or Cyrus not Sir-iss
- For MeatShield, a list of pronunciation is provided on the work's page.
- The Last Days Of FOXHOUND has the pronounced as "Byoot-fick", Tennessee (they ain't foolin' nobody).
- Turn Signals on a Land Raider: "Is it 'laz'? Or 'layz'?"
- In Avalon, the main character is from Scotland and moves to Canada. Her name is spelled Ceilidh, but pronounced Kay-lee. Hilarity ensues.
- In The Wotch, we have big bad Lord Xaos, pronounced Chaos.
- In Cucumber Quest, it's not Peri-DOT, it's Peri-DOH!.
- In Housepets!, Bino's name is pronounced "BAI-no" and not "BEE-no", though Rick has stated that he doesn't really care how you pronounce it unless it ever spawns something with spoken words.
- Basic Instructions once did a strip entitled "How to Pronounce 'Oregon'", including the statement "You can remember it by thinking 'I'll defend myself with a knife OR A GUN'" and claiming that the "OR-eh-GONE" pronunciation was wrong.
- A running joke in the "Jack and Dean" videos involves Dean pronouncing Facebook "Fack-ee-book" for the sole purpose of annoying Jack.
- Used many times by SF Debris:
Torres: I've never found your twisted sense of humour funny, Cha-KOT-ayChuck: Did she just call him "Chocolate Day"?
- Pulaski's insistence on mispronouncing "Day-ta" as "Da-tuh". Chuck notes this is akin to calling the ship the USS Enter-prez-say.
- He's infuriated with the stories that Stuart Baird kept mispronouncing Levar Burton's name on the set of Nemesis, especially since Burton was far more qualified to direct the movie than him.
- Pokes fun at the early attempts to highlight Chakotay as a Native American with an "ethnic" pronunciation of his name.
- In his review of Threshold, he explained how you pronounce niche in American English. And if some biche doesn't like it... well that's their problem.
- In Retsupurae, a running gag is that Slowbeef will pronounce Mario's name "Mehrio", and has sometimes "corrected" himself when pronouncing it in the conventional manner.
- Foreshadowing in Demo Reel, as the family who... take Donnie in get his chosen last name wrong (it's Du-pray and they say it Du-pree). It's a sign that they're not as caring about him as they first seem.
- Nerd³ regularly mispronounces certain words deliberately (usually). Regulars include pronouncing gym as 'gime', and refusing to learn the correct pronunciation of 'cassowary' in his Far Cry 3 Let's Play.
- When pronouncing ".GIF" ("giff" or "jiff"?), PBS Idea Channel prefers "ʒɑɪf".
- The Irate Gamer goes by the name Chris Bores (he typically pronounces it "boar-es" rather than the expected pronunciation).
- In the Looney Tunes short "To Hare Is Human", Wile E. Coyote introduces himself to Bugs Bunny as "Wile E. Coy-OH-Tay".
- In Hercules, god-of-where-three-roads-meet Trivia keeps having to tell people "Actually, it's 'try-VEE-ah'." Unfortunately this is a SLIGHT slip-up — Trivia in actual mythology was female and a ROMAN goddess. Her name would have been pronounced something like "tree-wee-ah".
- Used in Kim Possible, when Kim meets her brothers' guidance counselor.
Kim: ... Miss... Guide?
Miss Guide: "Guh-DAY", dear.
Kim: Uh, g'day to you too.
- Used again when Ron Stoppable's father mispronounces place names in Paris. ("Let's go to the LOO-vra.")
- On King of the Hill, Rad Thibodeaux, a "self-proclaimed genius", pronounces his last name as "Thi-ba-DAY-oks." This leads to Hank attempting to correct him (Thibodeaux is French — a very common Cajun name pronounced like Hank says):
Hank: Isn't that pronounced "Tib-a-do?"
Rad: Well, you know, sometimes, by mistake.
- Newscaster Brian Pinhead (pih-NAYD) on The Tick.
- On Bobby's World, Bobby's family name is Generic, pronounced JEN-eh-rik and mispronounced by everyone else in the world.
- The Simpsons
Instructor: Simpson, as you have experience in a nuclear power plant, you can serve on a submarine.
- Inverted when Moe makes fun of Homer for Frenchly pronouncing garage as "ga-RAJ"note . Moe prefers the term "car hole".
- Marge's country club friends Karen, Gillian, Elizabeth, Patricia, and Susan all pronounced their names differently than the norm.
- There's also Krabappel which is pronounced "Cruh-BAW-pull". Despite coming up with numerous insulting nicknames for her, none of her students ever think to call her "crab-apple". In one episode, there's a set-up where Homer is surprised at hearing the correct pronunciation of her name, only for him to cry "I've been calling her 'Krandall'!" (In reality, this name probably doesn't exist, but in Dutch, Low German and some dialects of High German the word for "apple" is Appel (appel in Dutch).
- And again when Bart corrects Homer on the pronounciation of "party", insisting that it's "par-TAY".
- An early episode had an argument between Freddy Quimby and a French waiter over whether "chowder" was pronounced "CHOW-dah" or "shau-DAIR".
- During the episode when Marge is kidnapped by a biker gang, they quibble over the pronunciation of resume. In this case, both pronunciations are considered correct.
- An episode when Homer joined the naval reserve.
Homer: Nu-cue-lar. It's pronounced nu-cue-lar.
Marge: Next to Spring and Winter, Fall is my absolute favorite season. Just look at all this beautiful foilage.
- "Burns, Baby Burns" has this little exchange.
Lisa: It's not "foilage," mom, it's "foliage."
Marge: That's what I said, foilage. It doesn't take a nucular scientist to pronounce foilage.
Homer: "Gime"? What's a "gime"? (goes inside, sees exercise equipment) Oh! A gime!
- Of course she later says it properly, and comments how she can't "ex-cape" the living "li-berry" that is her daughter.
- One episode had Homer walking past a gym, somehow thinking the 'y' made a long 'i' sound:
- Subverted: Homer makes an appointment with Marge's therapist under the pseudonym "Alias Fakename," which the receptionist pronounces Mr. Fah-kay-nah-may. Homer corrects her. She says "I'll just call you Ali-as."
- Zapp Brannigan often has trouble with loanwords:
Leela: (sarcastically) I didn't realize you were such a coin-a-sewer.
- Done again in "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings" when he pronounces "bravo" and "encore" as "BRAY-vo" and "enn-KORR".
- And in "The Beast With a Billion Backs", he pronounces "quesadilla" as "kess-a-dill-a" instead of "kess-a-dee-ya".
- And in "The Problem with Popplers":
Zapp: (eating a poppler, which, it turns out, are the larval form of the Omicronians) Mmm, these would go great with gwack-a-mole!
Lrr: Stop eating our young! And it's pronounced "gwah-kah-moh-lay"!
- Bender makes the same mistake in "Bender Should Not Be Allowed On Television", when showing off his "flawless" Spanish accent.
- In "T: The Terrestrial", Lrr tells his son Jrr that his cape isn't "lame" but lamé, which is in fact correct (assuming it's made out of metallic yarns).
- Zapp Brannigan often has trouble with loanwords:
- Parodied on Drawn Together, during one of their finale's when Captain Hero corrected the host saying "It's pronounced Kah-Pee-Tawn. The Hero is silent." This is also a reference to Captain Hero's behavior after his last name, Shero, is revealed. It's pronounced "Hero", the "S" is silent.
- Family Guy
Peter: Oh sweet, I'm getting an Audi!
- When Peter goes to an ultra-posh auction house surrounded of the wealthiest elite, he says "It would look really good in Lois's crapper... I mean, krah-pee-AY." This pronunciation is immediately corroborated. "Oh yes, I would simply love that in my crapier!"
- Another example:
Brian: ... Peter, that says "audit".
Peter: No, Brian, it's a foreign car. The "T" is silent.
Peter: Ha ha, you said "nuclear"! It's "nucular", you dummy, the "S" is silent.
- And yet another:
- Done in an episode of The Proud Family, where Penny gains a case of Acquired Situational Narcissism and insists on "Penn-AY".
- Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated has George Avocados who always corrects the pronunciation to "ah-VAW-ca-dos". It doesn't stick.
- This was done in The Critic, too. Jay goes to a fast food restaurant and addresses the clerk by the name on his nametag, "Pizzaface." The clerk of course responds with, "Hey, that's Pizza-fah-CHAY!"
- An episode of TaleSpin features a shifty client named Weezelle. Although he is an actual weasel, he insists that his name be properly pronounced ("wee-ZEL!", accent on the third "e") at all times. Naturally, everyone just called him "Weasel". Eventually, this annoys him so much that he refuses to do anymore work for his boss "until you call me by my correct name." His boss, mind you, is the most feared and ruthless crime lord in the city, and has probably killed people for less than that. Clearly, Weezelle's name is important to him.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987 also has a one-shot villain with that name (although he was not a literal weasel — only a figurative one).
- Timon & Pumbaa once met a suspicious-looking raccoon named Thief who insists that his name is pronounced "thife" (rhymes with "life").
- Lilo & Stitch: The Series has the villainous Dr. Hämsterviel. Pronounced HOHM-ster-vheel, although many pronounce it like "hamster wheel". The fact that Hämsterviel is in fact a literal Intelligent Gerbil doesn't help the situation. Of course, the actual way to pronounce it in German would be "Hame-ster-feel". The umlaut works in the same way the silent "e" does in English, and in German "v" makes an "f" sound and "w" makes what is in English a "v" sound.
- Cow and Chicken got one under the radar featuring the Ahz-Wee-Pay tribe.
- Metalocalypse has a band therapist called "Jonathan Twinkletits" pronounced "Twink-LET-its" instead.
- The Boondocks
- It's not "Uncle Ruckus", it's "Uncle Ruckuu". Because it's French.
- Also an inversion: Robert is pulled over by one Officer Douche. Despite being high, Robert has the presence of mind to call him "Doo-shay." Except the officer's name is pronounced the way it looks.
- There was a lampshade parody in the South Park episode "Margaritaville," starting out with a clerk in a store called Sur La Table, which he pronounced tāb-lé, and running with it the whole episode whenever various words ending in 'able' were used by that character. Which is wrong, since in French (the store's name meaning "on the table") the correct pronunciation is something like "tabla," but with the final a-sound abruptly bitten off (thus, "tabl' ").
- On Clifford the Big Red Dog, there was a story in which Jetta read Emily Elizabeth's private journal and was led to believe that Emily Elizabeth was going to Hawaii by reading one of her made-up stories. She kept dropping all sorts of hints about Hawaii to Emily Elizabeth, but kept pronouncing it in a really pompous way, with the accent heavily on the second syllable.
- In an episode of Doug, Doug was trying to impress Patty by trying to look sophisticated and play classical music, only to be shot down by Judy when she corrected him on the pronunciation of the name, Chopin (pronounced SHO-pan).
- In the Codename: Kids Next Door episode Operation B.R.I.D.G.E. there's a clothing store that sell extremely embarrassing kids' clothing called Les Sissy (It's pronounced Sis-SAY)
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "The Best Night Ever", Pinkie Pie tries to adapt to an upper class party.
Pinkie Pie: Ooooh. They don't want to party. These ponies want to par-TAY!
- An episode of Rugrats uses the "Fra-Gee-Lay" pronunciation joke.
- An accidental instance of this happened in Superjail, when a Littlest Cancer Patient accidentally got into Superjail, the resident pyro reads her diagnosis on her hospital bracelet and mistakes it for her name, calling her 'San-ser'.
- An episode of Goof Troop had Goofy taking a class at the local community center to learn how to be a mime. His instructor, who spoke with an affected New England-type accent, insisted on pronouncing the word "mimes" as "meems" (which, in his defense, is the correct pronunciation in French, with the exception of the s being silent).
- In Fantastic Max, a character is named "Fatso" but insists on his name being pronounced "Fah-ZO", as the T is silent.
- In Teen Titans, when the Titans meet Kole and Gnarrk, Cyborg calls him "Narrk" (which is technically the correct way of pronouncing it). Everybody corrects him that it is pronounced "Guh-narrk", much to Cyborg's confusion.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars gives us the Dathomirian Nightbrother Savage Opress, with the first part of his name being pronounced "Sa-VAHJ" and the last part being pronounced just like "oppress". When a bounty hunter reads Savage's wanted poster, he mispronounces his name as "Sa-vidge (just like "savage") Oh-priss".
- The Legend of Korra; the two Jerkass detectives in Season 2 pronounce Mako's name as "May-Ko" (like the shark) instead of "Mah-Ko" (like the late actor) when making fun of him.
- In All Hail King Julien, everyone mispronounces "fossa" as "foosa". It's understandable for King Julien, as his syntax is notably convoluted, but the other lemurs have no excuse.
- The Simpsons:
- In the episode "The Heartbroke Kid", Bart mispronounces cottage cheese as "cotta-hey cheese" when he sees Marge has bought a tub of it.
Real Life — People
- Allegedly actress Jean Harlow was at dinner with Margot Asquith (wife of the UK Prime Minister at the time) and kept pronouncing her name with the "t". Eventually Asquith told her "No, Jean, the 'T' is silent, like in 'Harlow'".
- In England...
- The surname Berkley is pronounced Barkley.
- Similarly, Derby is "Darby" (surname and
countycity. The county is Derbyshire (DAR-bee-shur)). And the word 'clerk' is "clark". There's something going on there.
- A Great Vowel Shift during the settlement of the New World, perhaps?
- And "Berkshire" is pronounced "Bark-shire". But the abbreviated form "berk" (rhyming slang: berk = Berkshire Hunt = cunt; usage: insult) is still pronounced "berk", not "bark".
- Actually, it's pronounced "Burk", like Americans pronounce "Derp" as "Durp".
- The rhyming slang takes its name from the Berkeley Hunt. Which is, of course, pronounced "BARK-lee".
- No one is quite sure how to pronounce the name "Wriothesley," the surname of the former Earls of Southampton. Interpretations include: "ROTTS-lee," "RYE-es-lee," "Wri-oth-es-ley," and the almost certainly incorrect "Risley."
- Possible case: Nicolas Cage pronounces his son Kal-El's name as ka-LELL, despite the hyphen making the correct pronunciation perfectly obvious. More likely he simply pronounces it the same way as Brando did in Superman.
- Ralph ("Rafe") Fiennes ("Fines") definitely falls into this category while at the same time being a terrible example as the two F sounds blend into one if said without thinking about it.
- Also the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.
- However, it should be noted that /ˈreɪf/ is the traditional English pronunciation, which was replaced with the typical German pronunciation /ˈrælf/ (which is of course what it looks like to modern English-speakers, which is why it falls under this trope).
- Similar to Henry ("Harry", which is now an official alternate spelling) and Agnes ("ANN-iss")
- Scottish actor Gerard (JAYR-id) Butler played King Leonidas in 300, whereas Joisey-born Gerard (juh-RAWRD) Way is the lead singer of My Chemical Romance.
- The Welsh girls' name Siân is pronounced "shahn". Outside the UK, many people will pronounce it how it's spelt. Knowing the proper pronunciation might not help, since its homophone, Sean note is an Irish name for a boy.
- John Boehner, who retired from his post as Speaker of the (U.S.) House in 2015. His last name is pronounced BAY-ner, not "boner".
- Anyone trying to search The Other Wiki for "John Bayner" will get redirected to the correct page.
- Jared Lee Loughner's last name is pronounced LOFF-ner, not "loner".
- After winning the Heisman Trophy, Tony Dorsett announced that his last name should be pronounced "Dor-SETT" rather than "DOR-set". The next year, Earl Campbell won the award and joked that his last name was "Cam-BELL".
- In his senior season, Joe Theismann (originally pronounced THEES-man) changed the pronunciation of his name so that it'd rhyme with Heisman, thinking he'd get more votes that way. He failed; Jim Plunkett won that year.
- Former Rice halfback Dicky Moegle later one changed the spelling of his last name to Maegle the look the way it's pronounced since many people said it as "MOH-gle".
- The printing method known as Giclee is pronounced "Zhee-clay". Go figure.
- Because it's correctly spelt giclée and pronounced as such. It was taken from the French verb, "gicler" meaning "to squirt, spurt or spray".
- Remember... Guy Forget? (Ghee FOR-zhay)
- Another case of a French pronunciation.
- Hardly noticeable since, you know, he's French.
- Another case of a French pronunciation.
- Mike Krzyzewski, coach of the Duke Blue Devils basketball team. Apparently, "Krzyzewski" is pronounced "Sheshefski".
- It's much easier for Americans to try "Sheshefski" than the actual Polish. This is understandable, seeing as it's Polish.note
- Many non-Polish citizens have trouble pronouncing the surname "Szczepaniak", opting instead to write it as "Stepaniak" and pronounce it as "Steh-paw-nic".
- The last name of NHL player Miroslav Satan? Try sha-TAHN.
- Pronounced as in his native Slovak, in which the name is written Šatan (note the difference in the first letter).
- Dallas Mavericks guard Monta Ellis' first name is pronounced "MON-tay."
- Kirsten Dunst is pronounced KEER-stuhn, not KUR-stuhn. This is the German and Scandinavian pronunciation of the name, not completely surprising as her father is German and her mother is of German-Swedish extraction. (However, she apparently does not go so far as to insist on her surname being given the proper German pronunciation, which would be more like "doonst").
- Louis Armstrong disliked being called "Louie", as he saw the nickname demeaning and dismissive of his achievements and talents. Even today, the pronunciation of his first name is Serious Business to jazz aficionados.
- While most people say "Carnegie" with the first syllable emphasized, "CAR-neh-gee", Andrew Carnegie himself pronounced his last name with the stress on the second syllable, i.e. "Car-NAY-gee".
- In Pittsburgh, it and the many things with his name have always been pronounced Carnegie's way, to the extent of re-recording a recent bus announcement.
- Thandie Newton's first name is pronounced "Tandy", like the computer.
- One of Oxford's most famous colleges is 'Magdalen'. However, it is not pronounced as it's spelt, it's pronounced 'maudlin'. Same in Cambridge.
- A case of French pronunciation over Latinate orthography. Latin Magdalena, (Old and Modern) French Madeleine; indeed, the English adjective "maudlin" is derived from the name in its medieval pronunciation — spelled phonetically.
- Halley's Comet. "Hay-lees" used to be a common mispronunciation; it's now usually pronounced "Hah-lees", but if you're following the man it's named after, it should be pronounced "Haw-lees".note
- Also, Walter Raleigh. It's "Raw-Lee", not "Rah-lee".
- The capital of North Carolina, however, is definitely "Rah-lee." Or "Rah-luh"; the city of Rolla, MO was named after Raleigh, NC except the settlers (many of whom were from North Carolina) decided to spell it so that it would be pronounced "correctly" by their neighbors. Which led to some people pronouncing it "Row-lay"; you just can't win.
- Charlize Theron has stated in interviews that she finds it amusing that people pronounce her last name in the media as "Tha-Rown" to make it sound fancy, saying that it's simply pronounced "thair-in".
- The sound of it is actually quite different and almost impossible to transcribe even phonetically in English http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3TTi_gAS5c
- Arab is supposed to be pronounced "Air-rib," not "A-RAB" like the way Huckleberry Finn pronounces it. In British English it's pronounced "A-rəb".
- Stephen J. Cannell (rhymes with "channel")
- Matt Groening (rhymes with "raining")
- There is an actress named Karen Cliche ("kleesh")
- George Dzundza ("zoonza")
- "Deborah Kerr is the star."
- "But Steve Kerr rhymes with 'sir'".
- The "Seuss" in Dr. Seuss is pronounced Soyce (rhymes with voice). Dr. Seuss himself has stated this, but nobody seems to remember or care.
You're wrong as the deuce
- A collaborator of Seuss's wrote of him:
And you shouldn't rejoice
If you're calling him "Seuss."
He pronounces it "Soice."
- Similarly, the first name of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, being Italian in origin, should be pronounced "cone-doh-leet-zuh" (rhyming with "pizza"). But most people shorten the first "o" and leave out the "t" sound.
- The name is derived from the musical term "con dolcezza", which is pronounced "con dol-chets-tsuh", with the main stress on the (short) "e".
- Scandinavian tongues have weird pronunciation rules, for example the Norwegian name Kjerstine is pronounced "cher-steen-uh".
- Pretty standard across Germanic languages. English is the ugly duckling rather than the rest.
- Steve Blum pronounces his last name as "bloom". He isn't known to get annoyed about it too often, though.
- Many people pronounce Vic Mignogna as it is written, which is wrong. It's pronounced something like min-nya-na.
- A German living in England named her daughter Caroline, but spells it (unofficially) as Caro-Lynne to force the German pronunciation.
- German pronunciation would be "caro-lee-nuh".
- Can be subverted. Depending on where one lives, a person can officially change their name, or the spelling of their name.
- There is an Israeli talk show host named Guy Pines. For you non-Israelis: it’s a corruption of the German surname Pins, since Hebrew doesn’t have word-final consonant clustersnote , pronounced PEA-ness, but we all know what that really sounds like. To avoid awkwardness abroadnote , he often claims it’s pronounced like the plural tree type.
- Maurice Gibb of The Bee Gees pronounced his first name "Morris". As did Maurice Evans.
- English novelist Oliver Onions would have you pronounce it "oh-NYE-onz."
- Cillian (KIL-ian, not SIL-ian) Murphy definitely qualifies.
- Major League Baseball outfielder Matt Diaz, who has gone on record to state that yes, it's pronounced "DIE-az".
- A jarring example is former Major League Baseball catcher Jorge Fábregas, who pronounces his name "George Fabber-gass".
- Taylor Lautner pronounces his surname as "LOWT-ner" instead of "LAHT-ner".
- Inverted by Ricky Gervais — he insists on the Anglicised pronunciation of his surname ("ger-VASE") despite the fact that it's of French origin and historically pronounced "ger-VAY". And by "historically", we mean "his father, probably, and if not his grandfather": his dad was a Franco-Ontarian (i.e. French-Canadian from Ontario) from London (the one halfway between Windsor/Detroit and Toronto) who came to Britain as part of the forces during World War II and settled there after the war.
- The second-to-last person to rule China during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) was the Empress Dowager Cixi (pinyin transliteration), who was a contemporary of Queen Victoria and was sometimes compared to her. Most English speakers would probably pronounce her name "Seezee", but in Mandarin it was the much less feminine-sounding (to English ears, anyway) "zuh-SHEE."
- Retired American Football quarterback Brett Favre (pronounced far-v)
- Actor Peter Krause pronounces his surname "KRAU-zuh," rather than the more-common-in-America single-syllable pronunciation.
- The American Civil Rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois supposedly insisted that people pronounce his surname "duh-BOYSE", rather than the standard French "doo-BWAH", because he hated the racism of French society in the early 20th century.
- Nickelback's Chad and Mike Kroeger's last name is pronounced Kroo-ger like Freddy, but Americans seem to say it as Kroger like the grocery store
- Rammstein keyboardist Flake Lorenz (his real first name is Christian, but no one calls him that) pronounces his nickname as 'Flah-kuh' rather than 'Flayke'.
- The writer James Branch Cabell pronounced his last name CAB-ble, not ca-BELL. To correct the mispronunciation, he came up with a rhyming couplet: "Tell the rabble his name is Cabell."
- Gyllenhaal, of Jake and Maggie fame, is (apparently) pronounced "Yillenhoolihay".
- In an instance that takes this trope Up to Eleven, the old Southern surname "Enroughty" is pronounced "Darby." No, seriously. A newspaper clipping from ''The Nation'' in 1887 offers a more detailed explanation:
It is related that the first Enroughty who settled in Henrico County became so incensed and resentful at the mispronunciation of his surname—some calling it Enr-itjfty, others Enrooty, and others again Enrowty—that he insisted, whenever spoken to, that he should be called "Darby." ... The family has ever been tenacious of the name of Enroughty and equally tenacious of the name of "Darby," and if a stranger should happen to call any of them by any name other than that last given, he would immediately be requested to say "Darby." In all writings, bank accounts, and poll-books—indeed, wherever it is necessary to write the true name—it is spelled Enroughty, but invariably pronounced "Darby." We read, in official reports of the operations of Grant's and Lee's armies below Richmond, of "the battle of Darbytown," but, in truth, the locality was Enroughtytown.
- The Chicago Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews falls into this. It's "Tayves", despite the spelling.
- More NHL Examples, Toews' ex teammate Dustin Byfuglin is pronounced Buff-lin.
- The surname of Major League Baseball player Kevin Pillar is pronounced like the feminine Spanish name "Pilar".
- Prince Rainier of Monaco's name was pronounced "rahn-YAY", unlike Mt. Rainier (see under Places below).
- There is a famous singer in Russia named Nikolai Baskov. Normally, his last name is pronounced "bus-KOFF" and means "of small and low voice". When he became famous, he changed the pronunciation to "BAHS-kuff" ("of Basque descent").
- The band Sade, which takes its name from the lead singer Sade Adu (Sade being short for Folasade), is pronounced "Sha-DAY", not "Sahd" as in the Marquis du Sade. Another common mispronounciation is "SHAR-day", which has even led to several children being named Sharde after the band.
- Kim Jong Un's name is regularly mispronounced in British media, creating a hyperforeignism by pronouncing "Jong" as "Yong," when really it's just plain old "Jong." Strangely less of a problem in American media.
- The winemaking Mondavi family of Napa Valley originally used the Americanized pronunciation of "mon-DAY-vee". Then in 1965 amid family turmoil, eldest son Robert left to start his own winery, and began pronouncing it "mon-DAH-vee".
- The name "Koch" is normally pronounced like "Coke" with a softer K at the end. Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch pronounced his last name as "Kotch" and Ravens punter Sam Koch is pronounced as "Cook", which actually is the literal translation of Koch.
- Linguist Noam Chomsky’s last name is a common Russian one, and is supposed to be pronounced with a Russian kh-sound. It seems he doesn’t care, though, and even in the linguistic community they pronounce it with an English ch-sound.
- Some English-speaking people with the last name of Benoit, which is French, give it the traditional French pronunciation of "ben-WAH." Others pronounce it the way it looks to English speakers, "Ben-OYT."
- Patrick Brontë, father of the famous Brontë Sisters was Anglo-Irish and born as Patrick Brunty. At some point, he decided to change the spelling of his name to Brontë, which indicates the pronunciation of the root word Gaelic surname (as well as of course sounding "posher"). It's also been speculated that the change was inspired by Horatio Nelson being awarded the title Duke of Bronté.
- Ian Ziering's first name is pronounced "Eye-An" rather than the more usual pronunciation, though weirdly enough his surname is pronounced the way you'd expect it to be. He lampshaded this while on Celebrity Apprentice, when Geraldo Rivera completely mangled his name during an all-important presentation, causing Ian to snark "Maybe you should just call me 'Eee-an,' it'd be easier for everyone."
- Mel Blanc (pronounced "blank") and JB Blanc (pronounced "blonk"). Mel's surname was spelled with a "K" originally, but he later changed the spelling because one of his teachers said that he was just like his name: blank. "Blonk" approximates the correct pronounciaton of B-L-A-N-C, it is a French surname (a nasalised "blah") and JB was born in France despite being English.
- The two US presidents with the last name Roosevelt both pronounced it slightly differently. Teddy said roʊzəvɛlt (roh-zuh-velt), whereas FDR went by roʊzəvəlt (roh-zuh-vuhlt).
- It's a running gag among mathematicians that if you can pronounce "Constantin Carathéodory" correctly then you are one yourself. (Actually, it isn't that hard, just lay the stress on the -ry. But if it comes out like "He works at Mr. Carathéodory's down on Sullivan Street"...you failed.)
- Beatrice Rana doesn't look hard, but if you're not Italian, it gets confusing. While Americans say "BEE-uh-tris", Rana and most Italians prefer "Bee-uh-TREE-chay". One interviewer felt they had to include a pronunciation guide at the beginning.
- Most English-speakers nowadays call the famous Roman JOO-lee-us SEE-zer. This can cause consternation for Latin scholars, who either go along with this pronunciation (which sounds completely ridiculous in Latin), or risk sounding pretentious by talking about YOO-lee-us KAI-sar.
- NBA player Stephen Curry pronounces his first name as "Steffen".
- Former NBA player Mark Aguirre's last name is pronounced as "A-gwyre", instead of the traditional Spanish pronunciation "Ah-gi-rre"
- Comedian David Koechner pronounces his surname "Keck-ner" not "Coke-ner".
- The McCaughey family of Iowa, which includes the first set of septuplets that all survived infancy (born in 1997), pronounces its name "McCoy".
Real Life — Places
- Québec, Canada. Is it KWI-beck or KEH-beck?
- Neither. In French it's "keh-BECK". In French "qu" renders a hard /k/, and as there is an acute accent on the first syllable, it is pronounced with a clear "eh". Pronouncing the "Qu" as in English is still common and accepted in English-speaking Canada, although here too second syllable is stressed, so there are two "correct" English pronunciations, "kwi-BECK" and "kuh-BECK" (in the first one the vowel is a short "i", in the second a schwa).
- During WWI, there were proposals to change the name of Berlin, NH due to anti-German sentiment at the time. This was dropped when it was pointed out that Berlin, NH is pronounced as BER-lin instead of the German Ber-LIN. Ironically, Berlin, NH has a high population of French Americans and French Canadians.
- ESPN guys love to pronounce Detroit as if it were still a French word ("Day-twa"), just for a joke.
- And you're free to fight amongst yourselves as to whether it's pronounced "Duh-TROIT" or "DEE-troit."
- Or "De-TROH-wit", if you're Bob Cole.
- Having lived within a few hours of it for most of a lifetime, it's Dtroit.
- As to the Mackinac Bridge - Mackinaw, that's the law. Mackinac, that's just wack!
- And you're free to fight amongst yourselves as to whether it's pronounced "Duh-TROIT" or "DEE-troit."
- The working class suburb Mangere in Auckland, New Zealand (pronounced MAH-NGE-RE according to the Maori or MAN-gerry in common use), is sometimes fondly referred to as "Mon-ZHER" by its inhabitants.
- Louisville: If you live in Louisville you pronounce it as lul-vul. If you are from anywhere else you may pronounce it as Lou-is-ville, Lou-ie-ville or Low-ville.
- Kentucky, at least. The other Louisvilles are pretty straightforward in their "Lewie-vill" pronunciation.
- Except for Ohio (Lew-is-ville). But then, Ohio is sort of wonky with its place names: Lima = LIE-ma; Rio Grande = RYE-o Grand; Bellefontaine = Bell Fountain; etc. The former Georgia state capital uses this pronunciation as well.
- Don't forget Versailles (ver-SALES), Campbell (CAM-ell), Russia (RUE-she), Milan (MY-lan), Conneaut (KAHN-ee-awt), Mantua (MAN-a-way), and Berlin (BER-lin). Not to mention that Ohio has both Louisville and Lewisville, and they're both pronounced as LEW-iss-vihl.
- Colorado also falls firmly into the Lou-is-ville camp, as does Nebraska.
- Kentucky, at least. The other Louisvilles are pretty straightforward in their "Lewie-vill" pronunciation.
- Also in Nebraska:
- Beatrice: the stress goes on the second syllable (bee-A-tris). Rumor has it, we can thank train stations, back before amplification: the flat "AAA" is easier to hear over a crowd than "EEE".
- Norfolk: pronounced nor-fork. The town was named after the North Fork River, but the United States Postal Service assumed they meant "Norfolk".
- Papillion: "pa-PILL-yon". Originally a French name, papillon (butterfly), which would be pronounced papyo(n). The nearby river is called "Papio".
- Nevada: If you live either there or in surrounding states, chances are you say "neh-VA-duh" with the vowel in the middle syllable pronounced like the vowel in "flat." If you don't, you probably say "neh-VAH-duh" with the "a" pronounced like the "o" in "bother." (which, for English English pronouncers, is like the "ar" in "larder"). In at least parts of the deep South, it can even be "NEH-vuh-duh".
- It's a bit of a Berserk Button for them, actually. Michelle Obama pronounced it wrong at a rally for her husband, back when he was running for president. She was lucky to correct herself in time.
- Again, Missouri, Ohio, and Iowa as well, are backward on this. Their little towns of the same name are pronounced "Ne-VAY-da".
- It's a bit of a Berserk Button for them, actually. Michelle Obama pronounced it wrong at a rally for her husband, back when he was running for president. She was lucky to correct herself in time.
- The (somewhat fairy-tale) name of the village of Appletreewick in North Yorkshire, UK is pronounced "Ap-trick" by locals.
- Similarly, the locals pronounce the town of Worcester, Massachusetts, "WOO-stah".
- That is how the original Worcester in England is pronounced - "WORCE-ster".
- It gets better: locals pronounce Worcestershire, England as "Wistasha".
- Same goes for Gloucester (GLOSS-ter), Leicester (Lester), and Leominster (Lemon-ster). All named after places in England (though the English Leominster is pronounced "Lem-ster").
- The Gloucestershire Airplane Corporation (one of the predecessors of British Aerospace) changed its name into Gloster as it expected foreign contracts. "Gloster" is pretty much the phonetic ortography for "Gloucester".
- Also on "Gloucester"s: there's a Gloucester County in New Jersey, as well as a Gloucester City and Gloucester Township. All three are pronounced "GLOSS-ter"—but confusingly, Gloucester City and Gloucester Township are (1) not particularly near each other (a good seven or eight miles apart) and (2) in neighboring Camden County.
- The village of Athelstaneford in Scotland is pronounced "EL-shen-ferd", at least by locals. What makes it slightly more bizarre is that the village is named after the medieval king Athelstan, whose name is pronounced as it looks.
- Similarly, the locals pronounce the town of Worcester, Massachusetts, "WOO-stah".
- Great Britain is full of this sort of thing, both in personal names and place names. For example...
- Mr. Featherstonehaugh (FAN-shaw)
- Mr. Menzies (MING-iss). Can also be used as a first name, as in politician Menzies Campbell (MING-iss CAM-ble)
- Partly because it wasn't originally a 'z' in the middle there, but the old Middle Scots letter 'yogh'. Early Scots printers didn't have a handy yogh in their fonts, so used the similarly shaped 'z' instead.
- Stiffkey (STOO-kee), Cley (CLY) and Wymondham (WIND-um) in Norfolk
- Leicester (LES-tuh) and its attendand -shire (LES-tuh-shuh).
- Cholmondeley is pronounced like "Chumley" (/ˈtʃʌmli/).
- The town of Hednesford in the West Midlands, pronounced "Hens-fud", in a similar manner to Wednesday - not Head-Nes-Ford.
- Marylebone in London. Which can be said quite a few ways. Mary-le-bone, Marry-le-bone, Marleybun (the right one, says Wiki), Mairbun, Mbn.
- In any place name ending in 'wick' or 'wich', such as Chiswick and Greenwich, the 'W' is silent. So Chiswick is 'chiz-ick' not 'chiz-wick', Greenwich is 'gren-itch' not 'green-witch'. Also Southwark is 'Suthuk'
- Lampshaded in an '80s beer commercial voiced by John Cleese — where he deliberately mispronounced Greenwich, Connecticut as "Green Witch, Connect-i-cut"
- The upstate New York town of Greenwich is pronounced 'green-wich'. You know, just to be different.
- In the opening scene of On the Town, Chip demonstrates that he knows New York City only from a guidebook by pronouncing the name of one neighborhood "Green-witch Village."
- And Norwich is pronounced "Norrich"
- Towcester. As in the thing you use to make toast.
- Also, the town Worsley (War-sley) and the surname Worsley (Wurss-ley) are both pronounced differently.
- Should the 'l' in Holme be silent or not?
- The surname St John is pronounced "Sinjin." St Mary Axe, a street in the City of London, is likewise pronounced "Simmery Axe," as in the Patter Song from The Sorcerer.
- Newfoundland is not, in fact, New-Found-Land, it's Newfin-LAND.
- That's it. Oh, and it's not to be pronounced as "New Finland" either. Many a tourist have made that mistake.
- To add to the confusion, Leif Eriksson discovered "Vinland" (Wineland), which is thought to be the southern tip of Newfoundland.
- Though some people pronounce it more like Newfun-land.
- It's illegal in Arkansas to pronounce the final "s".
- Speaking of which, the pronounciation of "Arkansas" is an easy way to tell if a speaker's from the state itself or Kansas. Arkansans say "AR-kan-saw", and Kansans use the "Ar" as a prefix, something like "ar-KAN-sas".
- Then there's the Arkansas River, which begins in Colorado and is often pronounced with a final "s" outside the state of the same name.
- Downtown Manhattan has Houston (HOW-sten) Street. It is not pronounced the same as the city of Houston (HYOO-stin), Texas. The former was named after William Houstoun, and the latter named after Sam Houston.
- Similarly, Houston County, GA, is also pronounced HOW-sten. HYOO-stin may start a fight.
- Several small towns in the Midwest United States are named for more famous world cities and pronounced differently, such as Cairo, Illinois (pronounced KAY-row) and Cairo, Ohio (pronounced "CARE-oh") and Milan, Indiana, Milan, Illinois,and Milan, Ohio (all pronounced "MY-lun"). Also in Ohio there is a town called Vienna, pronounced Vye-ANN-ah... which contrasts with Vienna, Illinois (vye-ENN-uh).
- In Iowa, you'll find both Madrid (MAD-rid) and Nevada (ne-VAY-da).
- Same with Missouri, with New Madrid instead of simply Madrid. Missouri also has Versailles ("ver-SAILS") and Vichy (somewhere between "vit-shee" and "vishee", definitely not "VEE-shee"). There's also Rolla, pronounced "RAH-luh", named after Raleigh NC but spelled phonetically.
- Many non-native Minnesotans have trouble pronouncing "Mahtomedi", "wayzata", "Duluth" and "Shakopee".
- In New Mexico, there's a small artsy town between Albuquerque and Santa Fe pronounced "MAH-drid". (seen in the film Wild Hogs)
- And one more for Ohio: Toledo. The Northwest Ohio city is pronounced Toe-LEE-doh, as opposed to the Spanish city (its official sister city), pronounced Toe-LAY-doh.
- Sorta subverted in Louisiana where half the places and surnames actually are French.
- And on the subject of New Orleans, it's only Nawlins if you can say it Yat otherwise it's NEW-or-lins (pronounced as one word), not New-or-leans
- It's impossible to phoneticize as one word, but it's an unaccented 'nuh oe linz' with the vowels schwa'd together. But then you have street names with spellings in familiar English that locals will insist on pronouncing "Bur-GUN-dee".
- Played straight with the local pronunciation of Chartres Street, which natives will insist on pronouncing like "charters." In actual French, it's "shart."
- No. In actual French it's "shartr", but I might as well write Chartres as only the S doesn't count. Chartres is a city (and possibly a title linked to whoever the street was named after), a charte is... a charter.
- It became fairly easy to see who was a native of the region and who arrived after Hurricane Katrina thanks to pronunciations of words like Fortier (FOR-shay, not for-TEE-air) and Calliope (CAL-ee-oh, not the Greek daughter-of-Zeus cuh-LIE-oh-pee)
- Not to mention the region called Plaquemines Parish (parishes are the equivalent in Louisiana of counties), pronounced "PLACK-er-mans"
- And on the subject of New Orleans, it's only Nawlins if you can say it Yat otherwise it's NEW-or-lins (pronounced as one word), not New-or-leans
- Burnet, TX is pronounced so that the mnemonic "It's Burnet; Durn it! Learn it!" rhymes.
- The small town of Welsh, Louisiana, is pronounced "welch."
- Also in Texas, Montague County is pronounced "Mon-TAYG," instead of the European "MON-Tuh-Gyu."
- Trevor, WI is pronounced "TREE-ver," not like the name Trevor. Folks from the southern half of Milwaukee County frequently leave the L out of Milwaukee (ma-WAWK-ee). Many French city names in Wisconsin are deliberately mispronounced. If you, for example, pronounce "Prairie du Chien" (means "Dog's Prairie", after the local Indian chief) in the proper French as "Pra-RIE du Shee-ohn," you'll be corrected to "Prarie du Sheen." Likewise, Fond du Lac (literally, "bottom of the lake" - it's at the southern tip of Lake Winnebago) is "Fondle-ack." Oddly, other places like Lac du Flambeaux ("Lake of Torches") and Eau Claire ("Clear Water") are pronounced as they would be in French. With Indian names in the upper Midwest, good luck. We'll be sure to make fun of you for mispronouncing "Oconomowoc." BTW, "Racine" is either "ray-SEEN" or "ra-SEEN," about 50-50 each way. Don't let the locals snow you.
- Yet another Wisconsin hint: It's "New BER-lin," not "New Ber-LIN." Even though it's named after the city in Germany, the pronunciation has shifted for some odd reason. And the second "A" is silent in "Shawano." (it's NOT "sha-WA-no" - it properly has only two syllables ("SHAW-no"), not three!)
- Speaking of Fond du Lac, there is an elementary school there that is named Pier but is pronounced "pi-er" but people calling some times pronounce it as "pe-er".
- And then there's Waupun, pronounced "wuh-PAHN," because of course it is.
- People of Prescott, Arizona (and probably by extension, Prescott valley) say the town's name is pronounced PRES-skit, not PRES-cott.
- Tooele, Utah. It may take visitors a while to realize it is the town referred to when people said, "tuh-WILL-uh." The spelling actually got changed from the closer-to-the-mark Tuilla in the 19th Century.
- Hurricane, Utah, is pronounced HURR-kin (two syllables). Hurricane, West Virginia, on the other hand, is pronounced HURR-i-kin (three syllables).
- Spanish Fork (Utah [again]) is said just like it looks unless you're from there, in which case it is Spanish Fark.
- Weber County, Utah (and Weber State University located there) is pronounced WEE-ber.
- Pierre the capitol of South Dakota is pronounced PEER Not PEA-AIR.
- The western Colorado town of Ouray is pronounced "YOU-ray" It's named after a Ute Indian Chief.
- A major road in Houston, TX is Kuykendahl. Pronounced KIRK-en-doll.
- The H at the beginning of the name of the Houston suburb Humble is silent.
- Head north from Houston towards Dallas, head west when you're a couple hours away, and you'll come to Mexia. Pronounced "Muh-HEY-uh".
- As you're starting to enter South Texas, not far from Corpus Christi, there's a town called Refugio. It was originally pronounced as in Spanish (roughly "reh-FOO-hee-oh"), but a large group of Irish settlers came in the 1830s and had difficulty with the name. They ended up saying it "re-FURY-oh", which became the local pronunciation to this day. Even local Spanish-speakers pronounce it "re-FURY-oh".
- Then in west Texas, you have Colorado City. That's "Caw-luh-RAY-doh City" (made confusing by the fact it's on the "Caw-luh-RAH-doh" River).
- The city of Beaufort, South Carolina is pronounced "Buew-fert", while Beaufort, North Carolina is pronounced "Bow-fert". NC also has the town of Bahama (Ba-HAY-ma).
- People who aren't British seem to have trouble pronouncing Worcestershire Sauce (WORCE-ster-shire). Even though most Brits know how to say it correctly it mostly tends to get referred to as Lea and Perrins.
- Missourians are slightly divided on this issue. Most of us pronounce it "Missour-EE", but a small number of people, primarily from the southern part of the state, pronounce it "Missour-AH".
- People who live in or near Toronto tend to pronounce the city's name as something rather like "Tronno".
- Toronto, New South Wales is pronounced the same way.
- Vancouver is pronounced as "Vangcouver" by locals, while outsiders tend to say it like two distinct wordsnote , in other words "Van" rather than "Vang". While this matches the spelling, it is actually the locals who are following standard English phonetic rules of assimilation (e.g. "ingcome" for "income").
- Montreal, in Canadian English, is pronounced "mun-tree-ALL", while Americans use "mon-tree-ALL" - neither is an exact match for the original French ("mon-HAY-ah-le").
- The street "Dalhousie" in Ottawa is pronounced "Dal-HOO-zee" (as per a Scottish accent) while the university in Nova Scotia says "Dal-HOW-zie".
- Speaking of streets in Canada, Dundas St. in Toronto rhymes with "class," not "bus."
- The Canberra suburb of Manuka is pronounced 'mahn-NAH-ka', not 'mah-NU-ka' like the plant.
- The town of Florida, Colorado pronounces its name the Spanish way: fla - REE - da.
- UK place names again: Edinburgh, Middlesbrough and Loughborough are in wildly different parts of the country (Scotland, North Yorkshire and Leicestershire respectively) and all pronounce the section of their names after the B as Borough despite the different spelling. Even weirder is the town of Brough which doesn't pronounce it like the similarly spelt Middlesbrough, but pronounces it as Bruff.
- Arguably, the end of all of these is pronounced as "brə" with a schwa, rather than as "bərə" although it depends on where you reside. Loughborough (Luf-brə) uses the Brough pronunciation above in it's first half as well.
- The Couch in Couch St. in Portland, OR is pronounced "Cooch," not "Couch."
- The "correct" pronunciations of Oregon include: OR-uh-gun, OR-uh-gin, OR-ih-gun, or Or-ih-gin (not Orry-gone, Orry-gun, Or-gone, or Or-ray-gone).
- Unless you're talking about the suburb of Toledo, Ohio, where it's OR-ih-gone or orry-GONE. Yes, Ohio has a pathological inability to pronounce place names the same as where they were borrowed from.
- In something of an inversion: North Versailles, Pennsylvania was intended to be named for the French palace. However, the name is pronounced "North Vur-SAYLZ".
- The Rainier in Mt. Rainier is pronounced "Rai-NEER," not "Rai-ni-er." It's only pronounced "Rai-ni-er" if you're camping on the west side of the mountain.
- Aloha, Oregon is pronounced with a silent H, unlike the Hawaiian word.
- Boise, Idaho. Newscasters call it Boy-ZEE, but its Boy-SEE, to the irritation of its residents and repeated corrections.
- And the small town of Boise City, Oklahoma is "Boyce City" (more often slurred into "boycity").
- Many people pronounce Tokyo with three syllables (toh-kee-oh); it's more accurately pronounced toh-kyo, with the "kyo" one syllable (its name translates to "Eastern Capital"). To make matters more confusing, it's four "beats" in Japanese, as both O's are "long" vowels.
- Spokane, Washington. It is not spo-KAYN (as in cane), it is spo-KAN (as in can). The musical Love Life got this wrong.
- Schuylerville, New York is pronounced (SKY-ler-ville) while the Schuylkill River in Pennsylvania is pronounced (SKOO-kull). The accident-prone Philadelphia freeway next to and named after the Schuylkill river, however, is sometimes called the "Surekill Expressway", especially when discussing the "Conshohocken Curve" (note that "Conshohocken" is pronounced as spelled but can be a tongue-twister anyway).
- Also in New York: The town near Rochester called Chili is pronounced CHY-ly, not "chilly" as it is commonly mispronounced by non-locals.
- The East-Central PA city named after the country in the Middle East "Lebanon" (Leb-a-non) is pronounced locally as "LEB-nen" As a twofer, one famous product of the area is a kind of sweet spicy lunchmeat Lebanon Bologna, which the locals pronounce "LEB-nen bal-LOW-ee"
- In Vermont, Charlotte is pronounced "shar-lot" and Calais rhymes with palace, instead of the French pronounciation Cal-lay.
- In Rhode Island "Coventry" is "Cawventry" instead of "Cuhventry"
- Yarmouth, Falmouth, and many other old fishing villages in New England are properly pronounces YAR-mit, FAL-mit, and so on.
- "Duquesne" is pronounced "Du-KANE". But in "North Versailles", it's "ver-SALES", not "ver-SIGH". Because why should Western Pennsylvania be consistent?
- Versailles, Kentucky is also pronounced "ver-SALES". The Lexington, Kentucky community of Athens is historically pronounced AY-thenz.
- People from Illinois will jump down your throat if you make the mistake of pronouncing the "S".
- The Virginia cities Portsmouth, Norfolk, Huguenot, and Suffolk get this too.
- Portsmouth: Ports-smith or Ports-smuhth, not Ports-mouth
- Norfolk: Nohr-fick, Nohr-fuhk, or Naw-fick, but not Nohr-fohlk
- Huguenot: Hue-ge-not, not huh-gway-not or hoo-ge-no (or variations of the two)
- Suffolk: Suhf-fick or Suhf-fuhk, but not Suhf-fohlk
- Norfolk, Nebraska is pronounced "nor-fork". (It's named after the North Fork River and was supposed to be spelled "Norfork.")
- People like to pronounce the city of Kobe (written in Japanese as "Koube"), Japan, and the steak that takes its name from the city, like Kobe Bryant ("koh-bee"), when it's actually "kohh-beh." In Japanese, "Koubi" (交尾) means "animal mating," and when applied to human intercourse means "very rough sex."
- Probably unintentional, but Don Cherry tends to pronounce Toronto as "trah-na".
- The Other Wiki makes note that the name of that town in Austria rhymes with "booking". That still doesn't stop them stealing the town sign just so they could say that they got to Fucking - what does is that the signs were replaced with theft-proof versions after the old ones were swiped too many times.
- Washington state has a few of these, besides Spokane and Mt. Rainier noted above. Most famous are Cle Elum (pronounced "Clellum"), Puyallup (pronounced "pyoo-WALL-up"), and Sequim (pronounced "Squim").
- Yakima is pronounced "YAK-uh-maw," not "Yuh-KEEM-uh." The tribe name is spelled Yakama because they realized settlers got it wrong.
- The Australian city of Brisbane is pronounced Briz-bin, not Briz-bain.
- Same with other Australian cities, Melbourne is Melbin, not Mel-born, and Canberra is Canbra not Can-bear-ra.
- Butte, Montana is pronounced Beaut not Butt
- Hobart,IN is usually pronounced "Ho-burt" by residents rather than "Ho-bart" like the one in Tasmania (note it wasn't named for that one)
- Newark, Delaware is pronounced "New-ARK", while Newark, New Jersey is pronounced more like "Nork" (1 syllable). Neither is pronounced "NEW-erk".
- But Newark, Ohio, is NEW-erk.
- Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is pronounced "roh-DAY-oh." There's also a suburb of San Francisco called Rodeo with the same pronunciation.
- The African nation of Niger is pronounced "nee-ZHAIR", not "NI-jer" or that other pronunciation. This is justified since it had been colonized by the French.
- Martinez, GA (a suburb of Augusta). The middle syllable is pronounced like "tin" with very little stress on it (it could almost be "Mart'nez, GA). Also Louisville, GA, unlike Kentucky, pronounces the -s.
- One of Atlanta's main thoroughfares is Ponce de Leon Avenue, but locals pronounce it "PONTS duh LEE-on."
- The town of Saint Helena in California's Napa Valley is traditionally pronounced "Saint Hel-EEN-uh", but possibly due to French influence as Napa's winemaking prestige has grown, it's shifting to something more like "santa-LAY-na", sounding like it's just one word.
- Beijing is regularly mispronounced by English speakers as "Beizhing" (like the "s" in "measure") rather than the Chinese pronunciation, which is exactly how it looks (with a soft "g" like in "gin").
- During the 2014 Winter Olympics, some even pronounced the Russian city Sochi (again, pronounced exactly how it looks) as "Soshi."
- A street in Houston is spelled Kuykendall. Locals pronounce it "Kirk-end-all", but visitors may pronounce that first syllable to rhyme with "guy", "boy", or even "buoy", and the last two may be changed to "Ken doll".
- In the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte, there is a Raja Gabaglia Avenue. It's commonly referred as "Raja", but the surname is usually pronounced the way it's spelled instead of the proper Italian ("gab-alley-ah").
- Whereas the Thames River that flows through London is pronounced "temms," the Thames River of New London, Connecticut is pronounced "thayms."
- Grand Blanc is pronounced as if it were the English phrase "Grand Blank," rather than the Frenchy "Gron Blon''.
- Lake Orion, Orion Township, and associated roads, etc., are pronounced "OR-ee-uhn," rather than "oh-RY-an" like the constellation.
- Canton is pronounce "CAN-tuhn" even though it is named after the old name for Guangzhou (pronounced "can-TON"). (That region of Wayne County also had townships named Pekin and Nankin, which have since split off into a number of other municipalities.)
- Saline is pronounced "Sah-leen," not "Say-leen" like the nasal spray. (The derivation is from French: there are salty springs in the area historically used for salt production.)
- In the Detroit area, Dequindre Road is always pronounced "De-KWIN-der" (rather than the French, which is more like "deh-KANDR''), and Livernois Road/Street/Avenue is universally pronounced "Liver-noy" (a sort of half-French, half-English compromise). However, the pronunciation of Lahser Rd., five miles to the west of Livernois, is the subject of frequent disagreement among area residents.
- The well-known French city of Nice is pronounced "Neese" (rhymes with geese), not "Nice" (rhymes with ice).
- While Sydney's pronunciation is fairly straightforward, some of its suburbs can get a bit confusing. It's gotten so bad that in some cases, no two people from different ends of Sydney can really agree on pronunciation:
- La Perouse is universally "La Pe-RUSE" rather than "La Pe-ROWSE"
- Sans Succi is universally "San SOO-chi" instead of the French "Sun Soo-SI"
- Campbelltown is universally called "CAM-bull-town"
- Here's the fun part: For Mosman, is it "MOSS-man" or "MOZ-mun"?
- Minto, much like the Toronto example above, is pronounced with a silent T, sounding like "Minno"
Real Life — Other
- "Cache" and "stash" aren't just synonyms; they rhyme as well. If you say "cashay" you mean social prestige (cachet).
- The M1 Garand, the signature rifle of the US armed forces in WWII, was named after it's designer, John Garand. Very often, laymen and even firearms experts pronounce it as "Guh-RAND". But in his life, Garand preferred "GAIR-und".
- "Tarzhay" (Target), normally as a humorous jab at the store.
- Some people think that the company is French, despite Target being headquartered in Minneapolis.
- People who shop at "Tarzhay" also tend to shop at Jacques Penne (J.C. Penney).
- aka "Jean Claude Penn-YAY". There was also a smaller mass merchandiser in the Upper Midwest called "Venture", aka "Ven-TUR-a"
- In a bit of Fridge Brilliance, the "JC" in the store's name stands for "James Cash," of which Jacques is the French form (of "James," that is).
- Orion America Inc. used to have a factory in Princeton, IN, USA, which manufactured cathode-ray tubes for televisions. The most common way for locals to pronounce the name was "or-ree-on", despite the word actually being pronounced "oh-ryan".
- Same thing with Lake Orion and Orion Township, Michigan.
- And Farm Report host Orion Samuelson.
- Evidently, it is pronounced that way in the 23rd century as well, demonstrated by the "Star Trek" animated episode "The Pirates of Orion," when all the Starfleet personnel pronounce it "or-ree-on," despite the long history of pronouncing it correctly in the live-action series.
- There's a Okinawan brand of beer called Orion Beer. However, it's pronounced similarly (oh-ree-on). You might get weird looks from the locals if you pronounce it oh-rye-on. See the Japanese pronunciation guide below.
- That's because Orion in a Greek word originally, where it was indeed pronounced "oh-ree-on". "Oh-rye-on" is an artifact of the attempt to read its Roman spelling by the English rules.
- People who don't like Kwanzaa or don't feel it's a real holiday will often pronounce it as "Kwan-zaa," rhyming with "can."
- Stereotypically, people who went to Ivy League schools say "RAHW-thuh" or "RAHW-thur."
- Amusingly, this is pretty much the only word on which George W. Bush does not appear to have a Texas accent. Hooray for Yale?
- Cornell University is universally pronounced "cor-NELL" now, but Ezra Cornell, its founder, pronounced it "Corn'l."
- Dr. Jekyll was originally pronounced "JEE-kull".
- "Karaoke" (kah-rah-O-keh) is perhaps the most mispronounced word of all time.
- It's actually made up of two words: "kara" (Japanese for "empty") and the English word "orchestra". Of course, it's not easy for most English-speakers to pronounce Japanese words they way they're meant to be (i.e. without emphasis on any one syllable).
- "Ouija" is pronounced just as it looks like, yet many still refer to them as "Wee-gee" boards.
- It technically should be pronounced "wee-yah," as in the French and German words for "yes." Admittedly, this pronunciation is quite cumbersome for English speakers, who would be apt to conflate it to simply "weeuh." Some English-speaking kids, seeing ouija for the first time, pronounce it "oyjuh."
- Americans tend to pronounce sake, the Japanese rice wine, as "sah-kee". However, the actual pronunciation is more like "sah-kay".
- Or even "sah-KEH".
- Extra-quick pronunciation course for the Japanese-challenged Yanks: in Japanese words romanized by the Hepburn system (the one you meet most of the time) consonants are read as in English, but the vowels as in Spanish, NO stress. So "sake" is really pronounced just "sah-keh".
- The word "meme" mentioned above is typically pronounced "meem"—which makes sense given its purpose (to transmit ideas and belief information, as genes transmit biological information). Some pronounce it "may-may".
- Studio Ghibli's name is pronounced with a soft G, which is as it would not be in Italian.
- The Navy: it's not Boatswain, it's Bosun. It's not Forecastle, it's Fo'c'sle.
- Inversion: But if you're a Navy man or woman in Louisville and you call the city's summer alternative music festival "Fo'c'sle", you'll mostly get odd looks, and might get a verbal chewing-out. It's the Forecastle Festival, pronounced as the words "fore" and "castle" joined together.
- This one's probably too far gone for rescue, but pronouncing "forte" as "for-tay" is straight affectation. Until the mid-20th century it was pronounced the same way in English as it is in French (where the "e" is silent).
- Possibly borrowed from musical terminology (i.e. Italian), in which "forte" is, in fact, pronounced "FOR-tay."
- It may also be a side effect of "fort" already being a word in English, forcing "forte" to adopt a different unambiguous pronunciation.
- There are a surprisingly large number of people from England's East Midlands who are blessed with the name Shitehead. According to one member of the clan, the approved pronunciation is SHEETH – ead.
- Jaguar cars and the Atari Jaguar and Jaguar CD...the ads always pronounce it "Jag-you-are" (which is the standard British and Australian pronounciation) despite the American pronounciation being "Jag-wahr".
- Sega is pronounced as "SEEGA" in Australia, New Zealand, and in the Italian language. It is pronounced this way by some Brits (initially used in advertising), but the correct pronounciation quickly became known to those who played Sonic the Hedgehog where it is in the intro (basically, the majority of Mega Drive players). Hint: it stands for Service Games.
- Many people humorously pronounce "garbage" as "gar-BAHJ".
- Bologna (both the Italian city, and the food) is really supposed to be pronounced "Bo-LON-ya"note . "Weird Al" Yankovic however, pronounces it "bolohna" in order to make it sound like "Sharona" (since his song "My Bologna" is a parody of "My Sharona" by The Knack).
- Celtic is supposed to be pronounced "KEL-tic", but that doesn't stop the Boston Celtics (or their fans) from pronouncing it "SEL-tic".
- Or indeed the Scottish football team Celtic, who also pronounce it SEL-tic.
- The Native American tribe and the Illinois University team are the "Ill-eye-nigh",not "Ill-ee-nee"...apparently in the past, a few announcers screwed it up and roused some ire.
- A bit of local trivia at Texas A&M University is that Sbisa Dining Hall, on of several large student cafeterias on the main campus, is properly pronounced "Sbeezah", as it was for the person it was named for, and not "Suh-bee-sah", as most Texas A&M students will invariably say it.
- Santander, the Spanish banking conglomerate which has in recent years expanded to the UK and US, has kept the Spanish pronunciation of its name: "sahn-tahn-DEHR".
- Notably since it's from the UK, the Z in ZX 81 and ZX Spectrum should be zed, not zee.
- Infamously, the term Chorizo. The word is officially pronounced by Spaniards as "Chor-ees-oh", but widely accepted as "Chor-eetz-oh". Some foreigners who buy it think that "Chor-eee-tho" is the correct way to say it (mimicking the Spanish lisp), which it isn't. The less educated pronounce it "Cho-RIH-zoh". Everyone will insist that theirs is the correct way.
- Scots, and some English people get very annoyed by 'liquorice' (liquoriss) being pronounced 'liquorish', feeling it is emblematic of lower class people.
- The Finnish city of Tampere is often pronounced "Tam-PAIR" by visiting Anglophone and Francophone tourists. The correct pronunciation is "TAHM-peh-reh".
- Brits often pronounce "salsa" as "SALL-tsa", though the correct pronunciation is "SAHL-ssa" with a soft s sound.
- Mixed with Spell My Name with an "S", some people prefer to pronounce the name of Disney's Touchstone Pictures division as "TUCK-stone".
- Bill Cosby once made an educational short film about bicycle safety called "Bicycles are Beautiful". Here he pronouces "bicycle" as "bi-cycle" (as opposed to the usual "bi-sickle").
- Colonel is pronounced "kernel". Which means that despite being spelled with an L, it's homophonous to the Spanish\Portuguese word for said ranking, "coronel".
- In July 2011, during the American debt ceiling crisis, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was quoted as saying that President Obama had "lots of chutzpah", pronouncing "chutzpah" as "CHOOTZ-pah", instead of "HOOTZ-pah".
- Does anybody know why in Germany a router (the computer thingie with the blinkenlights) is pronounced "rauter" (diphthong, as in "house") by some people?
- Answer: It's a loanword from English (as der Router); German didn't bother creating a new word for it. All forms of English pronounce the networking device as "rauter".
- The British pronounciation of "lieutenant" is "lef-TE Nant".
- The sudo tool to access root privileges in Unix is pronounced "soo-doo", although a lot of people pronounce it as "pseudo." The confusion comes from the fact that it allows an ordinary user to have root privleges without having to log in as root, in other words, "pseudo root," but the name is derived from substitute user do