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Pretentious Pronunciation
aka: It Is Pronounced Tro Pay

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It's actually pronounced "FRAJ-əl"... or is it "FRAJ-eye'əl"?

"It's pronounced 'Bouquet'..."
Hyacinth Bucket, Keeping Up Appearances. And no, it's not.

Someone tries to class up something by "pronouncing it poshly". Most commonly this is done as a 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 diplomacy.note 


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, You Say Tomato (where people argue about how to say a word) and Insistent Terminology, with which it sometimes overlaps.

Contrast No Pronunciation Guide. See also Uranus Is Showing.


Example subpages:

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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 pronounce it "High-OON-dye". Australians split the difference, pronouncing it "hee-UN-day". (In Korean, it's "HYUN-dae," "Hyun" with a rounded vowel similar to "fun", "dae" similar to "day". However, Koreans have heard foreigners used to Japanese names pronounce the second syllable 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 .
  • Averted in 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 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.'
  • Jaguar cars. Unlike the cat, the ads always pronounce it "Jag-U-Ar".
  • An ad campaign for sparkling water Bubly (pronounced "boo-blee") has musician Michael Bublé going door to door and into grocery stores trying to convince people that it's pronounced the same way as his last name ("boo-blay").

    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 would be rendered "anju" (no, not that one).
  • 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.
  • The name of Simon, the main character of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, is pronounced "see-moan", similar to the feminine Simone, and "shi-moan" in the original Japanese version. In the original ADV dub, his name is pronounced like the normal, masculine Simon.
  • 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.
  • 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 in "book".
    • 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.
    • The Earthbound Immortal cards have a hard time with this, since they're named after the Quechua words for things, and therefore pronounced in the Quechua 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-KOO". Saiyan is pronounced "say-an" in the dub, despite the actual pronunciation being "sigh-ya" (similar to the word "cyan", but the "a" is pronounced differently). One more infamous example among fans was the Kaio-Ken being mispronounced in almost every dub as "K.O. Ken" rather than "keye-oh ken" (as the attack is named after the character King Kai); this error is eventually amended in the dub of Dragon Ball Z Kai, fittingly enough.
    • A rather strange case exists with Demon King Dabura. In the original it's actually pronounced "DAB-rah", with the "u" silent like it is in many actual Japanese names, because it's based on the famous "Abracadabra" incantation. Most official English sources romanize the name as "Dabra" to make this clear, and even Bruce Faulconer initially called him "Doubler" in the Faulconer Productions team's soundtrack music titles because that's kind of what it sounds like; however, the Funimation dub, presumably mistaking the "u" as being more pronounced than it was, began saying his name as "dah-BOO-rah", and despite correcting most other mistakes, have mostly stuck with that.
  • In Digimon Universe: App Monsters, Cameramon, as in a camera-based Appmon for recording or capturing images, and his sensitivity about the pronunciation of his name.
    Gatchmon: Who are you!?
    Cameramon: Cameramon!
    Haru: Caameramon?
    Cameramon: It's not Caameramon... CAMERA ...mon
    Haru: Caamera...
    Cameramon: CA!
    Haru: Cameramon.
    Cameramon: Correct.

  • 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.
  • Mike Birbiglia, who pronounces his Italian last name "Bur-big-lee-ah", was "corrected" on the proper pronunciation once after a show.
    Some Guy: You know, in Italy, it's pronounced "Beer-beel-ya".
    Mike: Yeah, well, in America, you're an asshole.
    Mike: It was a hard name to have growing up. People would call me names like "Birbiglebug" and "Birbibliography" and "Faggot". Some were more clever than others.
  • Jarred Christmas has a bit detailing a prank he wants to play on his then-newborn daughter: Deliberately teach her to pronounce one word wrong, and hope that she never encounters that word outside the house until she's a teenager, where she embarrasses herself at a party by saying it.
  • One rather memorable sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus had Graham Chapman play noted plastic surgeon Raymond Luxury Yacht, who prefers his named pronounced "Throatwarbler Mangrove".

    Comic Books 
  • 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.
  • Batman
    • Make no mistake, Victor Fries' last name is pronounced "Freeze" (off-topic, but just like Charles Fries of Fries Entertainment). Didn't stop Gotham from pronouncing it as in "french fries", though.
    • 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 consonant,note  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".
    • Carmine Falcone's last name as a similar issue with Ra's, though — Batman Begins, the Animated Adaptation of Batman: Year One, the Batman: Arkham Series, and Batman: The Telltale Series pronounced it "Fal-cone-e", whereas Gotham and Justice League Action pronounced it as it looks ("Fal-cone"). Not helping matters is that Frank Miller, Falcone's creator, hasn't commented on it and even David Goyer, who helped write Begins even used "Fal-cone" on a featurette when talking about influences. Begins's sequel, The Dark Knight, also sees Harvey Dent use "Fal-cone" instead of ''Fal-con-e", but that also might've been a flub, both in-universe by Harvey and out by Aaron Eckhart and the crew.
  • 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 insultingly emphasizes the pronunciation with an eyeroll whenever she talks about him; maybe she's sick of being corrected.
  • 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.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Bunnie's last name "Rabbot" was always referenced by her cybernetic limbs. However, over 200 issues later, it was revealed to be her actual family name, pronounced "Ra-BEUX", by her uncle Beauregard.
  • 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.
  • Transformers vs. G.I. Joe has Mad Scientist Dr. Venom, who insists his name is pronounced in German style like "Phe-nom".

    Comic Strips 
  • 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").

    Fan Works 
  • EVA Sessions: Someplace Vast and Dry: Shinji's bodyguard Hunter Vaas insists that his name is pronounced XOON-ter. Justified as he is a Afrikaner (white South African descended from Dutch settlers).
  • In Farce of the Three Kingdoms, Cao Cao snaps "It's pronounced Tsow Tsow" at Mi Heng. How Mi Heng mispronounced his name is not explained, but it was probably "Cow Cow".
  • According to Dakari-King Mykan the author of My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic, 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".
  • In Pokemon Opal And Garnet, Kaylie's Touceet Clopin (named after that Clopin) gets his name continually mispronounced as "klop-pin," with English pronunciation. Clopin is always quick to correct them with the (correct) French pronunciation, "kloh-PAH~n," which ends in a French nasal vowel. Since so many Pokémon have trouble with said nasal vowel, he'll usually accept "kloh-PAH (without the nasality)," but also tell them exactly how the nasal vowel is supposed to be pronounced note :
    Clopin: You have to essentially take the ending and give it a sort of tight, nasal pinch. "PAHHHHHHHHHHH" — that's where the pinch comes in — and then "~n." You barely say the "n," if at all. It's under your breath, at least.
  • The New Adventures of Invader Zim: A quick gag at the start of Season 2 establishes that the Tallest have a long-standing argument over the proper way to pronounce "caramel". Red thinks it's "car-a-mel", while Purple is sure it's "car-mel".
  • In Warriors Kingdoms: The Prophecy Begins, Graie makes sure that Ross knows his name isn't "Gray".
  • Deborah (of Junior Officers)'s name is pronounced "de-bo-rah", not "de-brah". Word of God says this is to make her name stick out a little more.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Finding Nemo, Dory reads the word "escape" on the hatch of the submarine but pronounces it as "Ess-ka-pay".
    Dory: Funny, because it's spelled just like "escape".
  • 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. As if that makes it any better...
    Skipper: We need more power! Time to fire up Kowalski's nucular reactor.
    Gloria: That's a nuclear reactor?!
    Skipper: [correcting her] Nuke-ular.
  • In Frozen, the Duke of Weselton insists it is pronounced "Wessel-ton" when everyone pronounces is "Weasel-town". Later inverted in Zootopia, which features a character named Duke Weaselton who corrects others who pronounce it "Wessel-ton". Bonus points for the fact that both characters are voiced by Alan Tudyk.
  • 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?
  • A running gag in The LEGO Ninjago Movie is that Lord Gamaron insists that the proper pronunciation for Lloyd is "Luh-Loyd" and gets annoyed when anyone tries to correct him.
  • In Hercules, during the song "Zero to Hero", two of the muses argue of the pronounciation of "vase" ("They slapped his name of every vase..." "On every VAH-se!"). The first muse responds by clonking the other one over the head with it.

  • 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." (It's pronounced "LOO-uh-ville" by natives). The joke can work with other cities like New Orleans.
  • One joke has a painter writing the phrase "Psycho The Rapist" on a door, and the psychotherapist yelling "ONE WORD! IT'S ONLY ONE WORD!!!"

  • 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.
  • In the US, the name Anthony is pronounced "An-thony" whereas outside it, it's pronounced "Antony". It's a common name in the UK, resulting in people such as Anthony Kiedis of Red Hot Chili Peppers having to correct interviewers on the pronunciation of his name when he's over there.
  • An amusing one involves drumming brothers Carmine and Vinny Appice, as Carmine's last name is pronounced "A-peace" while Vinny's is pronounced "App-a-see", which is the correct pronunciation. The reason for this is because when Carmine was playing in Rod Stewart's band, Rod would pronounce it "A-peace" when introducing him at concerts. When Carmine told him the correct pronunciation, Rod basically said "Too late".
  • 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 debut album is called "Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd", so people would now how to pronounce something with such a bizarre spelling.
  • In the native land of Japan, BABYMETAL is actually pronounced "beh-BEE-me-TAL".
  • 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".
    • That might be the case in the UK, but "Air-un" is still the standard pronunciation of the name in Copland's homeland of the US. Star NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers, rising New York Yankees star Aaron Judge, and for a last-name example,Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron? All "Air-un".
    • If anything, it's his last name that's strange, being pronounced with a long O as in "cope" rather than a short O as in "cop" as it would seem.
    • Copland's Rodeo is pronounced "roh-DAY-o".
  • Leroy Andersson (composer of light classical music pieces such as "Sleigh Ride" and "Blue Tango") actually pronounced his first name as "Leh-ROY".
  • 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-onote , not ro-dee-o."
  • The viola, the string instrument in between the violin and cello, is pronounced "VEE-ol-uh".
  • Composer Richard Wagner's name is pronounced "REE-hard VAHG-ner".
  • Composer Ralph Vaughan Williams insisted on the traditional English pronunciation of his first name, which is "RAFE" (rhymes with "safe"). According to his wife Ursula, he would be infuriated if people pronounced it any other way.
  • Rush: Neil Peart’s name is pronounced "Peert", not "Pert". (One fan’s reaction was "Neil is not a brand of shampoo.") Also, their most famous instrumental is pronounced "why why zed", not "why why zee", since the band is Canadian.
  • The music video for Lari White's "Take Me" opens with her trying to get a child to pronounce her first name correctly (LAH-ree).
  • Origin vocalist Jason Keyser proclaimed on episode 194 of the MetalSucks podcast that his last name is pronounced "Kai-Ser", comparing the pronunciation to Keyser Soze from Se7en. It's not clear if brother Joe, the bassist for Skinless, uses this or the more expected "Key-Ser".
  • Apparently "Rae Sremmurd" (the name of a rap duo) is to be pronounced "Ray Shremmer". Why they thought this was cooler than "Ear Drummers" is uncertain.
  • Rihanna pronounces her own name "Ree-ANN-nuh". Almost everyone else says "Ree-AH-nuh".
  • Depeche Mode at the very first glance seems like it would be pronounced "Deh-peh-chee Mode", for the majority of people, but it is actually pronounced "Deh-pesh Mode". It's French.
  • DROELOE is pronounced “drew-lou” or “drü-lü,” not “dro-low.” (It means “wasted” in Dutch.) The most common English pronunciation of it is the latter, though, and it’s enough of a misconception that they’ve made shirts with “Pronounced Drew-Lou” on them.
  • INXS is pronounced "In Excess", not "I-N-X-S" or "Inks".
  • The classic novelty song "Yes, We Have No Bananas" is built around this trope:
    Yes, we have no bananas
    We have no bananas today
    We have string beans and HUN-ionsnote 
    Ca-BAH-jessnote  and scallions
    And all kinds of fruit to say
    We have an old-fashioned to-MAH-tonote 
    A Long Island po-TAH-tonote 
    But yes! We have no bananas
    We have no bananas today!
  • Similarly, the George Gershwin song "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off":
    You like po-TAY-to, and I like po-TAH-to
    You like to-MAY-to, and I like to-MAH-to
    Po-TAH-to, po-TAH-to, to-MAY-to, to-MAH-to
    Let's call the whole thing off
  • Drag queen Pabllo Vittar has made clear her birth name Phabullo is pronounced the same as her stage one.

  • In the Crystal Kingdom-arc of The Adventure Zone, the gang meets a dwarf named Boyland (pronounced as "boy-land"), which they find hysterical. In the next episode, Griffin tells them that Boyland was named after one of their fans, who clarified that his name is actually pronounced "boy-luhnd". However, real-life Boyland found the mispronunciation incredibly funny, so he gave them permission to continue using it.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • 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.
  • Dan Severn 's second name is pronounced "Sev-run" (it's a variant spelling of Severin). Commentators occasionally mess this up.
  • 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.
  • Conversely, there is the British WWE cruiserweight wrestler Jack Gallagher where the second G is silent (which is actually the correct, Irish way to pronounce Gallagher.)
  • 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 Fighting Opera 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)
  • When Fandango first debuted he refused to wrestle against anyone unless people pronounced 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 Shimmer, Nikki Stormnote  is never satisfied with how the ring announcer (or anyone else, including fellow Glaswegian Kay Lee Ray) pronounces "GLASGOW, SCOTLAND!", and insists on demonstrating how to do it properly.
  • "The Wild Thing" Rockelle Vaughn is not ratchet! She's "ratchay", accent over the è! Specifically, she moonlights as the "fashion model" Rachè Chanel and thought people were recognizing her from that.


    Puppet Shows 
  • 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.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The bulette, whose name was allegedly "pronounced Boo-lay." If it were really a French word, that is exactly how it wouldn't be pronouncednote . Apparently, it's now back to being the "bullet", but , 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.
  • 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"...
      • Considering this is the series that gave us mightily hamtastic characters with speech impediments talking about "SPESS MEHREENS" and "MEHTAL BAWKSES", Dawn of War pronunciations can usually be taken with a hefty pinch of salt.
    • Apparently the Death World of Catachan is pronounced "cat-a-can". No idea why.
    • The Ultramarines Primarch Roboute Guilleman is a frequent offender, with fabulously diverse opinions on pronunciation. Row-boat-ay Gilly-man? Row-boot Guh-ill-eh-man? Robert Gilman? That said, how the name of the Dark Angel's Primarch Lion El'Jonson should be pronounced without making it sound almost exactly like the rather ordinarily-named "Lionel Johnson" he is named after is anyone's guess.
    • In the Black Legion novels, the main character's name is written as Iskandar Khayon but pronounced "Sekhandur Caine".
  • 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.
  • 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),
    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.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner
    • Strong Bad does this constantly when reading his e-mails. He 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 "Donut Unto Others", Bubs deliberately invokes this trope by having his mass-produced doughnuts shipped from a third-world country named "Homemáde" (pronounced "Ho-muh-mah-day") just so he could legally print "From Homemade" on his boxes, allowing unsuspecting customers to make their own assumptions.
  • 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.
  • In the first episode of ZTV News, the update series for adult website ZONE ARCHIVE, mascot ZONE-Tan insists her name is pronounced "ZONE-Tonne", much to the narrator's annoyance.
  • In Harvey Rothman's "Foxy gets Hooked", Freddy pronounces "mutiny" like "muttony". Foxy figures out what he means and pronounces it correctly.
  • The GoAnimate text-to-speech engines mispronounce Caillou's name as "Kaeloo".

    Web Comics 
  • Volklore's female protagonist, Femálë Protagonist.
  • From Sluggy Freelance, we have Dr Hot-Chick: "It's pronounced HAUGHT-SHEIK!"
  • Sam & 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 Meat Shield, 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.
  • Nightvee: As noted on page 4 of Issue 1, "MKR" is pronounced "Maker".
  • Schlock Mercenary. The AI 5er0 get very upset when people pronounce his name as "Zero". His name is pronounced "Vernon" (the "5" replaces the Roman numeral "V", the "0" is pronounced "none"), thankyeverymuch.

    Web Original 
  • Used many times by SF Debris:
    • 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.
      Torres: I've never found your twisted sense of humour funny, Cha-KOT-ay.
      Chuck: Did she just call him "Chocolate Day"?
    • 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.

    Web Videos 

Alternative Title(s): Fancy French Name, Fauxreign Pronounciation, Its Pronounced Tro PAY, It Is Pronounced Tro Pay, Insistent Pretentious Pronunciation


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