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35 celebrity names you might be mispronouncing

From left: Ariana Grande, Travis Kelce, and Khloé Kardashian.
Ariana Grande, Travis Kelce, and Khloé Kardashian are a few of the celebrities whose names are mispronounced.Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images; Maddie Meyer/Getty Images; Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
  • Many famous people have names which are notoriously mispronounced by fans.

  • For example, Cillian Murphy's first name is pronounced "KILL-ee-uhn," not "SILL-ee-uhn."

  • Ariana Grande also said her family name is technically "GRAN-dee."

Celebrities aren't immune to mispronounced names, even if most of us have heard them correctly at one point or another.

Some names might be more difficult because of the accent on the letters, while others have some silent letters that could throw you off.

Keep reading to see which stars have had to correct their names for the public record.

Kim Renfro and Anjelica Oswald contributed to a previous version of this article.

Football stars Travis and Jason Kelce's last name is technically one syllable, not two.

Travis Kelce and Jason Kelce exchange jerseys after playing against each other in 2017.
Travis Kelce and Jason Kelce in 2017/AP Photo/Ed Zurga

It's pronounced "Kels," not "Kel-SEE."

The pronunciation depends on which member of the family you're talking to, though.

During a 2021 interview on the podcast "Bussin' with the Boys," Travis said the correct pronunciation is actually "Kels." However, he later said that he goes by both pronunciations.

Meanwhile, their mom, Donna Kelce, told Kansas City's local news channel Fox 4 that it's pronounced "Kel-see."

The situation became even more confusing when Jason told the radio show "The 94WIP Morning Show" that their dad, Ed Kelce, changed the pronunciation because he "got tired" of correcting his coworkers who called him "Kel-see."

"Apparently, the standard pronunciation is 'Kels, 'which the rest of my family goes by," Jason said.

Ed confirmed this story on the brothers' "New Heights" podcast in 2023.

Even though Travis answers to either pronunciation, Jason said he goes by "Kel-see."

Barry Keoghan is recognizable for his roles in "Eternals," "The Banshees of Inisherin," and "Saltburn," but fans might not know how to pronounce his name.

Barry Keoghan in January 2024.
Barry Keoghan in January 2024.Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

It's pronounced, "Keo-gan."

"You pronounce the 'g.' Or at least I do," the Irish actor said at Dublin Comic Con in 2022. "Maybe I've just been pronouncing it wrong all these years, but yeah, the 'g' sound is in there."

Hear Keoghan pronounce his name at the start of this interview with Esquire.

"Oppenheimer" star Cillian Murphy's first name is pronounced "KILL-ee-uhn," not "SILL-ee-uhn."

Cillian Murphy at the UK premiere of "Oppenheimer."
Cillian Murphy in July 2023.Vianney Le Caer/AP

You can listen to the Irish actor pronounce his name at the start of this Vanity Fair video.

"Twilight" star Taylor Lautner, who has been acting since he was a kid, never bothered correcting people on their mispronunciation.

Taylor Lautner in April 2022.
Taylor Lautner in April 2022.John Amis/AP

His last name is pronounced "LOWT-ner," not "LOT-ner."

"It is my fault that nobody knows how it's actually pronounced because I never corrected anybody for decades," he admitted during an appearance on an episode of "The Unplanned Podcast" in 2023. "It is technically 'Lowt-ner.'"

Khloé Kardashian's name is not pronounced the same way as people named Chloe.

Khloé Kardashian in November 2022.
Khloé Kardashian in November 2022.Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

"It's 'Khlo-AY,'" said "Watch What Happens Live" host Andy Cohen during an appearance on the "Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" in March 2021. "'Khlo-AY' is the name. There's a little accent over the name."

This correct pronunciation was confirmed by Khloé's mom Kris Kardashian.

"I went and interviewed the Kardashians at Khloé's house," Cohen continued. "I walked in and I go, 'Khlo-ay,' and the other women go, 'Excuse me?' And Kris said, 'Yeah, that's actually really how it's pronounced.'"

A GQ profile of Hollywood icon Steve Buscemi revealed a common mistake people make with his name.

Steve Buscemi in April 2023.
Steve Buscemi in April 2023.Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Buscemi is known for starring in classic films like "Reservoir Dogs," "Fargo," "The Big Lebowski," and many, many more. Despite his recognition, people have been saying his name wrong for decades now."

He says it boo-sem-ee, not boo-shem-ee," reporter Gabrielle Paiella wrote in GQ's May 2020 profile of the actor.

Ariana Grande grew up saying her last name differently.

ariana grande grammys
Ariana Grande at the 2020 Grammy Awards.David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

She said on Beats One that her brother Frankie Grande changed the pronunciation from "Gran-DEE," which is how her grandfather said it, to "Grawn-DAY," and it stuck.

Hear Grande pronounce it during her Beats One interview.

"Stranger Things" star Dacre Montgomery's first name rhymes with "acre."

Dacre Montgomery in May 2022.
Dacre Montgomery in May 2022.Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

His name is pronounced just like the unit of measurement "acre," but with a "D" at the front. Montgomery explained how to properly say his name in a GQ interview.

You've probably been saying "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling's last name incorrectly.

JK Rowling.
J.K. Rowling in March 2022.Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Her name isn't "r-OW-ling," it's pronounced "ROLL-ing." But she answers to both, since many people in the US still put emphasis on the "ow."

She told the Guardian how it should be said.

"Wonder Woman" star Gal Gadot's last name is commonly mispronounced.

Gal Gadot in April 2023.
Gal Gadot in April 2023.Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Despite breaking box office records, people still get Gadot's name wrong. When you say her name, make sure to pronounce the "t," like "Guh-DOT."

She told Jimmy Kimmel how to say it right during a 2016 interview.

Rihanna is a multi-hyphenate icon, but many still say her name wrong.

Rihanna in March 2023.
Rihanna in March 2023.Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

While many of us might say "Ri-YAWN-a," she says it's "Ri-ANNA." She explained how to say it on "Showbiz Tonight."

Ralph Fiennes is known for his role as the "Harry Potter" villain Voldemort, but his real name is a bit tricky.

Ralph Fiennes in November 2022.
Ralph Fiennes in November 2022.Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

It's pronounced like "RAY-ph Fines." You can hear him talk about his name at the 4:40 mark of this "CBS This Morning" video.

The "Th" is actually a hard "t" sound in "Westworld" star Thandiwe Newton's first name.

thandie newton
"Westworld" will be back with a third season in 2020.Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Her name is pronounced "TAN-dee." In addition, Newton reclaimed the original spelling of her first name in 2021.

Stephen Colbert says it correctly in his 2016 interview with the actor.

Matt Czuchry is known for his role as Logan on "Gilmore Girls."

matt czuchry
Matt Czuchry in January 2018.Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

The first "c" of his last name is silent, so it's pronounced "ZOO-krie." Hear it during this Wall Street Journal interview.

Zendaya has come a long way in Hollywood since her days as a Disney Channel star, but people still mispronounce her name.

Zendaya in October 2023.
Zendaya in October 2023.Vianney Le Caer/AP

Her name is pronounced "Zen-DAY-uh," not "Zen-DIE-uh." The viral "Zendaya is Meechee" video will help you remember.

Josh Duhamel is well-known for his role in the "Transformers" movies.

Josh Duhamel in January 2023.
Josh Duhamel arrives at the premiere of "Shotgun Wedding," January, 18, 2023, at TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Ignore the "a" when saying "DOO-mel." Jimmy Fallon gets it right in this 2015 interview.

Charlize Theron's last name is pronounced "Their-IN," not "Their-own."

Charlize Theron in September 2023.
Charlize Theron in September 2023.Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Hear her explain it on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" here.

"Doctor Strange" star Chiwetel Ejiofor's last name is pronounced "CHEW-eh-tel Eh-gee-oh-for."

Chiwetel Ejiofor in October 2022.
Chiwetel Ejiofor in October 2022.Scott Garfitt/Invision/AP

He spoke about it in a 2015 interview with Vanity Fair.

French actor Marion Cotillard is well-known for "Inception" and her Oscar-winning performance in "La Vie en Rose."

Marion Cotillard in December 2023.
Marion Cotillard in December 2023.Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

The l's in the French actor's name are silent. You say it "Mary-ON Coat-EE-ard."

Mahershala Ali has proven his skills in projects including "House of Cards," "Moonlight," "Hidden Figures," and "Green Book."

Mahershala Ali in November 2021.
Mahershala Ali in November 2021.Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

His full name is Mahershalalhashbaz, but his shortened name is pronounced "Ma-HER-shuh-luh." You can hear him say his full name at the 30-second mark of this ConnTV interview.

American-Irish actor Saoirse Ronan's first name rhymes with "inertia."

Saoirse Ronan in February 2020.
Saoirse Ronan in February 2020.Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Ignore the vowels and say "SUR-sha."

Hear her explain it on "The Late Late Show With James Corden."

 

Alden Ehrenreich joined the "Star Wars" franchise as the young Han Solo in the 2018 "Solo" movie.

Alden Ehrenreich in January 2024.
Alden Ehrenreich in January 2024.Chris Pizzello/AP

His last name is pronounced "AARON-rike." He explained it on KiddNation.

Model-turned-actor Cara Delevingne's last name is pronounced "CAR-uh Dell-uh-VEEN."

Cara Delevingne in September 2023.
Cara Delevingne in September 2023.Luca Bruno/AP

You can hear it in this Wired video.

Quvenzhané Wallis was five when she auditioned for "Beasts of the Southern Wild," which led to her first Oscar nomination.

Quvenzhané Wallis in January 2023.
Quvenzhané Wallis in January 2023.Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

This is how you say her name: "Qwuh-ven-JUH-neigh." Here's Wallis explaining how to say it.

Milo Ventimiglia is known for his roles in "Heroes," "Gilmore Girls," and "This Is Us."

Milo Ventimiglia in December 2021.
Milo Ventimiglia in December 2021.Chris Pizzello/AP

Don't say the "g" in his name. It's "Vent-ih-ME-lee-uh." The "Today" show hosts nailed it.

Domhnall Gleeson has starred in quite a number of hit movies, including roles in the "Harry Potter" and "Star Wars" franchises.

Domhnall Gleeson in September 2023.
Domhnall Gleeson in September 2023.Shawn Goldberg/Getty Images

His first name is pronounced "DOUGH-null," like tonal.

Gleeson told Entertainment Weekly how to say it in 2015.

Oscar nominee Daniel Kaluuya's last name is pronounced "Kuh-LOO-yuh."

Daniel Kaluuya in October 2023.
Daniel Kaluuya in October 2023.Scott Garfitt/Invision/AP

Stephen Colbert says it correctly during their 2018 interview.

Actor and comedian Tiffany Haddish's last name is pronounced "HAD-ish," like radish.

Tiffany Haddish in September 2023.
Tiffany Haddish in September 2023.Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Hear her say it during her 2017 "Saturday Night Live" promos.

Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet's first name is actually pronounced "Timo-TAY" not "Timo-TEE."

Timothée Chalamet in January 2024.
Timothée Chalamet in January 2024.Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Also, his last name is "Sha-luh-MAY."

"The real pronunciation is 'Timo-tay,' but I can't ask people to call me that; it just seems really pretentious," he told musician Frank Ocean during a 2018 interview.

 

"The Walking Dead" alum Steven Yeun won an Emmy for his work on the Netflix show "Beef."

Steven Yeun in January 2024.
Steven Yeun in January 2024.Chris Pizzello/AP

His last name is pronounced "YUN," like sun. Hear him say it during this interview with Wired.

Noah Centineo became a breakout star for his swoon-worthy role as Peter Kavinsky in the 2018 rom-com "To All the Boys I've Loved Before."

Noah Centineo in June 2023.
Noah Centineo in June 2023.Andy Kropa/Invision/AP

His name is pronounced "Cen-tin-A-oh," not "Cen-ten-KNEE-o."

Hear the actor say it here.

Demi Moore has been acting since the 80s.

Demi Moore in January 2024.
Demi Moore in January 2024.Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Her name is pronounced "Deh-MEE," not like Demi ("DEM-ee") Lovato says hers.

Hear Moore say it during her roast of ex-husband Bruce Willis here.

Anna Faris' first name is pronounced "AWE-nuh," like Donna.

Anna Faris
Anna Faris in April 2018.Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

She told Time Out that it's "annoying" for her.

"I'm always afraid that people are thinking that I'm a little pretentious when I say my name," she said.

In 2018, Chrissy Teigen let fans know that people have been saying her name wrong.

Chrissy Teigen in December 2023.
Chrissy Teigen in December 2023.Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Her name isn't pronounced "TEE-gen," it's "TIE-gen."

Fans on X (formerly known as Twitter) were shocked, and the cookbook author said that she "gave up a long time ago."

Comedian Hasan Minhaj says people get his name wrong all the time.

Hasan Minhaj in June 2023.
Hasan Minhaj in June 2023.Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Minhaj's breakout career moment happened when he hosted the 2017 White House Correspondents' dinner because nobody else would.

His name is pronounced like "Hassen Min-haj," without the extra emphasis on "Hah-sahn" or "Min-AH-j" the way most people mistakenly say it.

"When I first started doing comedy people were like, 'You should change your name,'" Minhaj told Ellen Degeneres in 2019. "And I'm like, 'I'm not gonna change my name. If you can pronounce Ansel Elgort, you can pronounce Hasan Minhaj.'"

Read the original article on Business Insider