25 Celebrity Names You’re Pronouncing Wrong

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Even if you’re not quite at John Travolta levels when pronouncing celebrity names (yup, we’re still stuck on Adele Dazeem-gate), odds are you’ve still butchered a few—even if you don’t know it.

MORE: 50 Actors Who Turned Down Very Famous Roles

In the interest of never embarrassing yourself again, here’s a guide to 25 celebrity names you’re pronouncing wrong—and how to say ’em the right way.


You’re saying:
How it’s pronounced: Ree-AN-uh”
Rhymes with Banana, folks.
how to pronounce rihanna

Martin Scorsese
You’re saying: Scor-SAY-see
How it’s pronounced: “Scor-SEZ-ee”
“Tell Paramount Martin sez it’s DiCaprio or nobody!”

how to pronounce martin scorsese

Zosia Mamet
You’re saying: ZOH-see-ah; ZOH-sigh-ugh-;  ZOO-sha
How it’s prounced: ZA-sha (like Sasha)
“Like it rhymes with Sasha, only slightly more ‘o’ sounding. It’s easy once you know,” the “Girls” star explained to Metro. Now you know.

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Rachel Weisz
You’re saying: WHY-sss; Whites
How it’s pronounced: VI-ce
The actress has said that Americans can’t properly say her surname, but everyone in London gets it right. Unless the “everyone” she’s referring to is a skilled group of linguists specializing in Eastern European dialects, we highly doubt that.

how to pronounce rachel weisz

Kaley Cuoco
You’re saying: CAL-ey Ko-Ko
How it’s pronounced: KAY-lee Kwo-ko
As in: “Have the people on ‘The Big Bang Theory’ joked about anything besides ‘Star Trek’ lately?
“Nope, the jokes are still status kwo.”

how to pronounce kaley cuoco

Charlize Theron
What you may have been saying: “THER-on”
How it’s pronounced: “Ther-RONE”
“Wait, she dated Sean Penn after he was such a douche to his ex Robin Wright? Oh well, to each THER-RONE.”

how to pronounce charlize theron

Ryan Phillippe
You’re saying:
Phillipe” with a fancy French accent
How it’s pronounced: FIL-Lip-eee
Très pedestrian, non?

how to pronounce ryan phillippe

Eva Mendes
You’re saying: EE-Va Mendez
How it’s pronounced: AVA Mendez
Whatever, she had Ryan Gosling’s baby. Moving on …

how to pronounce eva mendes

Lindsay Lohan
You’re saying: Lo-HAN
How it’s pronounced: LOW-EN
Girl has bigger problems than how the public says her name, but knowledge is power.

how to pronounce lindsay lohan

Amanda Seyfried
You’re saying: Say-freed, Say-fried
How it’s pronounced: “SIGH-frid”
“I really wanted to like her as Cosette in “Les Mis,” but I just didn’t. SIGH.

how to pronounce amanda seyfried1 25 Celebrity Names Youre Pronouncing Wrong

Steve Buscemi
You’re saying
: Boo-SHEM-ee
How it’s pronounced: BOO-semi
The silent C is actually a nod to his crazy eyes.

how to pronounce steve buscemi

Joe Manganiello
saying: Man-jan-nello
How it’s pronounced: Man-GUH-nello
Hard G. Like his abs.

how to pronounce Joe Manganiello

Lupita Nyong’o
You’re saying:
How it’s really pronounced: En-YON-go
Though if you pronounced it as the Lupita the Most Beautiful Woman in the World-o, you wouldn’t be wrong.

lupita nyongo golden globes 1 25 Celebrity Names Youre Pronouncing Wrong

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
You’re saying: Jaime Lannister from “Game of Thrones.”
How it’s really pronounced: Nee-ko-Lie KO-ster Wall-DOW

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Ralph Fiennes
You’re saying: RALPH because, well, you can read.
How it’s pronounced: RAY-ff Fine-z
Pretty sure he could have changed the spelling when he got his Actors Equity card. Raf is a cool way to spell it too, dude.

how to pronounce ralph fiennes

Chiwetel Ejiofor
You’re saying: The awesome dude from “12 Years a Slave.”
How it’s pronounced: CHEW-i-tel Ej-i-oh-for
Fun fact: He’s the same guy who married Keira Knightley in “Love, Actually.”

how to say Chiwetel Ejiofor

Will Ferrell
You’re saying: Will FArrel, Will PharRELL
How it’s pronounced: FER-al
As in mangy feline.
how to say Will Ferrell

Mariska Hargitay
You say: 
Maris-ka Harg-i-tay
How it’s pronounced: “Mah-ri-SH-ka Harg-i-tay
Sh, Detective Benson is about to catch the perp.
how to say Mariska Hargitay

Saoirse Ronan
You’re saying: Say-oar-se
How it’s pronounced Seer-sha Row-nin
It’s Irish folks.
how to say saiorse ronan

Hayden Panettiere
You’re saying: PAN-eh-tier
How it’s pronounced: PAN-eh-TEE-air
Long name, short girl.

a267f56d292f20aad2177320cd4e3a8e 25 Celebrity Names Youre Pronouncing Wrong

Ioan Gruffudd
You say:
Eye-oh-an GRUF-FUD
How it’s pronounced: YO-an GRIFF-ith
Why didn’t he just spell it the way it sounds? “I’m determined not to lose my name. It’s who I am. It has neither aided my progress nor hampered it. My culture and heritage is a very rich one. So what if it’s difficult for people to pronounce? We all learned how to say Schwarzenegger,” the Welsh actor has said. If you’re reading this Ioan, can you pleasssssse bring back “Ringer”? Thanks, bye.

how to say Ioan Gruffudd

Zooey Deschanel
You’re Saying:
We kinda wish we had the word “Chanel” in our last name.

Zooey Deschanel

Queen Latifah
You’re saying: LUH-tifa
How its pronounced: LA-tifah
As in “My name’s Queen Latifah and I was nominated for an Oscar in 2003, la la la.”

how to say queen latifah

Photos: Getty Images