Celebs Whose Names We've All Been Pronouncing Wrong For Years

Ashley Hunte
Several empty nametags beside four permanent markers.
Unsplash | Jon Tyson

Look, most of us have been there. We've felt the sting of someone putting a random letter or syllable in our names, or pronouncing a vowel in a completely wrong way.

And just like us regular folk, it happens to celebrities all the time. And while celebrities, like the ones in this list, might try to correct people, there are always going to be some who have it all wrong.

Barbra Streisand.

Funny enough, a lot of people still say it like "Strei-zand." But it's "Strei-sand" "with a soft S like sand on the beach." Now, if only Siri could get with the picture and figure out how to pronounce it right.

Tove Lo.

To be fair, I never actually heard anyone say Tove Lo's name before. But as she puts it, it sounds similar to the French "voulez-vous." In other words, it's not "Towv Low," it's "Two-vay Loo." In case you were wondering, it's a Swedish name.

Peter Krause.

A man sitting and winking slightly at somebody off-screen.
Giphy | ABC Network

Krause pronounces his name like "Krau-sa," and not like "Krow-zee," which he admitted is how people pronounced his name growing up. In his adult life, though, Krause has embraced the more German/Polish way to pronounce his name, rather than the anglicized way.


You might be thinking that you know how to pronounce Rihanna, but I've heard very few people pronounce it right. It isn't "Rih-awna," it's "Rih-anna." Like the name Anna, but with "Rih" in front of it. Pretty simple stuff.

Ralph Fiennes.

A man clapping as people behind him stand at attention.
Giphy | Searchlight Pictures

You might be tempted to pronounce Ralph the way the name Ralph is normally pronounced. But in this case, that would be wrong. It's actually "Rayf." And in case you were unsure as to how he pronounces his last name, it's "Fines."

Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Of course, a Swedish name is going to be pronounced like... a Swedish name. So while we might say "Jill-en-hall," it's actually more like "Yeel-en-helle." Though, to be honest, I don't know if I could actually pronounce it right if I tried.

Guy Fieri.

Unless you watch a lot of Food Network, you might think that Fieri is pronounced like "Fee-airy." But if you listen to Guy pronounce his own last name, he actually says it more like "Fee-eddy." The more you know.

Denis Villeneuve

The French-Canadian director behind Bladerunner: 2049 and the Dune series doesn't pronounce his name like "Denn-iss Villain-oove." It's French, so it's more like "De-nee Veel-nev." I think like with Swedish names, this one would make more sense if you know the language.

Alicia Silverstone.

Another name that isn't quite pronounced the way you'd expect (unless you already pronounce it right). No, it isn't "A-leesh-a," it's "A-lee-ci-a." It's really not that difficult, but it would still be really easy to mess that name up.

Camila Cabello.

Camila Cabello's last name is pronounced the Spanish way, like "Cabejo" (or, "Ca-bay-o"). Funny enough, I hear more people pronounce her first name wrong; it's "Ca-mee-la," not "Ca-mill-a." But again, once you actually know, it's not that hard to say.

Hasan Minhaj.

Hasan Minhaj's name is one that people get wrong all the time. Hasan is pronounced a little more like "HA-sin," while Minhaj is pronounced like "Min-haj." I think a lot of people have a tendency to pronounce it like Nicki Minaj.

Mia Wasikowska

A woman looking up slightly, then shaking her head.
Giphy | LoveIndieFilms

Wasikowska is a Polish name, so it's going to be pronounced in a very Polish way. Listening to Mia pronounce it herself, it's a little like "Va-shi-kov-ska."I feel like this name is a little bit easier than it looks.

Chiwetel Ejiofor

A man looking ahead emotionally.

Chiwetel Ejiofor isn't a very hard name to pronounce. It's "Chew-etel E-ji-o-for." Really, when you think about it, his name is pronounced the way it's spelled.

Ejiofor is of Igbo Nigerian descent, and his name apparently means "God brings" in Igbo.

Domhnall Gleeson.

A man looking ahead with a pained expression on his face.
Giphy | HBO

You might look at the M and H in Gleeson's first name and get confused, but if you completely ignore them, then you're left with the actual pronunciation of Domhnall: it's like "tonal" but with a D in front (so, "Do-nal."

Timothée Chalamet.

A man raising a sword over his head.
Giphy | Warner Bros. Deutschland

Most people say his name as if it were pronounced like Timothy. But it's a French name, and the French pronounce it in a very French way: "Ti-mo-tay." Though, it doesn't seem like Chalamet cares too much about how people say it.

Amanda Seyfried.

Depending on if you ask Seyfried or her sister, the pronunciation is either "Sigh-fred" or "Sigh-freed." Whichever one you go with is definitely better than pronouncing it like "Siegfried," considering there are absolutely no Gs in that name.

Lindsay Lohan.

For years, everyone pronounced it like "Low-han," so you just kind of assume that's how you say it. But, no. It's actually "low-in." If you didn't know, don't worry, since apparently no one knew until earlier this year.

Chrissy Teigen.

Everyone pronounces Teigen wrong, including Teigen herself. Most people think of it as "Tee-gen," but it's actually supposed to be pronounced "Tie-gen." Apparently, correcting people got too annoying, so Teigen gave up on that years and years ago.

Saoirse Ronan.

Saoirse Ronan at a red carpet premiere in a black dress with blue flowers
Wikimedia Commons | Sean Reynolds

Irish names are pretty tricky, because they don't pronounce letters the way we're used to. Though, she pretty famously set the record straight on the pronunciation on SNL. It's "Ser-sha," which is honestly way easier than it looks.

Dacre Montgomery.

I think Dacre Montgomery's name is just a matter of overthinking things. Dacre is pronounced like the word "acre," but with a D in front of it. It really couldn't be any easier to say, to be honest.