Pronouncing Famous Names

Madeleine L’Engle, Reince Priebus, Ayn Rand, Chloe Sevigny…

Ever wonder how to correctly pronounce the name of a certain public figure? If so, here are two places to check out:

The first has nearly 7,000 names, plus audio clips. The second doesn’t offer audio clips, but is much more comprehensive with over 11,000 names.

Which public figure has the trickiest name, do you think?


4 thoughts on “Pronouncing Famous Names

  1. Those are great links. Though I do know how the author Madeleine L’Engle said her name (this is the correct spelling, not Madeline) because I met her and can verify that her first name was MAD-a-lin, not MAD-a-line.

  2. Although I’m not sure I’d consider him “famous”, one of Aretha Franklin’s sons is named Kecalf — a name whose correct pronunciation I’ve yet to hear and had never seen until I read it in her obituary.
    I did learn that it was a name made up by combining his parents’ initials, but that doesn’t help with knowing the pronunciation.

  3. Good catch!

    I’m watching some videos that include Kecalf and so far I’ve heard him called “Calf” (with an audible L) and “KC,” but I haven’t heard the whole name yet.

    The first three letters of Kecalf’s name are his dad’s initials (KEC, for Ken E. Cunningham) and the last three are his mom’s initials (ALF, for Aretha Louise Franklin). (People)

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