How did Jacqueline Kennedy pronounce her name?

First Lady Jacqueline "Jackie" Kennedy (1929-1994)
Jacqueline “Jackie” Kennedy

Last week, audio recordings of Jacqueline Kennedy talking with historian Arthur Schlesinger were released under the title Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy.

In an interview about the recordings, Caroline Kennedy noted that most people pronounce “Jacqueline” incorrectly. At least, they aren’t saying it the way her mother used to say it. Jackie pronounced her first name JAK-uh-leen [vid], according to Caroline.

Interesting, no?

I’m trying to find video/audio of Jackie introducing herself, just for confirmation, but haven’t had any luck yet.

So, instead, here are a few Jackie-related name facts:

  • Jackie’s daughter Caroline is the inspiration behind Neil Diamond’s song “Sweet Caroline” (1969).
  • Sources claim that Jackie’s first child, who was stillborn, would have been named Arabella. One source states the name was inspired by the ship Arbella, which carried Puritans to New England during the Great Migration.
  • Jackie’s maiden name, Bouvier, has appeared in the SSA’s baby name data once — in 1963. Five baby boys were named Bouvier that year. This may have been due to the death of baby Patrick Bouvier in August, or the death of JFK in November.
  • Jackie’s second married name, Onassis, has appeared on the SSA’s baby name list three times. The first was in 1968, when she wed Aristotle Onassis. Six baby boys were named Onassis that year.

Source: Pottker, Jan. Janet and Jackie: The Story of a Mother and Her Daughter, Jacqueline Kennedy. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2001.

2 thoughts on “How did Jacqueline Kennedy pronounce her name?

  1. According to, Jacqueline can be pronounced as:
    zha-k?-LEEN (French), zhak-LEEN (French), JAK-?-leen (English),
    JAK-?-lin (English)

    I’ve always thought that the second pronunciation would be the most authentic since the name is French and comes from Jacque + line. So it’s interesting to learn that Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy pronounced her name in an English manner. Certainly pronouncing the name JAK-e-leen flows best to the English nn Jackie, while retaining the French pronunciation of the last syllable. Jackie’s dad was called Jack (John Vernou Bouvier III), so ‘JAK-e-leen’ was an obvious choice for his first child. Lee was her mother’s maiden name.

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