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You Won’t Believe These 5 Celebrity Names You Pronounce Wrong

You’ll be surprised when you find out the correct way to say these celebrity names you pronounce wrong. Who knew?

5 celebrity names you pronounce wrong
Photo: Bjorn Pierre

There is a very good chance there are some celebrity names you pronounce wrong, even if they’re your faves and you talk about them all the time. We aren’t talking about D-Listers here—these are towering A-listers whose names are on the tips of everyone’s tongues and social media apps.

Box office royalty or hit records don’t guarantee a correct pronunciation of your name—even if you are a celebrity of the highest order. Sadly, if you thought winning an Oscar, Emmy or Grammy guarantied that at least the majority would get your name right, well, you would be wrong.

Stars as well known as Chrissy Teigen have had this issue despite being talented and successful entrepreneurs. For the record, Teigen is pronounced Chrissy Tie-Ghen. By her own admission she said that even though she always introduces herself as ‘Tee-ghen’, the proper pronunciation is ‘Tie-ghen,’ as this is how she was taught how to pronounce her name when she was growing up.

Recently, there have been other stars that have come forward to say that people have been mispronouncing their names in the media – gasp! It’s one thing for us mortals to have our names mispronounced on a conference call, but some of these celebrities are major.

Surely we can find it in ourselves to correct our misguided beliefs. After all, how often do we get irked when our barista calls out our name incorrectly? Imagine that happening on the biggest night of your professional life, like the Academy Awards? Pass on that!

With this in mind, the team at Preply has done some digging and compiled a list of the celebrity names that you have been mispronouncing all this time. Some are easier read than said.

5 Celebrity Names You Pronounce Wrong

1. Zendaya (Zen-Day-Yuh)

5 Celebrity Names You Pronounce Wrong
Photo: @zendaya

The Euphoria star may have a net worth of $15 million, but that does not always buy a correct pronunciation on her name. In a YouTube video, Zendaya expressed that her name is commonly mispronounced as ‘Zen-dye-uh’, when the correct pronunciation is ‘Zen-day-yuh’.

Whether it’s a new fashion campaign, a new franchise or posing with boyfriend Tom Holland, Zendaya is certainly doing well for herself. That just makes it all the more important for people to pronounce the star’s name correctly.

2. Jake Gyllenhall (Jake Yee-Len-Hey-Lo)

5 Celebrity Names You Pronounce Wrong
Photo: @jakegyllenhall

This is a celebrity name that needs to be put to justice. It seems that the universal pronunciation for Jake’s last name is ‘Jill-en-hall’ — but the world is wrong!

Speaking to TV host Conan O’Brien, the 41-year-old actor revealed that his Swedish last name should be pronounced ‘Yen-len-hey-lo’ — what a tongue-twister! A tongue that we would gladly get twisted with any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

3. Ariana Grande (Ariana Gran-dee)

5 Celebrity Names You Pronounce Wrong
Photo: @arianagrande

It would appear that we have been making a grande sized mistake! Contrary to how the star’s name is pronounced in the media, Ari shocked fans by revealing the actual pronunciation of her last name is ‘Grand-dee’, not ‘Grahnd-day.’

Talking to Beats 1’s Ebro Darden, the star said she pronounced her last name as ‘gran-dee’ when she was growing up. As well as this, she said the pronunciation has always been ‘gran-dee’ in the Grande family.

4. Timothée Chalamet (Timo-Tay Shala-May)

5 Celebrity Names You Pronounce Wrong
Photo: @tchalamet

The Call By Your Name star can call us anything he wants – va va voom. That said, he really wants fans to call him by his actual name.

Speaking in an interview with Frank Ocean, the 26-year-old heartthrob revealed that the real pronunciation of his name is ‘Timo-tay Shala-may’. He however said: “I can’t ask people to call me that; it just seems really pretentious.”

Oh Timothée, you can ask us anything you want.

5. Charlize Theron (Charlize There-in)

5 Celebrity Names You Pronounce Wrong
Photo: @charlizeafrica

It appears that the ‘o’ is very misleading in Charlize Theron’s name.

During a segment on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the Atomic Blonde star revealed that her surname is actually pronounced ‘There-in.’ Safe to say we didn’t see that one coming!

Rest assured Ms. Theron that with your butt-kicking skills on display in many Hollywood blockbusters, we will certainly take note ASAP.


You’ll be surprised when you find out the correct way to say these celebrity names you pronounce wrong. Who knew?