Top 10 Celebrities Whose Names You're Saying Wrong



Top 10 Celebrities Whose Names You're Saying Wrong

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
These are the 10 celebrities whose names you're probably saying wrong. Even among the rich and famous… pronunciation remains a problem, so for this list, we're focusing on celebrity names that perpetually confuse or tongue-tie the general public. Our list includes Amanda Seyfried, Zendaya, Saoirse Ronan and more. Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Celebrities Whose Names You're Saying Wrong!

Top 10 Celebrities Whose Names You're Saying Wrong

Even among the rich and famous… pronunciation remains a problem. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Celebrities Whose Names You’re Saying Wrong.

For this list, we’re focusing on celebrity names that perpetually confuse or tongue-tie the general public.

#10: Joe Manganiello

Because of his father’s Italian roots, this actor was given a Neapolitan last name. At first glance, some may feel the need to emphasize an Italian accent like they’re telling someone to eat, while others take direction from the first three letters: “MAN.” But it’s typically the G that causes the most confusion,with many fans unable to identify whether it should be hard or soft. Fortunately, Joe has gone on the record about the correct pronunciation, making life a little bit easier for both his peers and fans. Hulk Hogan on the other hand… seemingly just can’t get it right.

#9: Amanda Seyfried

What’s worse than having interviewers struggle to pronounce your name? Having a sibling who actually disagrees on the pronunciation of it. Welcome to the world of this American actress, who’s constantly forced to correct others. Most can agree that the last name has two syllables. Yet, people often insert a mystery G, as in “SIG-FREED.” According to Amanda, it’s quite simple though: SIGH-fred, which sounds like “HI, FRED” said quickly. Dear interviewers and members of the press… first impressions matter. Should you be lucky enough to meet this celebrity, it wouldn’t hurt to identify her by the right name.

#8: Domhnall Gleeson

As the son of the acclaimed actor Brendan Gleeson, this gentleman inherited loads of talent, along with a unique first name, complete with an M to confuse us all. But don’t pay any attention to that “M”, Mojoholics, as it’s completely irrelevant as far as the actual pronunciation is considered. This man doesn’t go by “DOM” or “DOME,” nor is it necessary to emphasize the middle H. It’s just “DOE-NULL,” like the word TONAL. Though two of his brothers, Fergus and Brian, got off with significantly more accessible names, Domhnall likely still faced less daily frustration growing up than his brother Rúairí, who simply spells it “R-O-R-Y” these days.

#7: Martin Scorsese

For decades, this Italian-American has stunned moviegoers with his directorial vision and craft. For the most part, everybody loves ol’ Marty. So, it’s unfortunate that many don’t understand the correct pronunciation of his last name. People often go with“SCORE-SAY-ZAY,” “SCORE-SAY-ZEE” or even “SCORE-SAY-SEE,” but his inner circle knows the truth. When Martin won his first Oscar for Best Director, fellow director Steven Spielberg delivered the correct pronunciation: “SCORE-SESS-EEE.”It may not seem like a big deal, but it’s probably best not to poke fun at Marty’s name.

#6: Zendaya

Born in Oakland, California, this starlet grew up in the spotlight. From the world of Disney to the Marvel Comic Universe, she’s established a loyal, international fanbase. But contrary to popular belief, her name isn’t ZEN-DIE-UH. In fact, this name has caused so much confusion, a mock “How To” YouTube video went so far as to offer up “zornydorgle” as the correct pronunciation. It’s just one of those tricky celebrity names that nobody seems to get right. But all you have to do is listen closely to the woman herself for the right pronunciation. “ZEN-DAY-UH.” Then again, some fanboys and fangirls may prefer to simply call her MJ.

#5: Gal Gadot

With a starring role in 2017’s “Wonder Woman,” this Israeli actress became an international star. Naturally, Gal also became a trending topic in pop culture conversations. But whereas her full name may be easy to type online, many have difficulty when it comes time to actually vocalize it. As explained on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the literal translation of her last name means “riverbank,” and the final T is crucial for the correct pronunciation. If you think it rhymes with “GO,” you’re saying it wrong - as “Gadot” requires a hard emphasis on the second syllable. Approach it like you would the word “haute” in “haute couture”. Or, you, know... the word “dote”.

#4: Jake & Maggie Gyllenhaal

Despite their Swedish roots, these American siblings don’t pronounce their last name with a heavy Nordic accent. That is… unless they’re messing with interviewers. It’s a difficult name to spell – that’s for sure – and many struggle with the alphabetical mash-up. But as Jake explains, it’s “top heavy.” The G should actually be pronounced just like word “Gif” – “JIFF” - which opens up another can of worms, as most people get that word wrong too. So, it makes sense that a name like Gyllenhaal would confuse the average person. Just imagine a girl named Jill and a friend named Hall. If you insist on getting the Swedish pronunciation down… better start practicing.

#3: Ralph Fiennes

In 2011, The New Yorker published an important article about this man’s name. Unfortunately, they didn’t provide any definitive answers about the right pronunciation. On paper, the first part feels purely American – Ralph. Everybody knows a Ralph, right? But this is no Ralph, as the English actor’s name is “RAFE.” Furthermore, RAFE’s last name is pronounced “FINES” – not “FEENS.” He’s a familiar face of modern cinema, but it’s not always clear if modern talk show hosts, or anyone in general, actually knows how to say his full name.

#2: Saoirse Ronan

With all due respect to this brilliant young actress, her name confuses many, many people. Born in the Bronx and raised in Ireland, her name translates to “freedom” and originally became trendy during the 1920s. It looks like “SAY-O-IRSE,” which is both incorrect and vastly different than the right pronunciation. Some people say “SEER-Sha” or even “SAIR-Sha.” But as explained to Stephen Colbert, Ms. Ronan’s given name is pronounced “SHER-Sha” like “INERTIA.” Of course, approaching it with a little Irish lyricism adds some authenticity, too.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Steve Buscemi

Quvenzhané Wallis

Cara Delevingne

#1: Charlize Theron

As one of her generation’s most accomplished actresses, this woman has given us numerous iconic movie characters. Many mistake her for British or Australian, but she actually hails from South Africa, where the true pronunciation of her name, which not even she uses regularly, is “THROWN”. You’ve probably heard “THAY-RONE” at some point, but “Shar-LEEZ” pronounces her last name like this: “THAIR-uhn.” Immediately recognizable as Imperator Furiosa or Queen Ravenna, and terrifyingly memorable as serial killer Aileen Wuornos, Charlize Theron is undeniably a household name. But sadly, that name remains one that’s frequently mispronounced.