10 Famous Names Brits and Americans Pronounce Differently

Scarlett Johansson (Photo: AP/Jacques Brinon)

Scarlett Johansson (Photo: AP/Jacques Brinon)

There are many world leaders, historical figures, and pop culture icons who are well-known in both Britain and the U.S. However, there’s one thing Brits and Americans don’t always agree on—how to say their names. Here are 10 celebrities whose names are pronounced differently based on which side of the Pond you are.

1. Scarlett Johansson
American actress Scarlett Johansson is one of those personalities whose Scandinavian last name (her father was a Danish citizen) leads many Brits to incorporate a Y-sound as the initial phoneme of her last name—as in “yo-HAN-sen.” However, the Lucy star, as well as the American public-at-large, prefer to pronounce “Johansson” exactly as it is spelled—as in jo-HAN-sen. Thankfully, both countries can agree on the pronunciation of her first name, which is more than can be said for the next person on this list.

2. Adolf Hitler
Most Brits and Americans are in general agreement regarding their opinion of the former German dictator. What is not so cut and dried is the way in which we pronounce his first name. In Britain, the preferred pronunciation is almost always ADD-olf, whereas some Americans—and this appears to be a generational thing—like to say AID-olf. At least we can all agree on how to pronounce his last name; the next person doesn’t have one.

3. Pelé
Okay, so technically speaking, Edson Arantes do Nascimento in fact has more than one last name; however, football fans know him by just one: Pelé. The legendary former Brazil striker is perhaps the greatest football (or is that soccer?) player of all time, yet people on either side of the pond cannot seem to agree on the pronunciation of “Pelé.” Actually, I should rephrase that: Americans cannot seem to agree on the pronunciation of “Pelé.” While the British pretty much universally say PELL-ay, Americans seem to be torn between this pronunciation and the following one: PAY-lay.

4. Louis Pasteur
French chemist Louis Pasteur is arguably the most well-known microbiologist of all time for his breakthrough work on vaccinations, microbial fermentation, and of course, pasteurization. But Americans and Brits are utterly divided over the pronunciation of not just one, but both of his names. On the whole, the British lean closer to the French pronunciation: loo-ee PASS-dirr. Americans, on the other hand, offer several alternatives. While some Americans do pronounce his first name LOO-ee, many will say LOO-iss (as with “St. Louis”). For his last name, Americans might opt for PAST-yoor, PAST-oor, PAST-yer or PAST-dirr.

5. Pete Doherty
Let’s face it; Pete Doherty is not always the most coherent of individuals. But on those rare occasions when we can decipher what the Babyshambles and Libertines frontman is saying, he himself would insist that the pronunciation of his last name is DOCK-er-ty. Indeed, British music fans are usually in agreement with this, if not with the singer’s antics. But Americans, just as they do with Doherty’s namesake Shannen (of 90210 fame), usually opt for the alternative DOUGH-er-ty.

6. Andy Warhol
This one might just be the most subtle difference on the list. The 1960s pop artist—known for his prints of famous people and Campbell’s Soup cans—was something of a divisive figure in the art world. It is fitting, then, that the pronunciation of his last name should be a source of division among Brits and Americans. The latter generally pronounce it as WAR-holl, whereas the former like to elongate the final vowel sound: WAR-whole. (Note: most Brits will also drop the rhotic “r.”)

7. Buddha
Buddha is the second and final mononymous person on this list. Unlike Pelé, however, the founder of Buddhism offers a universal pronunciation in the United States, where Americans are quite firmly in the camp of BOO-da. Brits, meanwhile, tend not to elongate the initial vowel sound, instead pronouncing it BUD-uh.

8. Vladimir Putin
While the name “Vladimir” might not cause too much of a discrepancy between our two nations, the Russian leader’s last name produces what I like to call the “Tuesday effect”—that is, a difference in how Brits and Americans say the “u” sound. Simply put, Brits usually pronounce it PYOO-tin, while Americans say POO-tin. Americans will often use a glottal stop in place of the hard “t.” Watch this clip from Late Night Starring Jimmy Fallon to hear it in action.

9. Christina Aguilera
For whatever reason, Brits have a hard time correctly pronouncing Spanish names (“Chile,” “Nicaragua” and “Uruguay” are among some of the place names we pronounce differently to not only Americans, but the Spanish.) The vast majority of Brits would pronounce the last name of U.S. singer Christina Aguilera as AGWIL-era. Americans, on the other hand, have a relatively decent grasp of Spanish, given that the language is often taught in schools across the country. Thus, Americans usually pronounce it AGEE-lera, though variations such as AGYA-lera and AGIL-era also exist.

10. Vincent van Gogh

Tony Curran as Vincent van Gogh in 'Doctor Who' (Photo: BBC)

Tony Curran as Vincent van Gogh in ‘Doctor Who’ (Photo: BBC)

The Dutch post-impressionist Vincent van Gogh’s name seems to cause more debate than any other on the list. For their part, British people are more likely to say van-GOFF (see Matt Smith in the Doctor Who episode “Vincent and the Doctor”). Meanwhile, Americans—presumably influenced by the “-gh” pronunciation in words like “though”—pronounce it van-GO. Brits and Americans each tend to think that their way is correct, but actually both are wrong. The Dutch pronunciation would be closer to vun-KHOKH.

See more:
Why Did America Drop the ‘U’ in British Spellings?
How Do You Say ‘Jaguar’?: British vs. American Brand Pronunciations
No, Arkansas Doesn’t Sound the Way It Looks: A Guide to Pronouncing U.S. Place Names
10 Words Pronounced Differently in Britain

Head Shot - Laurence Brown

Laurence Brown

Laurence Brown is a British freelance writer living in Indianapolis, Indiana. Having graduated from Lancaster University with a degree in English Language and Creative Writing, Laurence runs a blog called Lost In The Pond, which charts the many cultural and linguistic differences between Britain and The United States.
View all posts by Laurence Brown.
  • expatmum

    Yes, its the Van Gogh one that gets me. Although at the moment, I’m having to watch BBC World News to avoid listening to American journalists pronouncing Tunisia as Tooneeezsha.

    • Rene

      How would you prefer Tunisia be pronounced? The ending -zsha sound is the same as the ending in Asia, isn’t it?

      • Rene

        What I meant was how does the British pronunciation differ from the American version? The Arabic name for that country is Tunis (too-nis) so no doubt it’s been Anglicized into many variations.

        • expatmum

          I’m used to it being pronounced Tunizia – as that is written, and the elongated “eee” is distracting to me.

          • Rene


          • simhedges

            This is a common differentce betwee the UK and US – Brits tend to pronounce both syllables in IA, the Americans just one. Anastasia, Fantasia, Tunisia, Felicia, Alicia. This is changing someone as regards names because of high profile US Celebs (the first time I noticed was with Alicia Silverstone being pronounced as Aleesha instead of Alissiya). Tunisia, however remains Tuniziya, and I believe that even in the US, Australia is still Australiya.

          • renaissance247

            Awes-trail-yuh. Never Awes-trail-eeuh.

          • simhedges

            In which country?

          • MontanaRed

            I throw in here (just for kicks and giggles) the name “Sophia.” BIG difference in pronunciation ‘twixt the American and British.

            Americans will say either “SO-fee-ya” or “So-FEE-ya”, vs. the British “So-FIE-ah” (which sounds très exotique to me).

          • CuriousTraveler66

            It’s not exotic, it’s plain wrong. That would be the Brits mangling Italian/Latin/Greek again. The name means ‘wisdom’ and is Greek in origin but was quickly adopted by the Romans (Latin into Italian), just as they adopted so much of early Greek culture. For anyone in Europe other than the Brits, it’s so-FEE-uh, except for some Slavs who put the accent on the first syllable instead of the second.

          • CuriousTraveler66

            Hey, my family’s Eastern European, and we pronounce Anastasia as AHN-uh-STAH-zee-uh. Then again, you folks turned ZHAN-vee-ev into JEN-eh-veev (Genevieve).

      • CuriousTraveler66

        Yes, exactly! The Asia example. Good point. The problem with English pronunciation is there are more exceptions than rules!

  • LostBoyPA

    Is it PRE-us or PRY-us?

    • Brainlock


      • simhedges

        Is that double ii pronounced as in Skiing?

    • CuriousTraveler66

      PREE-us. As if it were Latin.

  • Alistair Robb

    Peléis easy it’s pe-LE.

  • Jose M. Pulido

    My bloke friends does not speaks good English. We’ve got to learn ’em how to speaks correctly.

  • kittensRjerks

    Maybe we should strive for the correct way of saying it instead of a British-American consensus

  • Thomas Barnidge

    One difference; The British people aren’t as reluctant to pronouncing a foreign word in English (English), unlike Americans who are self conscious about speaking American (English). For example, a Brit pronouncing “Marquis” as “mark-wiss” is OK, but an American that doesn’t pronouncing it as “mar-key” is written off as a hillbilly…

    • Rene

      Thomas Barnidge: What a ridiculous and ignorant comment.

      Lilly Strauss is 100% with her comment.

      • Thomas Barnidge

        In Japanese baseball, they use the American English terms, e.g, a homer is a homma, et al. Baseball in Quebec however, translated all the English terms to French equivalents. So are the residents of Quebec “ridiculous and ignorant?”

        • Rene

          Yes. Even more so now.

        • Sam

          Yes, but what does your post have to do with that fact of life?

        • renaissance247

          No. Quebecois are hardcore French, and even though are required to learn and know English, aren’t require to use it. And they prefer not to. They do things their way, and don’t do things as “set in stone” like other places.

    • clarkeyruns13

      You really don’t know what you are talking about. The term “Marquis” is a British rank or nobility and pronounced as “markwiss”, the same word is also French nobility and pronounced “markee”. Here it is the inability to appreciate the difference that marks out ignorance.

    • simhedges

      Generally Brits will pronounce the French word Marquis as Markee. However, they pronounce the British word Marquess as Markwiss – and sometimes the French spelling is mistakenly used for the British word, so people sometimes write about the Marquis of Bath (and pronounce it Markwiss of Bath) when they realy mean the Marquess of Bath (pronounced Markwiss of Bath). All too complicated.

      • dieselbug

        Marquess is pronounced Mar-KESS.

        • simhedges

          Depends who’s pronouncing it!

  • stargazer1682

    The one that gets me is Cumberbatch – for some reason I feel like it should be Cumber-bah-kt, or Cumber-Bach, but on both sides of the pond appear to agree on Cumber-batch, which is of course exactly as spelled, but it still seems inexplicably counterintuitive to me…

    • expatmum

      Just wondering how you pronounce cabbage patch?

  • Allan Hosmer

    Agreed that the [people on the list should probably be able to tell both countries how the name is pronounced and that should really be the end of the discussion

  • Adrianna

    How does one pronounce “Freema Agyeman”? I’ve heard a couple different ways, and now I’ve just taken to calling her Martha!

    • Scott

      Near as I can tell, her first name is pretty simple–FREE ma. Her last name is tough to do phonetically with standard English characters, but I think it’s like ‘Ahzhee man’.

      • renaissance247


  • ppq

    “Note: most Brits will also drop the rhotic “r.”” Seriously? ‘rhotic’ means ‘r-like’. What’s a non-rhotic R, and what’s a dropped non-rhotic ‘r’? Stop playing linguist if you don’t bother to even look up terms!

    • Lost In The Pond

      Hello, ppq.

      Thank you kindly for your comment.

      As it turns out, I did “look up the terms,” though as a graduate of Lancaster University’s linguistics department, you would have thought I’d not need to. Here’s another definition of the word “rhotic”:

      “Adj—of or pertaining to a dialect of English in which the ‘r’ is pronounced at the end of a syllable or before a consonant.”

      In other words, a “rhotic r” can be classed as an ‘r’ that is very specifically reserved for rhotic dialects (this would include most American dialects). An example of a “rhotic r”, therefore, would be the ‘r’ in “compartment”, as pronounced by most Americans. The majority of British dialects, meanwhile, are non-rhotic, and so speakers of these dialects do not pronounce the ‘r’ in “compartment” (hence “most Brits will drop the rhotic “r””).

      I will now stop playing linguist.

      Thank you again,
      Laurence Brown

      • ppq

        You clearly don’t understand the terms you’re using. As someone who teaches linguistics at a university to people like you, I am used to it.

        The main meaning of ‘rhotic’ is ‘r-like’. There are many kinds of Rs in the world languages, including trilled Rs and syllabic Rs and fricative Rs. They are all rhotic because they are all the r-like sounds. (R-like meaning closer to the British and American R than other similar sounds.) It’s also true that ‘rhotic’ can mean “pertaining to a dialect of English in which the ‘r’ is pronounced at the end of a syllable or before a consonant.” But that would be correct in the usage found in the following examples:

        –New York English is a non-rhotic dialect.
        –Most American dialects are rhotic.

        That is, the general New York English dialect (now almost dead) drops Rs in the coda (or end) of a syllable. And most American dialects pronounce final Rs. The important thing to remember is that, as the very definition you provided says, this usage of ‘rhotic’ pertains to DIALECTS. Describing Irish or Upper-midwest American as rhotic or non-rhotic is clear according to this definition. Defining an actual phoneme or phone, however, is outside of the usage.

        ‘R’, however you choose to classify it, is not a dialect. So calling it rhotic or non-rhotic is redundant or wrong.

        So let’s review: you said (and I quote again) ‘the rhotic r’. Does it even help clear things up to remember that ‘rho’ is R in Greek? What else, again, could an ‘R’ be but rhotic? And if you insist it’s a term for dialects, it’s simply wrong. What you should have said is “most Brits will drop the ‘R’. Period. Unadorned with the redundant ‘rhotic’. Because ALL Rs are rhotic (in the meaning of r-like) or not rhotic by the definition of dialects.

        I would like to believe that this clears things up. You get a C for getting the basic ideas right, but you can’t get a better grade without mastering the terminology.

        • Lost In The Pond

          Thank you for your swift reply, ppq, and for editing your initial comment with equal swiftness. Your original draft might not have gone down well with readers of this blog, something that – as a linguist – I’m certain you can appreciate. In light of this, I will gratefully accept your C grade.

          “New York English is a non-rhotic dialect.” – I agree with this statement. Speakers of New York English would typically not pronounce the r-sound in “car,” this is true. But they would – like everyone else – pronounce the ‘r’ in “red.” So in order to distinguish between the types of ‘r’, the term “rhotic r” is actually a useful term (merely in this context). Essentially, it’s just a shortened way of saying “the ‘r’ sound that is unique to rhotic dialects.” Sort of like saying “New York English” is a shortened way of saying “a variety of English spoken by New Yorkers.”

          While I don’t believe either of us should lose sleep over this, I do hope that my latest reply bumps my grade up to at least a b-.


          • ppq

            I see we’re never going to agree on this, and I also don’t believe it’s worth losing sleep over.

            However, since you did tackle the rewrite with more data, I’ll bump you to A-, but no more!

          • Lost In The Pond

            Thank you! I’ll run home and tell my parents.

            Seriously, though. This has been a fun conversation.


          • Viki

            I’ve always thought it might be interesting to be at a party with an educated and trained linguist but I see now that being at a party with TWO linguists could be exasperating! :-)

        • simhedges

          In the original article, the “Rhotic R” reference was somewhat abbreviated as one would expect in such an article – But I understood it perfectly despite not being an expert. Perhaps I’m the kind of audience that Mr Brown was aiming for?

          • ppq

            You know, after ever debate there’s always a freshman milling around saying, “well, I saw it from the start!” I wonder, is that you, Michael?

          • simhedges


          • ppq

            People keep thinking I was claiming that the article couldn’t be understood. Of course it could be understood. But terms were misused. If a writer refers to Ed Gein as ‘the Wyoming serial killer that ‘Psycho’ was based on’, as James Franco did in one article, and I point out that it wasn’t Wyoming but Wisconsin, it doesn’t mean that the article’s point was opaque or poorly written. He got his facts wrong. And I think writers should double-check their facts and terms.

    • MontanaRed

      I understood the usage of rhotic in the context presented. To a linguistic pro, it may seem maddeningly imprecise or just plain inaccurate, but the purpose of language first and foremost is communication. I got the point. That’s all that’s required, seeing as how this blog is not a citation-laden, footnoted, bibliographied research paper.

      • ppq

        Nobody argued that the point couldn’t be understood. I said it was a misuse of terms.

        People keep thinking I was claiming that the article couldn’t be understood. Of course it could be understood. But terms were misused. If a writer refers to Ed Gein as ‘the Wyoming serial killer that ‘Psycho’ was based on’, as James Franco did in one article, and I point out that it wasn’t Wyoming but Wisconsin, it doesn’t mean that the article’s point was opaque or poorly written. He got his facts wrong. And I think writers should double-check their facts and terms.

  • Candyman

    I love that they use Doctor Who’s Van Gogh instead of the actual artist!

    • Guest

      i find it cute that they did that, but seeing as van gogh is my all time favorite artist, i do wish they just used one of his self portraits.

    • therealguyfaux

      Not Kirk Douglas?
      A crime, I tell you!

  • Stephen Stomps

    …nor are these differences clear without either standard, accepted transliterations, or International Phonetic Symbols (IPA). Without either, this is guesswork or gibberish.

  • Doctor

    I’m a American and most of don’t say VAN – GO in fact I don’t think you actually took data on that one. But the rest was correct.

    • theonewithkatie

      Interesting, because I’m American and I had never in my life heard anyone say it differently than VAN-GO until I saw the Doctor Who episode.

      • CuriousTraveler66

        You probably never had an art history class where the teacher pronounced it correctly.

        • theonewithkatie

          Maybe not, though I have had art classes where we were taught about him.

          However, I was replying to a comment in which it was said that most Americans don’t say VAN-GO. Even if I had had an art teacher that pronounced it otherwise, every other American I’ve ever heard say it has said VAN-GO, so my comment stands.

    • S. Bean

      Everyone I’ve ever heard says Van Go. (I’m American)

    • therealguyfaux

      Vincent van Gogh lived in France during the last years of his life– HE may even have pronounced his OWN name as “Va[n]-SAH[n]T vahn GOE,” for the French people to be able to pronounce it with greater ease. The “chi” sound (i.e., the “spit”-sound of the “G” in Dutch) does not come naturally to the French, either.

    • Becky Driscoll

      I agree with theonewithkaie. That Dr. Who episode was when I learned that Van GO and Van Goff were the same person. I had always assumed that British people were talking about someone else entirely, since I’ve never once heard an American say anything except Van Go. (I’m American.)

  • Evelynn

    I usually pronounce things as Brits do but Americans clearly pronounce Putin better. As Lithuanian, speaking mother tongue, English and Russian in that order, I must admit English speaking world complicates pronouncation of a lot of slavic and baltic words as in places or names.

    • CuriousTraveler66

      Yeah, I’m Lithuanian-American, too, and we say PUT-in, as in ‘put’ — like the Russkies do.

  • Steven M. Finger

    I once lived in Brooklyn, NY near a street named Conselyea which gave the melting pot of nationalities quite a headache. If you were born in Williamsburg Brooklyn it was Konsss-Lee-A. Still a litmus test today.

    • CuriousTraveler66

      Yes, and in Illinois, there are towns that are pronounced KAY-ro instead of Cairo and mar-SALES instead of Marseilles; but they’re downstate hicks, and some of us in Chicago use the original pronunciations anyway, just for spite. After all, the French settled this area first.

      • HitchensImmortal .

        We have a suburb outside of Milwaukee, WI called ‘New Berlin’.

        They pronounce it, well everyone around pronounces it ‘BUR-lin’ with the emphasis on the first syllable.

        Probably a really good reason for that. Something along the same reason as to why another goofball pronunciation (Jaguar) changed its name so they wouldn’t have ‘SS’ emblazoned on their hood ornaments.

  • Brainlock


    Pay-lay (Pele is also a Hawai’ian goddess, speaking of pronunciations over here…)

    Louie Pa-styur – and don’t forget Anne Rice’s vampire. The NOLA (N’awlins) setting insinuates “Louie”, but many were and still pronounce it Lou-iss.

    There’s a Daugherty Ferry Rd in St Louis county. I still can’t say it after 40 years. Dahrr-ty with a bit of a cough?


    Putin on the Ritz!


    Wincent fan guff.

    • CuriousTraveler66

      Good point about the Hawaiian goddess!

  • simhedges

    “instead pronouncing it BUD-uh”. Nope. I’ ve never heard the first syllable pronounced bud (as in darling buds of May). Instead for Brits it’s BOOD (rhymes with good) where as for Americans its BOOD (rhymes with food).

    • Guest

      Are y’all deaf? It’s BUT-er. As in butter. I’ve never heard it rhyme with ‘food’ anywhere in the U.S., and I’m born and bred here, lived here all my life. It’s just butter, period.

      • simhedges

        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/buddha – listen to the spoken pronunciation (which is American, not British).

      • Guest

        I’m born and bred in the States and currently living in the UK. I’ve also never heard it pronounced as you said, but exactly as simhedges said (in both countries–I think that explanation of the British spelling was closer to how I hear it pronounced here. I’ve never heard the locals say Bud-uh, but closer to the “good” sound.)

      • HitchensImmortal .

        Unless you’re a German dairy farmer transported 300 years into the future and still speaking low German… No one says ‘booder’.

        In all my years I’ve never heard anyone pronounce butter differently than anyone else. British or US. With the exception of people from Brooklyn who just drop the R at the end of everything with one.

  • therealguyfaux

    The American pronunciation, so far as I’ve ever heard it, is “Louie Pas-TOOR.”

    • CuriousTraveler66


    • HitchensImmortal .

      I think the confusion comes from the word ‘pasteurize’, not so much the name.

      It sounds weird saying that word with the same pronunciation you’d say the name in.

  • smiffy

    where does jagwire come from when americans talk about a jag u ar and even then they pronounce it jagwaar

  • Dave

    This is a nice article, but they should have recorded the names, on a site like namez.com and let us HEAR the correct pronunciation. seeing it written is not enough.. just a thought.

  • Bob Sugar Bear

    I am Doctor Who’s Van Gogh, and I pronounce it Billy.

  • Tori

    5) its pronounced more like DOOR-her-ty. Americans were closer, but no. My grandma had this last name. Its Irish.

    • welcometo1984

      However the English pronunciation is Dockerty.

      • CuriousTraveler66

        And since it’s an Irish name, not English, maybe we should ask *them,* you think? The Irish I know here pronounce it either DOHH-ur-tee, with the O as in clock or DOO-ur-tee as in moor.

  • Beth Chaisson

    If a name is French then pronounce it French
    If a name is Dutch then pronounce it Dutch
    If it’s Spanish then pronounce it Spanish

    I have a French name, my whole life all anyone had to do was ask me if it was Spanish, German, or what and I would’ve told them it was French and be more than happy to help them learn to pronounce it. But here in the US (with the exception of certain areas of the US) unless it’s in English people get tongue tied with French names so it’s given an English pronunciation. :-(

    • HitchensImmortal .

      I’ve always wondered why we call countries by any other name than they call themselves.

      Why don’t we call Japan ‘Nippon’ like they do? What is a Japan? Germany? Shouldn’t we be calling it Deustchland too?

      • ドイツ?

        On the other hand, why should we? We already have names for them, so why bother going out of our way to use what they call themselves? We’ll only end up butchering it anyway. Nihon or nippon aside, let’s see how many English FL speakers can pronounce Deustchland properly.

      • ドイツ?

        And as for what they are, the former comes from a Chinese dialect pronunciation of 日本, and the latter probably comes from the Latin name for the region or something similar. Didn’t they call the area Germanicus or Germania or something?

        • ドイツ?

          If you think the first (Japan) sounds nothing like it, it’s because coming from middle Chinese times, 日 has diverged into pronounciations that are sort of grouped around yat, nyat, nyit, yit, nit, nip, nicht. etc.
          An outlier in Chinese is the Mandarin ‘ri’.

  • delores_in_wa_state

    Not sure where they get all those Ameircans from but I don’t pronounce some of these as this writer’s claims. Maybe they know Southerners, equivalent to Britains Cockney in some parts?
    As for Van Gogh the reasoning here is ridiculous because of the letters chosen: Gogh and though. Do not forget there is a similarly spelled word, tough, pronounced “tuff”.
    Second guessing all of America is as silly as trying to lump the world into 3 or 4 classifications of belief.
    As for pronouncing names – I’d say it is safe to go with how the person pronouces their name, don’t you? As an example, a French DuBois will say DU-bwa; but an American ancestor several generations down will say DuBOYS.

    • CuriousTraveler66

      Um, not always. Many Americans, especially in Louisiana, resist mispronouncing French names. In fact, I think that’s more prevalent where you have more British decendants (!).

      • HitchensImmortal .

        Louisiana is French descendants.

    • HitchensImmortal .

      The difference is your hillibillies are in the north, ours in the south.

  • Sykes

    As a Brit living in the US, I’m always amused by American pronunciation of ‘Peugeot’ as ‘Poo-Jo’ and ‘voila’ as ‘walla’. Oh yes and there’s ‘chase lounge’ for ‘chaise longue’

    • HitchensImmortal .

      No one here says ‘wallah’. We all say ‘V’wallah’.

      Doesn’t really matter what we call Peugeot since a total of -4 of their cars were ever sold in the states.

    • dieselbug

      Don’t forget criss-aunt.

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    Simple yet screwed up…..in America “tough” and “enough” are pronounced “tuff” and “enuff”….possible reasoning….yet soooo screwed up.

  • zzz05

    Magdalen (college)
    ‘St. John Smith’ ( “A View To A Kill”)

  • CuriousTraveler66

    Actually, here in Chicago we pronounce Pasteur’s name as LOO-ee pass-TUR, accent on the second syllable of the surname. You know, like the French. I find it hilarious that Brits should tweak Americans on French pronunciation, which they so often miss themselves. Do you know how many times I’ve heard Brits refer to the dead ghost ship as the MAH-ree sell-EST when nobody, but NOBODY French would ever pronounce ‘Marie’ as anything but ma-REE? Please: either it’s the Mary Celeste or the Marie Celeste, translated English or regular French, but not some godawful hybrid in between. Or ma-RYE-uh instead of ma-REE-uh for Maria. Ouch. And don’t get me started on how upper-crust Brits butcher Latin. MAY-ter? PAY-ter? Oh, I think not! The best guide for pronouncing Latin is modern Italian; it’s not perfect, but it’s darn close for a reason. And I’ve always pronounced Vincent’s last name as van GOHH, with the O as in hot and a hard, sibilant H at the end. Then again, maybe my art history classes helped me get it right.

  • Dave

    Cool article.
    It could have been nice to HEAR these names instead of reading it.
    The author could have recorded these names on a site like namez.com and embedded it in the article so the readers could hear.

  • Matthew Barclay

    I believe that Warhol’s name is pronounced “War-hall”, at least that’s how it’s pronounced in his hometown (Pittsburgh, PA, USA).