Celebrity Names We've All Been Mispronouncing

"What's in a name?" William Shakespeare once wrote. "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Still, getting someone's name right is a way to show respect, as Noor Wazwaz explained on NPR. "Pronouncing someone's name correctly isn't just a common courtesy," she said. "It's far more than just the syllables that come out of someone's mouth. It's an important effort to create an inclusive society, a way to emphasize safety and belonging."

Whose name could be easier to get right than a celebrity? After all, actors and musicians are some of the most talked-about people in the world, so it's easy to assume that their names are pronounced the way everybody says they are. That's not always the case, though, and especially in the age of social media — where stars can put out their own information, correcting the record — fans are sometimes surprised to learn that they've been saying the name of their favorite celeb wrong for years. Never fear; we've put together a list of 14 celebs whose names we've all been mispronouncing, so study up!

Lindsay Lohan is fine with whatever

Lindsay Lohan has been quite famous for most of her life, going all the way back to her double appearance in the 1998 version of "The Parent Trap." She was a regular tabloid fixture throughout the 2000s, as legendary for her scandalous run-ins with the law as she was for films like "Mean Girls." Lohan's name was on everybody's lips, especially at the height of her friendship with Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.

It's a surprise, then, to learn that Lohan pronounces her own name in a considerably different way than what we're used to. When she joined TikTok in 2022, fans realized she introduced herself as "Lindsay LO-wen," not "LO-HAN." In a video for Vogue a few months later, she said the same thing: "Lindsay LO-wen." That's news to us!

It turns out Lohan knows and doesn't mind that everyone says it differently. During a commercial break on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," she told the host that it didn't really make much of a difference. "It doesn't matter to me, really," she said. "... My dad, he was like, 'You know it's LO-HAN, Lindsay.'" If she's just as inconsistent as the rest of us, then it sounds like we're all good to go!

Chrissy Teigen waited until 2018 to correct fans

Though she was already dating John Legend by that time, most of the world was introduced to model and cooking extraordinaire Chrissy Teigen in 2010, when she made her debut in that year's Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Teigen — then going by "Christine" — appeared on CBS News and told a story about meeting model Brooklyn Decker at the Super Bowl. "We had the same shoes, so it was a nice little connection," Teigen said. They became fast friends, which is how she got such a high-profile modeling gig so early in her career. 

In the years that followed, Teigen became incredibly famous. She's hosted shows like "Lip Sync Battle" and "FabLife," released multiple cookbooks, and even shared her family life with Legend. 

In 2018, almost a decade after her Sports Illustrated appearance, the "Chrissy's Court" host revealed on "Live with Kelly and Ryan" that we've all been saying her name wrong. "It is TIE-gen," she sighed, not TEE-gen. She said her father has stuck to the correct pronunciation of their family name, but she's long since given up. "It's my fault," she said. " ... I'm tired of correcting people." Furthermore, she joked, "You can call me anything. I'll respond to it."

If Ariana Grande's name is confusing, blame Frankie

Over the course of her career, from her time as a supporting player on Nickelodeon to her current reign as a world-conquering pop superstar, fans have made jokes about Ariana Grande's last name. After all, you can order a "grande" coffee at Starbucks, and the singer herself is famously pint-sized. It just makes sense. She even played into the joke in her "Carpool Karaoke" appearance, stopping at the coffee chain for a soy latte with James Corden. "Oh, I'm gonna get a grande!" she giggled, to laughter from the crowd. " ... Gets 'em every time!"

To everyone's surprise, Grande revealed in an Apple Music interview that her family doesn't actually say their last name like the Starbucks size. "My grandpa said GRAND-ee," she confessed. Host Ebro Darden asked if fans should adjust their pronunciation, but the "Sweetener" songstress allowed that GRAHN-day works too. "My brother [Frankie] kinda changed it to GRAHN-day," she recounted, noting that GRAND-ee was "Americanized" and GRAHN-day was more traditional. "I grew up saying GRAND-ee," she mused, "and I think of my grandpa, and I wish I said GRAND-ee more."

RuPaul taught us to pronounce Tove Lo's name

Pop music fans know Swedish sensation Tove Lo from her 2014 single "Habits (Stay High)," which climbed to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The "Cool Girl" parlayed that early success into a string of critically-acclaimed albums, including 2022's "Dirt Femme." 

While promoting that album, the "Grapefruit" singer appeared as a guest judge on "RuPaul's Drag Race." RuPaul shocked audiences when he introduced her as "Too-Vay Loo," not, well, "Tove Lo." Fans took to Twitter to express their surprise, including "Canada's Drag Race" contestant Eve 6000. "THAT'S how you pronounce Tove Lo!?!?" she wrote.

Lo had been trying to tell people. When the clip of her "Drag Race" introduction went viral, she tweeted, "this is not news." However, in a video for Billboard, she confessed that she too had occasionally adopted the international pronunciation, "TOVE Low." In pronouncing it the Swedish way, she ran the syllables together a bit more than RuPaul had; it's supposed to be something more like "TOO va-LOO." In other words, it's all good. "Hi, I'm TOO va-LOO, aka, Tove Lo, and you're watching Billboard News," she said graciously.

Note the accent in Raven-Symoné's name

Television audiences first met Raven-Symoné as the precocious Olivia Kendall on "The Cosby Show," a role she played for 74 episodes. She then went on to star in "That's So Raven," a Disney Channel original show where she played a teenager with the ability to see the future. Symoné followed that up with a stint on "The View," guest-hosting in an astonishing 412 episodes between 2012 and 2023. She even brought back Raven for "Raven's Home," a sequel series on The Disney Channel.

In other words, Symoné has been very famous for a very long time. That's why it was such a surprise to some fans when, in 2023, she went viral on TikTok for correcting the way everyone says her name. It's not Raven sim-OWN, it's Raven sim-own-AY. There's an accent on the "e," after all.

After first surprising fans, Symoné posted a follow-up video responding to comments that asked why she'd waited so long to correct people. "Yo, people out here real mad that I never said 'Hey, my name is Raven sim-own-AY and you're watching Disney Channel,'" she said. "No, I didn't do that, because at a very young age, I was told to tell everyone my name was Raven sim-OWN, and it just never left my body." Like many of the other celebs on this list, she knows that it's hard to make fans change now. Symoné concluded by saying, "Raven sim-OWN is just fine."

It's 'Saoirse' like 'inertia'

Saoirse Ronan rose to international prominence thanks to her role in "Atonement." She played Briony Tallis, a young girl who falsely accuses a man of abuse. Roles in films like "The Lovely Bones," "Lady Bird," "The Grand Budapest Hotel," and more quickly followed, and Ronan is now one of the most acclaimed actors of her generation. After all, she's been nominated for four Oscars.

Ronan is Irish, and her first name isn't a particularly common one outside of her native homeland. In 2015, Dennis Quaid mangled it when he announced that she'd received a Golden Globe nomination for "Brooklyn." Clearly aware that he was about to screw it up, Quaid paused, then went with, "SHEE-SHAW Ronan." Well, that's clearly not right.

When she hosted "Saturday Night Live" in 2017, Ronan used her monologue to debut a little song meant to help people remember how to say her name. Trouble was ... the song was intentionally confusing. "It's Saoirse with an ER, not SORE-see with an OR, cause SORE-see with an OR goes OR not ER," she sang. "It's SHH instead of SSS, UH instead of EE, simple as can be, see, SER-shah." If you can't commit all of that to memory, she offered an easier rhyme to help fans remember. It's Saoirse like inertia, she pointed out. Easy enough!

Andy Cohen learned something surprising about Khloé Kardashian's name

"Keeping Up with the Kardashians" premiered in 2007, introducing the world to the exploits of uber-rich sisters Kim, Kourtney, and Khloé, not to mention their extended family. Ever since, they've been inescapable pop culture mainstays, hitting headlines for their weddings and divorces, their children, their arguments, fashion choices, fashion lines, plastic surgery, and more. We've all kept up whether we wanted to or not.

That's why fans were shocked when Bravo super-producer Andy Cohen revealed on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" that we've all apparently been saying Khloé's name wrong. Cohen spoke with the family for a limited series called "For Real: The Story of Reality TV," and he claimed they told him the accent on the "e" is supposed to be pronounced. "It's Khlo-AY," Cohen demonstrated to a flabbergasted Fallon. "Sorry, but ... call her!" Cohen insisted. Furthermore, he claimed that Khloé's momager Kris Jenner confirmed, "Yeah actually, that's how it's pronounced."

Entertainment Tonight pulled clips that showed Khloé introducing herself as "Khlo-EE" on "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," so it seems we're at a standstill. Do we follow the lead of the woman herself, or Kris Jenner by way of Andy Cohen? Up to you!

Rising star Paul Mescal wants to nip mispronunciations in the bud

Cast your mind all the way back to 2020, as painful as that might be. We were stuck at home, watching what felt like the end of the world, and we all just wanted to feel like normal people again. To that end, there was "Normal People," a Hulu show that premiered in April of that year. The show, based on the book by Sally Rooney, introduced international audiences to rising Irish sensation Paul Mescal. His sensitive, charismatic performance as the hunky Connell won fans around the world. In the years since, he's even been nominated for an Oscar, thanks to his turn in the 2022 film "Aftersun."

Mescal has "Gladiator 2" in the works, a film that will likely prove the young actor is here to stay. If you want to get in on the Mescal train early, there's one thing you should know: you might be pronouncing his name wrong. In a video for The Hollywood Reporter, the "All Of Us Strangers" star acknowledged, "People get confused with how to pronounce my name, because of the drink 'mezcal.' Everybody does it." He explained, "I pronounce it MESS-cull." Thankfully, Mescal is good-natured about the mix-up. "I wonder ... if I launched a tequila line, I would call it Mescal's Mezcal," he joked.

'HAIM' has two syllables, everyone

The band HAIM — made up of sisters Alana, Este, and Danielle Haim — released their first album "Days Are Gone" in 2013. The Pitchfork darlings have only become more famous in the decade since their debut; in 2023, they hit the road with Taylor Swift as one of the opening acts for her mega-successful Eras Tour. "She's the most incredible performer, and so inspiring as a friend," Danielle told Elle UK, whereas Este added, "We'd play a show and she would just want to hang out after."

It seems fair to say that HAIM won legions of new fans in 2023, so newcomers might not know how to say the band's moniker. Thankfully, all the way back in 2013, they shared a video on their YouTube channel about that very subject. "It's HIGH-um," Alana said, while Este added, "Two syllables." Fans should be able to get it right, but sometimes the sisters themselves get it wrong. In fact, in that very video, Alana accidentally shortens the name while trying to demonstrate the correct pronunciation. "That was one syllable!" Danielle interjects, teasing her sister. "You're wrong!"

You might be saying 'Rihanna' wrong

Barbadian singer Rihanna hit the international stage in 2005 with "Pon de Replay." Her debut single went all the way to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100; she's since followed it up with a staggering 14 number one hits. She's still a bona fide sensation, even if she hasn't released an album since 2016's "ANTI." Rih headlined the Super Bowl Halftime Show in 2023, after all, and her beauty brand plus SAVAGE X FENTY has helped make her a billionaire, according to Forbes. As she once sang (in her 2009 hit "Hard ft. Jeezy"), "That Rihanna reign just won't let up."

How could it be, then, that most people pronounce the name of one of the most famous women in the world incorrectly? Most of us probably say "Rih-AHN-na," but that's not quite right ... even if that's how she appears to be saying it in "Hard." In 2012, on the red carpet for a Time 100 event, Rihanna spoke with HLN's AJ Hammer about how her name is pronounced. "I knew this was the question," she laughed. "It is Rih-ANNE-ah." She added a "But," as though she might be about to let people off the hook for mispronouncing it for all these years. Hammer cut her off, as though insisting we should all get it right. "He's right," Rihanna agreed. "Whatever he said." Got that, everyone? If we get her name right, maybe she'll give us more music someday.

Don't forget the 'T' in Gal Gadot

Gal Gadot's first feature film role was in "Fast & Furious." She played Gisele in several installments of the iconic car-racing franchise, but many audiences likely know her best as Wonder Woman in the DC Extended Universe films. By 2020, she was famous enough to enlist friends like Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Sia, Amy Adams, and more in a coronavirus-inspired cover of John Lennon's "Imagine." The incident prompted a swift backlash against out-of-touch celebrities, and Gadot later admitted to InStyle that it was a mistake. "It wasn't the right timing, and it wasn't the right thing," she said. "It was in poor taste."

In other words, at this point, Gadot is a certified mover and shaker in Hollywood. Her name, though, still confuses people. Even though the way it's spelled looks like it might follow French pronunciation — ga-DOUGH — the "Heart of Stone" star told Jimmy Kimmel that you're supposed to say the T in her last name. "The ga-DUTT can be better," she instructed. "More 'T' at the end."

In Tana Mongeau's last name, the 'N' is silent

YouTube star Tana Mongeau rose to prominence thanks to her storytime videos, letting her followers in on events in her life through a quirky, unique storytelling style. Videos with titles like "MY STALKER BROKE INTO MY HOUSE: STORYTIME" have racked up millions of views, and by 2018, she was popular enough to host her own convention. "Tanacon" didn't go particularly well, to say the least; New York Magazine called the catastrophe "a Fyre Festival for the YouTube Set," and Mongeau went down in YouTube history. She's since dated Bella Thorne, "married" Jake Paul, and more.

In other words, Tana Mongeau knows how to keep her name in the headlines. But ... how is that name pronounced, exactly? In 2022, she appeared on fellow YouTuber Alex Warren's podcast Locked In. The concept is that Warren locks himself in a room with a guest for a full hour, leading to a wide-ranging conversation. In the episode's first moments, however, Mongeau and Warren got into a back-and-forth over how her name should be said. "It's MO-jo," Mongeau said. Warren shot back, "Why? It's spelled MON-jue."

Mongeau launched into a diatribe about her struggle with her own name. "Take up with the French, you know? Like, I didn't create it, you know?" she said. "I'm just here, living with it." One thing about Mongeau is for sure; if she's living with something, we're all going to hear about it.

The 'G' in 'Joe Manganiello' is a hard G

Joe Manganiello has been acting for decades, going all the way back to his role as Flash Thompson in 2002's "Spider-Man." He had an arc on "One Tree Hill," and in 2010, he joined the cast of HBO vampire series "True Blood" as Alcide Herveaux, a werewolf. In addition to high-profile roles like "Big D*** Richie" in the "Magic Mike" films, Maganiello is also known for his marriage to (and divorce from) Sofia Vergara

The actor's last name continues to trip up fans, but he's explained how it should be pronounced several times before. In 2014, promoting a documentary he directed about male dancers called "La Bare," Manganiello talked about his last name with Just Jared. He hears his name said all sorts of ways, and sometimes he wants to tell people, "You missed like, ten letters, bro." The important thing to remember is that you don't really pronounce the "i," but you do stress the "g." Introducing himself repeatedly, Manganiello said, "Hi, I'm Joe MANG-gah-NELL-lo."

Alicia Silverstone taught the TikTok generation what some of us knew

Alicia Silverstone was once one of the most famous actors in Hollywood. She ruled the 90s in films like "Batman & Robin" and "Blast from the Past," and of course, she was the epitome of cool in "Clueless." That film is still referenced frequently, including providing the inspiration for Iggy Azalea's music video for her 2014 hit "Fancy." Appearing on Today the following year, Silverstone expressed pride in the fact that the film was still relevant. "It's just always amazing how many people it reaches, and what an age range it reaches," she said.

"Clueless" may still be relevant, but Silverstone's star has faded somewhat in the past few decades. That being said, thanks to roles in Netflix projects like "The Baby-Sitters Club" and "Reptile," Silverstone is still around. Case in point: she's got more than four million followers on TikTok! The "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed" star hopped on the app in 2021 to let Gen Z know that there's a fourth syllable in Alicia, which is not pronounced like "Alisha." As if! "My name is ah-lee-see-yah," she enunciated clearly. "Ah-lee, see-yah."