By Michael Terrill @MichaelTerrill on June 24, 2014
There are so many athlete’s names that we believe we are saying correctly, but the reality is we are actually butchering the pronunciation. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen athletes finally correct a commentator or sideline reporter about how to say their name years after they have got used to it being a specific way. Here’s a look at 25 athletes whose names you are probably pronouncing wrong.
Correct Pronunciation: Yovani gah-YAR-doh
Early in his career, most people pronounced Gallardo as if it only had one ‘L’, instead of saying the two letters together with a ‘Y’ pronunciation as most Spanish and Italian names do.
Correct Pronunciation: Ant-WANN Jamison
Antawn Jamison’s first name was actually spelled wrong on his birth certificate when he was born at the hospital. However, his parents decided to keep it, as they believed it would make him stand out from the rest of the crowd. Antawn personally didn’t like it growing up, which is why his son’s name is spelled Antwan.
Correct Pronunciation: HEE-doh TURK-ah-lou
As you can see, the ‘G’ is silent in Turkoglu. Also, Hedo is pronounced as if it has two ‘E’ in it.
Correct Pronunciation: YAHN-iss ah-deh-toh-KOON-boh
Milwaukee Bucks fans have had a hard time this past season trying to pronounce the rookie sensation’s first and last name. Good thing for them is that they are finally getting the hang of it as he becomes more relevant to the game.
Correct Pronunciation: Israel eh-don-ish-aye
Like most people, I always pronounced it “eh-don-eh-jay,” but clearly, the ‘J’ is silent.
Correct Pronunciation: EH-pay YOU-doh
The Bucks forward has a unique name in which the letter ‘U’ is actually pronounced as the word ‘you.’ The reason why this is unique is because the letter ‘D’ after the ‘U’ makes it seem like it would be OHH-doh.
Correct Pronunciation: Tyler HANDS-bro
Many people have been pronouncing UNC sensation and NBA journeyman Tyler Hansbrough’s name wrong for several years. Even though there is no letter ‘D’ in his name, it’s still pronounced that way.
Correct Pronunciation: JOE-keem Noah
I have to imagine a majority of fans have caught on by now. However, just in case they haven’t, Joakim Noah’s name isn’t pronounced with the letter ‘A’ in it. The assumption is it’s like saying the word ‘boa’ and ‘Kim’ together, but it’s actually “JOE-keem.”
Correct Pronunciation: Anderson vair-a-ZJOW
Anderson Varejao’s name doesn’t look like it would be pronounced with the letter ‘Z,’ but that’s exactly how it should be said.
Correct Pronunciation: Zho-zay Tee-o-door
Ready to have your mind blown? Hockey goaltender Jose Theodore isn’t from Central America, he’s Canadian. Therefore, his first name isn’t pronounced the typical Spanish way. Not to mention, you’re not even supposed to pronounce the ‘H’ in his last name.
Correct Pronunciation: Jose Maria Oh-la-THAN-bul
Being from Spain, most would assume that the ‘Z’ in PGA golfer Jose Maria Olazabal’s name would be pronounced, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Correct Pronunciation: Shawn Figgins
Yep, it’s officially gone crazy. All five letters aren’t pronounced the way they look. Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chone Figgins actually pronounces his first name Shawn. Yes, Shawn.
Correct Pronunciation: Alexander Syo-min
It’s not pronounced “sem-in” as almost everyone does; it’s actually “syo-min.”
Correct Pronunciation: Jonathan Taves
Jonathan Toews has had his last name pronounced several different ways. Some people say Tows while others says “Tay-es.” The reality is it’s simply “Taves.”
Correct Pronunciation: Dirk Na-VIT-skee
Germans laugh every time someone says Dirk Nowitzki’s name wrong because most Americans butcher it. The ‘W’ is actually a ‘V’ sound.
Correct Pronunciation: en-dom-ah-ken SUE
So many people say it “na-dom-uh-kon,” but the real way to do it is “en-dom-ah-ken.”
Correct Pronunciation: Samuel DAL-uhm-behr
I used to always pronounce it “Dal-ehm-burt” as I imagine most people have.
Correct Pronunciation: ee-HEAD-ee-BO
The safety has a unique last name in which it appears the letter ‘G’ should be stated prominently in the pronunciation. However, the correct way is to simply skip over the letter.
Correct Pronunciation: Nahm-Dee Aso-MU-wah
The defensive back has a difficult name to say to begin with, which doesn’t help the average fan’s cause when trying to pronounce it. I can’t imagine many people pronounce it “nahm-dee aso-MU-wah.”
Correct Pronunciation: O-mair AH-shick
The Houston Rockets center’s name looks rather straightforward to say, but the correct pronunciation is way off from what fans believe it is. Seriously, who thought the end of Omer Asik’s last name is “shick?”
Correct Pronunciation: Dustin Buff-a-lin
Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien has a last name that can fool most people. In fact, I have to imagine not many thought the correct pronunciation to be “buff-a-lin.”
Correct Pronunciation: Stan Nets-cash
I understand that it has been many years since Stan Neckar suited up for a NHL team. With that being said, I couldn’t resist putting him on this list, as I know for a fact that fans have butchered his name for years. The realization that it’s actually pronounced nets-cash is an interesting one.
Correct Pronunciation: Tom Gor-zah-LAWN-ee
Most fans may know that Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Tom Gorzelanny is “lawn” instead of “lan,” but I figured to include him just in case.
Correct Pronunciation: AHN-dray KEAR-ah-link-oh
I have always pronounced NBA star Andrei Kirilenko’s last name as “kear-ih-link-oh” opposed to the letter ‘A.’ It may be a subtle difference but a difference nonetheless.
Correct Pronunciation: suh-MAR-jah
Chicago Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija isn’t too complicated of a name to pronounce once you get the hang of it. However, it must have taken fans quite some time to say his name without pronouncing the ‘D.’
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