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25 Athletes Whose Names You’re Probably Pronouncing Wrong

25 Athletes Whose Names You're Probably Pronouncing Wrong

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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.

25. Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo
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25. Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo
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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.

24. Antawn Jamison

Antawn Jamison
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24. Antawn Jamison

Antawn Jamison
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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.

23. Hedo Turkoglu

Hedo Turkoglu
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23. Hedo Turkoglu

Hedo Turkoglu
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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.

22. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo
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22. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo
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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.

21. Israel Idonije

Israel Idonije
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21. Israel Idonije

Israel Idonije
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Correct Pronunciation: Israel eh-don-ish-aye
Like most people, I always pronounced it “eh-don-eh-jay,” but clearly, the ‘J’ is silent.

20. Ekpe Udoh

Ekpe Udoh
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20. Ekpe Udoh

Ekpe Udoh
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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.

19. Tyler Hansbrough

Tyler Hansbrough
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19. Tyler Hansbrough

Tyler Hansbrough
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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.

18. Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah
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18. Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah
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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.”

17. Anderson Varejao

Anderson Varejao
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17. Anderson Varejao

Anderson Varejao
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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.

16. Jose Theodore

Jose Theodore
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16. Jose Theodore

Jose Theodore
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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.

15. Jose Maria Olazabal

Jose Maria Olazabal
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15. Jose Maria Olazabal

Jose Maria Olazabal
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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.

14. Chone Figgins

Chone Figgins
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14. Chone Figgins

Chone Figgins
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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.

13. Alexander Semin

Alexander Semin
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13. Alexander Semin

Alexander Semin
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Correct Pronunciation: Alexander Syo-min
It’s not pronounced “sem-in” as almost everyone does; it’s actually “syo-min.”

12. Jonathan Toews

Jonathan Toews
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12. Jonathan Toews

Jonathan Toews
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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.”

11. Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki
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11. Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki
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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.

10. Ndamukong Suh

Ndamukong Suh
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10. Ndamukong Suh

Ndamukong Suh
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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.”

9. Samuel Dalembert

Samuel Dalembert
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9. Samuel Dalembert

Samuel Dalembert
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Correct Pronunciation: Samuel DAL-uhm-behr
I used to always pronounce it “Dal-ehm-burt” as I imagine most people have.

8. James Ihedigbo

James Ihedigbo
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8. James Ihedigbo

James Ihedigbo
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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.

7. Nnamdi Asomugha

Nnamdi Asomugha
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7. Nnamdi Asomugha

Nnamdi Asomugha
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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.”

6. Omer Asik

Omer Asik
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6. Omer Asik

Omer Asik
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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?”

5. Dustin Byfuglien

Dustin Byfuglien
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5. Dustin Byfuglien

Dustin Byfuglien
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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.”

4. Stan Neckar

Stan Neckar
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4. Stan Neckar

Stan Neckar
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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.

3. Tom Gorzelanny

Tom Gorzelanny
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3. Tom Gorzelanny

Tom Gorzelanny
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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.

2. Andrei Kirilenko

Andrei Kirilenko
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2. Andrei Kirilenko

Andrei Kirilenko
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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.

1. Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija
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1. Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija
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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.’