The Hill's Pronounciation Guide

The fictitious Mr. Smith came to Washington with one of the country’s most familiar last names.

But Mr. Luetkemeyer?

The 111th Congress has ushered in a long list of new names to learn. And many of them don’t roll off the tongue like Hoyer or Cantor.

The ensuing guide should help lawmakers, aides and anyone visiting Capitol Hill get off on the right foot with pronunciations for some of the new legislators who have less-than-straightforward surnames.

There’s also a bonus section that will help people brush up on some of the returnees’ names. While not infallible — when asked how to pronounce her boss’s last name, an aide to Sen. Saxby ChamblissSaxby ChamblissOPINION: Left-wing politics will be the demise of the Democratic Party GOP hopefuls crowd Georgia special race Democrats go for broke in race for Tom Price's seat MORE (R-Ga.) with a sharp Southern twang remarked, “It just depends on where you’re from” — it will surely come in handy during chance run-ins on escalators or in the Longworth Cafeteria.


These names need no more than a phonetic breakdown:

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.): POLE-iss
Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-Fla.): CAUZ-muss
Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine): SHELL-ee PIN-gree
Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.): DEE-nuh TI-tus
Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzJuan Williams: Trump refills the swamp Chaffetz: Threats against lawmakers should be taken seriously Gowdy won't use Oversight gavel to probe Russia MORE (R-Utah): CHAY-fits (Recognizing the difficulty of his last name, Chaffetz put the pronunciation as a “Tip of the Day” on his campaign website.)
Rep. Cynthia LummisCynthia LummisFemale lawmakers flee House for higher office, retirement Despite a battle won, 'War on Coal' far from over Dems on offense in gubernatorial races MORE (R-Wyo): LUHM-iss
Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.): PEAR-e-ello (He replaced Republican Virgil Goode, whose last name had a deceptive “oo” sound, as in “food.”)
Rep. Frank Kratovil (D-Md.): KRAT-uh-vill
Rep. Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.): Mu-FAY

These names require more finesse:

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.): LOO-ktu-my-ur. Notice the “k” sound comes before the “t” sound, even though the T is written first. This comes from the Brett Favre school of pronunciation (a professional football player whose last name is said “FARV”).
Rep. Ben Luján (D-N.M.): Loo-HAHN. (Spanish pronunciation is an entirely separate lesson — it’s ee-no-HO-sa, not hee-no-JO-sa; it’s Veh-LAW-skes, not Vu-LA-squez. Just remember here, the J is an “h” sound for native English speakers.)
Rep. Joseph Cao (R-La.): GAU
Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio): DREE-house
Rep. John Boccieri (D-Ohio): Bo-CHAIR-ee

The Senate edition:

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenDems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity Senate overwhelmingly passes Russia sanctions deal Russia sanctions deal clears key Senate hurdle MORE (D-N.H.): Shu-HEEN
Sen. Jim RischJim RischBipartisan push to prioritize cyber advice for small businesses Five questions after Comey’s testimony Comey delivers dramatic rebuke of Trump MORE (R-Idaho): RISH
Sen. Mark BegichMark BegichPerez creates advisory team for DNC transition The future of the Arctic 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map MORE (D-Alaska): BEG-itch
Sen. Mike JohannsMike JohannsLobbying World To buy a Swiss company, ChemChina must pass through Washington Republican senator vows to block nominees over ObamaCare co-ops MORE (R-Neb.): JOE-hands

Finally, here’s a refresher course for tricky names among incumbent lawmakers:

Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.): LAN-ju-vin
Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.): Cap-yoo-ON-o
Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.): Mu-LAW-so (This is unofficially the most difficult name to pronounce in Congress. The N’s are pronounced ever so slightly, but certainly not in the hard Nancy-Newton American way. Think French. Go nasal.)
Rep. Randy NeugebauerRandy NeugebauerWarren’s regulatory beast is under fire – and rightfully so Dem senators to Trump: Don't tell consumer bureau chief 'you're fired' Overnight Finance: Carson, Warren battle at hearing | Rumored consumer bureau pick meets Trump | Trump takes credit for Amazon hirings | A big loss for Soros MORE (R-Texas): NAW-gu-bau-ur
Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.): TEE-hart
Rep. Bob GoodlatteBob GoodlatteThis week: Senate races toward ObamaCare repeal vote Warning: Lawsuit ads may be harmful to the health of Americans Black Dem accuses Steve King of 'white privilege' in heated exchange MORE (R-Va.): GOOD-lot (You’re not ordering a grande at Starbucks.)
Rep. Steve Buyer (R-Ind.): BOO-yur
Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.): Fu-TAH
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.): ROAR-uh-bock-ur
Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.): BI
Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii): In-O-yay
Sen. James InhofeJames InhofeMcCain strikes back as Trump’s chief critic Turbulence for Trump on air traffic control Parliamentarian threatens deadly blow to GOP healthcare bill MORE (R-Okla.): IN-hoff
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.): CHAM-bliss