By Kris Kitto - 01/13/11 11:16 AM EST
Rep. Scott DesJarlais’s (R-Tenn.) last name befuddles so many people that he dedicated an entire campaign ad to its pronunciation.
In the ad, DesJarlais sits at a picnic table, introducing himself, when an old man interrupts him, holding up a mustard jar while asking, “Dijon?”
The 112th Congress opened with one of the legislative body’s largest freshman classes, and with it come several names that have the potential to embarrass any staffer, lobbyist or reporter attempting to introduce him- or herself or get a lawmaker’s attention.
In an effort to avoid such situations, The Hill offers a pronunciation guide to the most difficult names of the freshman class, as well as a refresher on how to pronounce some veteran legislators’ tricky names.
Starting at the top
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio): BAY-nur. It should be well-known by now that the new House Speaker has a last name whose vowels betray their intended sounds. Lest there remain any doubt, the first syllable of his last name has the long-A sound — despite the juvenile mispronunciation that persists.
Short — but still tough
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.): A-ott (The first syllable rhymes with “day.”)
Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.): BOO-shon
Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.): Cruh-VACK
Rep. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.): GIN-tuh (It’s a hard G, as in “good.)
Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.): HO-vun
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.): HYULES-camp
Rep. Dave Schweikert (R-Ariz.): SHWEYE-kurt
Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.): WHOA-mack
Longer — and even trickier
Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco (R-Texas): KEE-ko Cahn-SEH-ko
Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.): Sis-uh-LEEN-ee
Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.): DAY-zhar-lay
Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.): HI-zing-guh
Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio): Ruh-NAY-see
Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.): Row-KEE-tuh
Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.): BOAZ-min. Boozman made the switch from the lower to the upper body this Congress — just when House staffers learned that his last name doesn’t sound like “booze.” It remains to be seen how long it will take for the Senate to learn this lesson.
Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio): SHA-bit. Chabot returns to Congress this year after a rematch last fall with another politician with a tough name, former Rep. Steve Driehaus (D).
No matter how long they’ve been in Congress, these members have names that regularly get mispronounced.
Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.): Bill-uh-RACK-iss
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.): KA-pih-toe
Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.): Cap-yoo-ON-oh
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah): CHAY-fits
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho): CRAY-poh
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas): KWAY-ar
Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.): EN-sin
Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.): SHAW-kuh Fuh-TAH
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.): FREE-ling-hi-zen
Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas): een-oh-HO-suh
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.): IN-hoff
Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii): In-OH-yay
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.): EYE-suh. We’ll be hearing Issa’s name more this Congress now that he’s Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.): KLOW-buh-shar
Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.): LAN-juh-vin
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.): LUKE-tuh-my-ur
Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine): MISH-oh
Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas): NAW-guh-bow-ur
Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.): PEE-try
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.): ROAR-uh-bock-ur
Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.): Veh-LAW-skes