Tongue-twisters: How to pronounce the tricky member names

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?”

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“Not the mustard!” DesJarlais’s family shouts as the politician says his name again.

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 BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerCoronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020 Lobbying world Pelosi-Trump relationship takes turn for the terrible MORE (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 AyotteKelly Ann AyotteGOP fears Trump backlash in suburbs Trump makes rare trip to Clinton state, hoping to win back New Hampshire Key endorsements: A who's who in early states MORE (R-N.H.): A-ott (The first syllable rhymes with “day.”)

Rep. Larry BucshonLarry Dean BucshonHillicon Valley: Lawmakers say Facebook deepfake ban falls short | House passes bills to win 5G race | Feds sound alarm on cyberthreat from Iran | Ivanka Trump appearance at tech show sparks backlash Lawmakers voice skepticism over Facebook's deepfake ban Trump unveils plan to help kidney patients in push to lower health costs MORE (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 HoevenJohn Henry HoevenSenate drama surrounding Trump trial starts to fizzle Bottom Line The Hill's Morning Report — Schiff: Clear evidence of a quid pro quo MORE (R-N.D.): HO-vun


Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.): HYULES-camp

Rep. Dave Schweikert (R-Ariz.): SHWEYE-kurt

Rep. Steve WomackStephen (Steve) Allen WomackLawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts Deficits to average record .3 trillion over next decade: CBO Democrats don't expect to do 2020 budget MORE (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

Redux

Sen. John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanAppropriators fume over reports of Trump plan to reprogram .2 billion for wall The job no GOP senator wants: 'I'd rather have a root canal' Eleven GOP senators sign open letter backing Sessions's comeback bid MORE (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).

Refresher

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 CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoTrump hammers Manchin over impeachment vote Senate drama surrounding Trump trial starts to fizzle Democrat Richard Ojeda announces Senate bid after dropping out of presidential race MORE (R-W.Va.): KA-pih-toe

Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.): Cap-yoo-ON-oh

Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzThe myth of the conservative bestseller Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 House Oversight panel demands DeVos turn over personal email records MORE (R-Utah): CHAY-fits

Sen. Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoTrump pick for Fed seat takes bipartisan fire On The Money: Economy grows 2.3 percent in 2019, slowest year under Trump | How coronavirus could impact the US economy | Farm bankruptcies jump | Pelosi not ready to back UK trade deal Senators ask FDA to crack down on non-dairy milks, cheeses MORE (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 FrelinghuysenRodney Procter FrelinghuysenThe 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority Top House GOP appropriations staffer moves to lobbying shop Individuals with significant disabilities need hope and action MORE (R-N.J.): FREE-ling-hi-zen

Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas): een-oh-HO-suh

Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeOvernight Energy: Controversial Trump adviser reportedly returning to EPA | Delta aims to be first carbon neutral airline | Dem senator gives EPA D-minus on 'forever chemicals' Architect of controversial EPA policies to return as chief of staff: report Democratic senators press Interior official over proposed changes to migratory bird protections MORE (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 KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharJoe Biden lost his fastball — can he get it back before South Carolina? Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Judd Gregg: Bloomberg rising MORE (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 NeugebauerRobert (Randy) Randolph NeugebauerCordray announces he's leaving consumer bureau, promotes aide to deputy director GOP eager for Trump shake-up at consumer bureau Lobbying World MORE (R-Texas): NAW-guh-bow-ur

Rep. Tom PetriThomas (Tom) Evert PetriKeep our elections free and fair Break the cycle of partisanship with infant, child health care programs Combine healthcare and tax reform to bring out the best in both MORE (R-Wis.): PEE-try

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.): ROAR-uh-bock-ur

Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.): Veh-LAW-skes

Download the pronunciation guide here