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 BoehnerFeehery: The next Republican wave is coming Rift widens between business groups and House GOP Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power 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 AyotteSununu setback leaves GOP scrambling in New Hampshire The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - GOP dealt 2022 blow, stares down Trump-era troubles Sununu exit underscores uncertain GOP path to gain Senate majority MORE (R-N.H.): A-ott (The first syllable rhymes with “day.”)

Rep. Larry BucshonLarry Dean BucshonMaternal and child health legislation must be prioritized now Peanut Butter and Jelly make debut ahead of White House turkey pardon Our military shouldn't be held hostage to 'water politics' 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 HoevenEquilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Native solar startups see business as activism Religious institutions say infrastructure funds will help model sustainability House passes legislation to strengthen federal cybersecurity workforce 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 WomackArkansas legislature splits Little Rock in move that guarantees GOP seats Funding fight imperils National Guard ops Overnight Defense: 6B Pentagon spending bill advances | Navy secretary nominee glides through hearing | Obstacles mount in Capitol security funding fight 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 BoozmanPostal Service expansion into banking services misguided Arkansas governor backs Sarah Huckabee Sanders to replace him Arkansas attorney general drops bid for governor, says she will work with Sanders 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 CapitoThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown Senate dodges initial December crisis with last-minute deal GOP ramps up attacks on SALT deduction provision MORE (R-W.Va.): KA-pih-toe

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

Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzCongress's latest hacking investigation should model its most recent Fox News Audio expands stable of podcasts by adding five new shows The myth of the conservative bestseller MORE (R-Utah): CHAY-fits

Sen. Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoGOP ramps up attacks on SALT deduction provision Senate GOP threatens to block defense bill    Republican Senators request military aid for Taiwan amid pressure from China 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 FrelinghuysenBottom line Republican lobbying firms riding high despite uncertainty of 2020 race Ex-Rep. Frelinghuysen joins law and lobby firm MORE (R-N.J.): FREE-ling-hi-zen

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

Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeOvernight Defense & National Security — Senate looks to break defense bill stalemate Senate GOP moving toward deal to break defense bill stalemate Overnight Defense & National Security — US, Iran return to negotiating table 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 KlobucharBiden should seek some ideological diversity House passes bipartisan bills to strengthen network security, cyber literacy Klobuchar confident spending bill will be finished before Christmas 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