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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 BoehnerCan the GOP break its addiction to show biz? House conservatives plot to oust Liz Cheney Ex-Speaker Boehner after Capitol violence: 'The GOP must awaken' 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 AyotteBottom line Seven Senate races to watch in 2022 Bottom line MORE (R-N.H.): A-ott (The first syllable rhymes with “day.”)

Rep. Larry BucshonLarry Dean Bucshon'I saw my life flash before my eyes': An oral history of the Capitol attack Tensions flare between House Republicans, Capitol Police over metal detectors House Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit 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 HoevenMcConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time Senate GOP opposition grows to objecting to Electoral College results Man charged with criminal mischief for allegedly vandalizing senator's office with ax 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 WomackTrust between lawmakers reaches all-time low after Capitol riots Pelosi announces lawmakers will be fined ,000 if they bypass metal detectors to House floor Cori Bush slams lawmakers who refused to go through metal detector outside House chamber 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 BoozmanSenators discussing Trump censure resolution Senate GOP signals it's likely to acquit Trump for second time Senate poised to override Trump's defense bill veto 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 CapitoModerates vow to 'be a force' under Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Biden's crisis agenda hits headwinds Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief 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 CrapoGOP digs in on preserving Trump tax cuts OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden's Interior Department temporarily blocks new drilling on public lands | Group of GOP senators seeks to block Biden moves on Paris, Keystone | Judge grants preliminary approval for 0M Flint water crisis settlement Sweeping COVID-19, spending deal hits speed bumps 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 InhofeSenate GOP signals it's likely to acquit Trump for second time Overnight Defense: Austin takes helm at Pentagon | COVID-19 briefing part of Day 1 agenda | Outrage over images of National Guard troops in parking garage Senate confirms Austin to lead Pentagon under Biden 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 KlobucharSenators spar over validity of Trump impeachment trial Sunday shows - Biden agenda, Trump impeachment trial dominate Klobuchar says Senate impeachment trial of former official is constitutional: 'We have precedent' 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