37 Celebrity Names You Always Misspell

One small detail about some well-known Hollywood stars is that it can be difficult to spell their names. These famous people all have names that are difficult to pronounce, either because they are more complicated than, say, "John Smith," or because they are a unique twist on names that are often simple, like "Katharine" Hepburn.
You probably remember the well-known names on this list because you thought, "Well, now what?" when you first heard them. Do you regularly type Shia LaBeouf incorrectly into Google to hear about his most recent antics?
Coming from Matthew McConaughey (Matthew Mcaun? Matthew Machonahy? Matthew Mahogany? ) to Quvenzhané Wallis, the Oscar 2013 darling, there are certain celebrities with complicated names that you will never be able to pronounce perfectly at the first time.
In any situation, it's time for you to vote up the names of famous people whose names you can never seem to spell correctly. If you know Bonus: Please feel free to add any other well-known celebrities with strange name spellings, add them to this list.

#1 Arnold Schwarzenegger

Celebrity NamesSource: Diario Libre

Arnold Schwarzenegger, an Austrian-American bodybuilder-turned-actor-turned-politician, can be spelled more easily if you go syllable by syllable. Even so, a few of the letters will probably still need to be filled in with the help of Google.

#2 Barbra Streisand

Celebrity NamesSource: Ridikül

At the start of her career, the great singer changed her name. But Streisand didn't make any major changes; she just dropped the third "a" from Barbara. "I was 18 and I wanted to be unique, but I didn't want to change my name because that was too false. You know, people were saying you could be Joanie Sands or something like that,"  Streisand, whose middle name is Joan, stated in a CBS News interview. "And I said, 'No, let's see if I take out the 'a,' it's still 'Barbara,' but it's unique."

#3 Cara Delevingne

Celebrity NamesSource: Stacker

Cara Delevingne, a model and actor, has a memorable name, but it's quite understandable if you can't say it correctly the first time. In these humorous Instagram videos from the 2014 Met Gala, even fellow superstars Reese Witherspoon, Zooey Deschanel, and Kate Upton struggled to pronounce her name. It's "Cahr-uh Del-a-veen" for those of you hoping to outperform these celebrities at the name game.

#4 Chiwetel Ejiofor

Celebrity NamesSource: IMDb

Chiwetel Ejiofor, a Nigerian immigrant, and British actor acknowledged that the movie business previously put pressure on him to change his name. In 2015, he said to The Guardian, "People were like, 'It's going to be quite difficult for you to make any money as an actor.'"  The Oscar-nominated 12 Years a Slave actor is proud to still go by his given name decades later, and you should probably learn how to spell it. He also has a lot of notable performances to his credit.

#5 Chloë Sevigny

Celebrity NamesSource: Pinterest

Admirers of this independent film star frequently struggle to put her surname's difficult syllables together. Sevigny is pronounced like "Seven-e"—like the number seven and the letter "e," according to various instructional videos. It is that easy. Not to mention her first name's umlaut, of course!

#6 Courteney Cox

Celebrity NamesSource: Rotten Tomatoes

Alabama native Courteney Cox was given her mother's name. And her name is misleading because of the first "e."
As Cox's ex-husband, David Arquette, once said on Lopez Tonight, Cox's daughter, Coco, is named after her as per custom. It consists of the first sounds of her first and last names put together. Fortunately for Coco, there isn't an extra vowel to cause misunderstandings.

#7 Dan Aykroyd

Source: BBC

The last name of this Canadian-American celebrity is not difficult to pronounce ("Ack-roid"). To accurately spell the name of the Ghostbusters actor, all you have to do is keep in mind that the first "y" is completely silent.

#8 Djimon Hounsou

Source: Damion. club

Actor Djimon Hounsou revealed in a 2018 interview at the Miami Film Festival that he didn't know the true origin of his name until he started working on In Search of Voodoo: Roots to Heaven, a movie exploring the origins of the voodoo culture in West Africa. Hounsou was born in the modern-day nation of Benin, which is in West Africa. Hounsou's last name originally meant "one born in the shrine of voodoo," according to a thorough study. It's also about time we learned how to spell his name, given that he has been acting for 30 years and has appeared in some of the biggest films ever (including Amistad, Gladiator, and Guardians of the Galaxy).

#9 Emily Ratajkowski

Source: IMDb

This supermodel, actor, and author have empathy for anyone who might find it difficult to pronounce and spell her Polish name, which is why she explained it to readers in an interview with Rolling Stone. "The 'j' is silent. That's the trick. Occasionally people get it right on the first try, just through random luck," she explained. "People have told me to change it over the years, but my dad is always saying, 'Never change your name!'"

#10 Gabourey Sidibe

Source: CNN

Since having her acting debut in Precious in 2009, Gabourey Sidibe's Senegalese name has confused many of us. Fortunately for those of us who struggle with spelling, Sidibe now simply goes by the nickname "Gabby," but that doesn't take away from the beauty of her given name (and is worthy of being spelled correctly).

#11 Ginnifer Goodwin

Source: Jauns. lv

Jennifer Goodwin, better known by her given name Ginnifer Goodwin, officially changed her name in 2011 to more accurately reflect the local pronunciation of her name in her native Tennessee. In 2009, Goodwin revealed during an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman that in her own country, the first syllable of her name is pronounced differently than how "Jen" is normally spoken.

#12 Giuliana Rancic

Source: WISH-TV

Giuliana Rancic's name frequently raises questions, even though it is pronounced the same as every other "Juliana" in the world. Regarding the unusual spelling, TV Guide claims that Rancic moved to the US when she was seven years old, taking her family with her from Naples, Italy. The standard Italian spelling is "Giuliana," too.

#13 Hayden Panettiere


Hayden Panettiere, a graduate of Nashville, has an unusual last name that means "baker" in Italian. This is due to her ancestry. Fun fact: In 2018, Panettiere came dangerously close to wedging Ukrainian professional boxer Wladimir Klitschko. (The previous couple is parents to a daughter.) We can only imagine how challenging it would have been to get that hyphenation correct on the first go.

#14 Jake Gyllenhaal

Source: IMDb

The Nordic languages frequently use double letters, as demonstrated by Jake Gyllenhaal and their sister Maggie. Since they came from a long line of Swedish nobility, no one in Sweden would dare misspell their names. Both actors are descended from Lieutenant Nils Gunnarsson Haal, whose last name changed to Gyllenhaal in 1652 after he was made a baronet.

#15 Joaquin Phoenix

Source: Rotten Tomatoes

Joaquin Phoenix has always followed his path, and his distinctiveness is not limited to his moniker. According to an interview by Phoenix's late brother, River, made to Premiere in 1988, Phoenix's parents changed their last name from Bottom to Phoenix (the mythological bird that rises from its ashes) after deciding to leave a fringe religious sect called Children of God. Joaquin wanted an earthier name as a child to match his older siblings. Thus, the Walk the Line actor went by the moniker Leaf Phoenix for a short time at the start of his career. Undoubtedly, many of us would have found it easier to spell.

#16 Joe Manganiello

Source: Robert Irvine

Joe Manganiello, is an actor, with a name that takes more than a single breath to say (pronounced "Man-guh-Nello"). But he breaks things down for you if you want to make sure you're understanding it correctly.

#17 Kaley Cuoco

Source: Twitter

Many people have trouble pronouncing the Italian surname of the Big Bang Theory star in addition to spelling it incorrectly. Even in 2018, the actor called into On Air with Ryan Seacrest to fix the way her last name was spoken on the radio show. It's "Kwo-ko," not "Ko-ko" or "Koo-oh-ko," to be clear.

#18 M. Night Shyamalan

Source: Rotten Tomatoes

Yes, the spelling of the Sixth Sense director's last name does not correspond to how it is typically pronounced, "Shah-ma-lan." However, the hulking Hollywood star went by M instead of Manoj Nelliyattu Shyamalan. According to New York Magazine, Night Shyamalan studied at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. He has already simplified the first portion of his name for you to pronounce. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to learn how to spell his last name, as it is. Just a thought.

#19 Macaulay Culkin

Source: Biography

The first name of Macaulay Culkin honors British scholar Thomas Babington Macaulay. And he nearly went even further after inviting his supporters to weigh in on a name change in a public poll on his satirical lifestyle website, Bunny Ears, in 2019. The winner was "Macaulay Macaulay Culkin Culkin." Unfortunately, "TheMicRibIsBack" came in second, even though Macaulay is probably easier to spell.

#20 Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Source: Today Show

Dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy goes as Maks on the reality competition Dancing With the Stars, where he has competed professionally for 17 seasons. But his whole first name also comes from a longer phrase: It is usual in many nations, including Chmerkovskiy's home Ukraine, to use the Latin family name Maximus as a first name (other common spellings include Maxim and Maksym). The dancer delivered on the promise of his stage name in 2014. It translates to "the greatest," and he won the DWTS championship in Season 18 with ice dancer Meryl Davis.

#21 Malin Åkerman

Source: IMDb

It could be difficult for Americans to understand the name Malin Kerman (pronounced "Mah-lin Ack-er-man"). But the actor's first name is very conventional in Sweden, where she was born, she once said on the late-night talk show, Conan.
According to Kerman, "It's a very Swedish name." Conan O'Brien "It's such a traditional name that it's like a 'Gertrude' or a 'Rose' here. So, when I'm in Sweden, you hear the name 'Malin,' but it will be me and five 85-year-old women turning around at the same time."

#22 Mariska Hargitay

Source: Wikidata

Mariska Hargitay, a star of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, was given this unusual name by her legendary parents, Jayne Mansfield and Mickey Hargitay, a former Mr. Universe of Hungarian descent. According to a 1964 Cumberland News article on the actor's birth, her middle name, Mariska Magdolna, and first name, Mariska Magdolna, are homages to Mary Magdalene.

#23 Matthew McConaughey

Source: Biography

Even if you've spent hours Googling Matthew McConaughey (hey, we don't judge), chances are you used the internet to fill in the blanks after you reached his last name. The difficult spelling of McConaughey's last name can be attributed to his Irish origin (and his classic good looks, one might say).

#24 Mayim Bialik

Source: IMDb

The Big Bang Theory actor's last name is well-known in Israel, and her first name, according to the Jewish Standard, means "water" in Hebrew. She is an ancestor of the renowned Jewish poet Hayim Nahman Bialik.

#25 Michelle Pfeiffer

Source: CNN

Pfeiffer, while having a very traditional-sounding name, turns out to be very challenging for many individuals to spell because of the repeated consonants. The German violinist and composer Johann Pfeiffer and Pfeiffer University in North Carolina are among the noteworthy individuals and organizations with whom the actress Michelle Pfeiffer shares the same last name.

#26 Milo Ventimiglia

Source: Factinate

You might unintentionally add a few extra letters here and there if you've ever tried to spell the This Is Us star's name. You may thank Milo Ventimiglia's Sicilian ancestry for this difficult series of vowels and consonants, as you undoubtedly guessed. Ventimiglia translates to "20 (venti) miles (Miglia)" if you break it down into its parts.

#27 Nathalie Emmanuel

Source: Prabook

Nathalie Emmanuel, a British actor, is notable for having a unique name. Natalie is spelled in French, which may be related to the French ancestry of her father. Although English is the official language of the island nation where her father is half Saint Lucian, most people also speak Saint Lucian Creole French, also known as Patwa.

#28 Nicolas Cage

Source: NME

Nicolas Kim Coppola, the famous director's nephew, wanted to escape the appearance of nepotism, so he changed his name to Nicolas Cage when he was a young child. According to USA Today, the actor claims that his new stage name was partially influenced by the Marvel Comics protagonist Luke Cage. His initial name doesn't include the conventional English "h" between the "c" and the "o" due to his Italian ancestry.

#29 Quvenzhané Wallis

Source: IMDb

Qulyndreia and Venjie Wallis, Sr. Wallis combined the first syllables of their names to create the first letter of their daughter Quvenzhané Wallis, an actor from the film Beasts of the Southern Wild. The remaining part is a modified version of the Swahili word "jini," which means "fairy" or "sprite." The celebrity made a useful tutorial video that demonstrates how to pronounce it ("Kwah-van-JA-nay"). And you're on your own if you can't spell that last name correctly!

#30 Rachael Harris

Source: NiT

Rachael Harris is most likely familiar to you from the television series Lucifer and the films That Hangover and New Girl. You might not get it properly the first time if you try to write her name without checking. Her parents chose the more contemporary spelling of Rachel, which ends in "all," as opposed to the traditional Biblical spelling.

#31 Rachel Weisz

Source: Protagon

The actress Rachel Weisz is happy to carry this name, which has a rich heritage in her family. According to an interview she gave to Tablet Mag, her mother and father left Austria and Hungary for the United Kingdom in 1938 to avoid Nazi persecution.

#32 Saoirse Ronan

Source: IMDb

If you're not from Ireland or are extremely aware of your Irish history, you might find it difficult to spell Saoirse Ronan's name correctly the first time. Her initial name is often mispronounced due to the combination of vowels. The Lady Bird singer carried a sign around her neck that read, "Hello, my name is Sur-sha," when she made an appearance on The Ellen Show in 2016. It rhymes with inertia, as a hint.

#33 Scarlett Johansson

Source: IMDb

 Karsten Olaf Johansson, Johansson's father, is a native of Copenhagen in Denmark. Johansson, which means "son of Johan" or "Johan's son," is the most popular last name in the neighboring country of Sweden. Scarlett Johansson still maintains her dual citizenship in the United States and Denmark. We're still working to perfect those double consonants to this day.

#34 Shia LaBeouf

Source: Aleteia

Shia LaBeouf, a controversial actor, was named by his Jewish mother, who also chose the Hebrew meaning of his first name, "God is salvation." His last name, which is French for "beef," is a result of his father's Cajun-French origin. Therefore, the actor's name does translate to "Thank God for meat."

#35 Timothée Chalamet

Source: Rotten Tomatoes

Although some of his followers may refer to him as Timmy, it doesn't stand for Timothy. Timothée Chalamet, the star of Dune, was born in France to a French father and an American mother. As a result, he has a French last name and a first name that is more frequently used in the United States. Chalamet is fluent in both English and French and spent time in both France and New York as a child. He said to IndieWire that this resulted in  "a little bit of ambiguity in the self-identity sense, which helps a lot creatively because I don't feel as constricted by who I am."

#36 Zach Galifianakis

Source: Vecteezy

Actor Zach Galifianakis' name, like many Greek names, presents a difficult letter combination. On The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the actor and Stephen Colbert created a funny and helpful song for individuals who want to learn how to spell it.

#37 Zooey Deschanel

Source: Rotten Tomatoes

Zooey Deschanel's parents were avid readers of J.D. Salinger's novel Franny and Zooey at the time of her birth, which explains why her first name is uniquely spelled.
The actress has kept things—shall we say—unique when it comes to the names of her own children. Charlie Wolf and Elsie Otter are the names of the children that Deschanel and her ex-husband, Jacob Pechenik, had. At least they are simple to spell!
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