Have You Been Pronouncing These Characters' Names Wrong?

Are you saying Hermione properly?


Hot on the heels of JK Rowling’s earth-shattering news that Harry Potter’s arch nemesis Voldemort is supposed to be pronounced without the T - instead a more elegant, gallic Voldemoré should be deployed - a further list of commonly mispronounced literary characters has been released. 

A survey of 2,000 people, taken by digital audiobook retailer Audible, discovered that 39% of people have pronounced the names of famous fictional characters incorrectly.


Amongst the names are everyone’s favourite platinum-haired dragon queen and a mythical Greek king who liked his mum a bit too much.

Scroll down to read the full list.



1. Don Quixote

 Spain’s most famous literary export is also the most commonly mispronounced name on the list.

‘Don-Key-Hoh-Tee’, not ‘Don Quicks-Oat’.


2. Daenerys Targaryen 

You’d think that the nation’s GOT addiction would result in immaculate pronunciation. Alas, Emilia Clarke’s Mother of Dragons comes in second.

‘Duh-Nair-Ris’ ‘Tar-Gair-Ee-In’, not ‘Dee-Nay-Ris ‘Targ--Ahh-Ruh-Yen’


3. Oedipus

 The King of Thebes, who murdered his father and married his mother, also has the honour of being mispronounced by 23% of people.

‘Ee-Di-Pus’, not 'Oh-Eh-Di-Pus'


4. Hermione

 The Brave and bold Gryffindor witch - played in the films by ELLE favourite Emma Watson - is still mistakenly pronounced 18 years after she was first introduced in The Philsopher’s Stone.

‘Her-My-Oh-Knee’, not ‘Her-Mee-Own’



5. Beowulf

 The protagonist of one of the English language’s seminal works of fiction is mispronounced by 16% of the public.

‘Bay-Oh-Woolf’, not ‘Bee-Oh-Wulf’


6. Poirot 

The dashing French detective and Sunday-night favourite comes in at 6th on the list.

‘Pwa-Row’, not ‘Poy-Rot’


7. Smaug 

The Hobbit antihero may be a giant, talking dragon, but that doesn't excuse you getting his name wrong.

‘Sm-Owg’, not ‘Sm-Org’


8. Voldemort 

As mentioned, the snake-faced muggle destroyer requires a further degree of elegant pronunciation from here on in please. 

‘Vol-De-More’, not ‘Vol-De-Mort’ 


9. Violet Beauregarde

Easily the most unlikable character in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, nevertheless, the infamous gum chewer is another name on the list who requires a French approach.

Vie-Ah-Let’ Bore-R-Garrr’, not ‘Bore-Ruh-Gard’


10. Piscine Patel

The final name on the survey, with only 11% of Britain getting the Life of Pi castaway wrong. Piscine means also means swimming pool in French, just to carry on the theme. 

'Piss-Een Pat-El, not ‘Pis-Kine Pat-il’ 


Words by Finlay Renwick

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