Home

HOH Name Game: Don't Mispronounce These

Good times! Just don't be the one to flub a name as the 114th Congress gets started. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Anyone new to Capitol Hill has to get to know a big group of people right away, and with 535 members of Congress, plus non-voting delegates and Puerto Rico's resident commissioner all roaming the halls, getting all their names right is no easy feat.  

There are some names, however, you just absolutely should never mangle. If you do, you'll look like a rube, and if we find out about it at HOH, we'll make fun of you, too.  So we present the inaugural edition of HOH Name Game, a public service we'll provide to help navigate Congress' most challenging names. Many thanks to our friends at the CQ Members desk, who make such a PSA possible.  

Crapo. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

CRAY-poe. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Michael D. Crapo , R-Idaho. (CRAY-poe) — There's a time and a place for scatological humor. The first time you meet Idaho's senior senator is not one of them.  

Feinstein (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

FINE-stine (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein , D-Calif. (FINE-stine) — Mispronounce this veteran senator's name and she might have to reconsider her staunch opposition to torture.  

Goodlatte. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

GOOD-lat. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte , R-Va. (GOOD-lat) — Coffee lovers might love a good combination of steamed milk and java, but please don't bring that to any conversations with or concerning the House Judiciary chairman.  

gree-HAHL-va (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Gree-HAHL-va (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva , D-Ariz. (Gree-HAHL-va) — The man with arguably the most impressive facial hair in Congress (though we miss the straight-up 'stache) might think twice about hanging out with you at the Tune Inn if you don't get his name right.  

EYE-sah. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

EYE-sah. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Darrell Issa , R-Calif. (EYE-sah) — You don't want to get a stern talking-to from the man who provides the voice for Viper car alarms, do you?  

KEER-sten Jill-uh-brand (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

KEER-sten Jill-uh-brand (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand , D-N.Y. (KEER-sten JILL-uh-brand) — The junior senator from the Empire State is taking on the military justice system over how it handles sexual assault cases. She suffers no fools, including people who don't know how to pronounce one or both of her names.  

BAY-ner (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

BAY-ner (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner , R-Ohio. (BAY-ner) — Seriously, don't mess this one up. The man third in line to the presidency has a pretty good sense of humor about things, including the inadvertent mispronunciation of his name, which is itself a synonym for a gaffe. But just don't go there. People will think you're an idiot, or perhaps being too familiar with the House's top leader. Let him take the lead on joshing about it.  

Related: The 114th: CQ Roll Call's Guide to the New Congress Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.