Although the pronunciation of many names is obvious, some require special attention. Please use the key below to advise how your name should be pronounced.

Indicate either the phonetic spelling of your name OR a familiar word that rhymes with your name.

  • Syllables are separated by dashes
  • Stressed syllables are capitalized

For example:

Raul Gonzalez:
rah-OOL gon-SAH-les
Ngoc Nguyen:
nahk nuhWEN or sounds like “knock” “WIN”
Sophia Lamagna:
so-FEE-uh sounds like “lasagna”

Phonetic Spelling Key


Respelling symbol(s) Example
b but, web
ch church, nature
d do, odd
dh this, breathe, father
f fool, enough, leaf
g go, beg
h ham, ahead
j gin, joy, edge
k cat, kiss, queen, skin, thick
kh loch
l left, bell
m man, ham
n no, tin
ng ring, singer, sink
ng-g finger
p pen, spin, tip
py pupil
r run, very
s or ss see, city, pass
sh she, sure, emotion, leash
t two, sting, bet
th thing, teeth
v voice, have
w we
wh what
y yes
z zoo, rose
zh pleasure, vision, beige


Respelling symbol(s) Example
a trap, cat
ah or aa palm, pot
air square
ar start
arr marry
aw tought, saw
ay, ai face, ape
er letter, Peter
e, eh dress, met
ee fleece, tree
eer near
err merry
ew ewe, dew
eye item
i or ih
(Use ih at end of syllable, esp. if I yields a real word, e.g. "hi", "ski")
kit, bit
irr mirror
o lot
oh or oe goat, toe, go
oo food, boot, shoe
oor cure, Europe
ohr force, wore
or or awr north, war
orr orange
ou out
ow mouth
oy choice, toy
u strut
uu foot, put
uh mother, comma
ur nurse
urr hurry
ye price


Respelling symbol(s) Example
UR further
AIR hair, bare
EER beer, hear
OOR poor
OR door, for
AR car
IKE bike
INE line
ITE light, bite
ICE dice
AL pal
ALL ball
AIL pail
ULL hull
OOL tool
OAL coal
EEL or EAL deal
ILL pill
ILE style, pile

Source: CMU University Registrar's Office