Pop Culture

Nee-yango? En-yongo? Kimmel teases anchors who can't say Lupita's last name

Lupita N'yongo was named People magazine's Most Beautiful person on Wednesday, but she didn't win the Most Pronounceable Name award.

N'yongo's last name is Kenyan, and is pronounced similar to "en-YON-go." But as Jimmy Kimmel pointed out on Wednesday's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," news anchors across the country tied their tongues up in knots just attempting to give it a go. But they gave it the old journalism-school try.

Neyong?

New-ong?

Nin-yongo?

Nee-yango?

New-ongo?

One anchor just gave up entirely, introducing Nyong'o simply as "Lupita," as if she was Cher or Madonna.

“I wish people had asked John Travolta to announce Lupita Nyong’o's name,” Kimmel said. “He did such a nice job at the Oscars.”

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    Jason Merritt / Getty Images North America

    Image: 2014 MTV Movie Awards - Arrivals

    Lupita Nyong'o and her colorful wardrobe

    Bright yellow, sky blue, rich red, shimmering gold — there's not a color that the fashionably adventurous Oscar-winning actress hasn't conquered.

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    Over the rainbow

    Actress Lupita Nyong'o has been selected as People magazine's Most Beautiful person, 2014. As the star rocketed to fame this past year, she became known for wearing a different color gown to every public event. But at the MTV Movie Awards on April 13, 2014, she combined them all on her confetti-flecked Chanel dress, matched with sky-blue Casadei pumps.

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  • Image: 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards - Arrivals

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    Striking silhouette

    Nyong'o wore an Antonio Berardi green iridescent dress with bright blue waist panels to the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards on April 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Marie Claire's Fresh Faces Party

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    In bloom

    Nyong'o wore a flower-sprinkled Giambattista Valli couture dress and Christian Louboutin pumps to the Marie Claire's Fresh Faces Party on April 8, 2014 in West Hollywood, Calif.

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    Soaring sky

    Nyong'o's pale blue Prada gown, worn to the Oscars on March 2, 2014, reminded her of Nairobi, Kenya, where she was raised. It was also inspired by a gown Elizabeth Taylor wore in 1969. The silk pleated gown was much in the spotlight when Nyong'o won the best supporting actress Oscar for her role as Patsey in "12 Years a Slave."

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    Accompanying Oscar

    Nyong'o changed into a Miu Miu seafoam-green gown for the Vanity Fair Oscar party, on March 2, 2014. Her purse was by Prada and her jewelry by Fred Leighton, but the little gold guy in her arms made for the ultimate accessory.

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    Ab-solutely

    Nyong'o showed off her abs in an indigo and white Michael Kors dress worn to the 7th Annual Women in Film pre-Oscar cocktail party on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014.

    AP / AP
  • 7th Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Luncheon

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    Essence of beauty

    Nyong'o wore a crop top and skirt by Giambattista Valli to the 7th Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood luncheon on Feb. 27, 2014, and delivered a moving speech about her her journey to feeling beautiful.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Sally Morrison & LoveGold Celebrate Academy Award Nominee Lupita Nyong'o

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    Bluer than blue

    Nyong'o played the blues in a Stella McCartney cutout dress when she was honored by Sally Morrison & LoveGold at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles on Feb. 26, 2014.

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    Copper celebration

    N'yongo wore a shiny copper-colored dress by Lanvin to the world premiere of the film "Non-Stop" on Feb. 24, 2014 in Los Angeles.

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    Orange on the red carpet

    Nyong'o shone in an orange Givenchy gown at the 45th NAACP Image Awards on Feb. 22, 2014, in Pasadena, Calif.

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  • EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 - Red Carpet Arrivals

    Lupita Nyong'o and her colorful wardrobe

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    Easy being green

    Nyong'o chose an emerald-green silk Christian Dior gown with a fishtail hem for the EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 at London's Royal Opera House on Feb. 16, 2014.
    Full story: Lupita Nyong'o is People magazine's Most Beautiful person.

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  • Calvin Klein Collection - Front Row - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2014

    Lupita Nyong'o and her colorful wardrobe

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    Pretty in pastel

    Nyong'o and Naomi Watts attend the Calvin Klein Collection fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week on Feb. 13, 2014 in New York.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • The Hollywood Reporter's Annual Nominees Night Party

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    Hooray for Hollywood

    Nyong'o wore a gold Valentino gown to The Hollywood Reporter's Annual Nominees Night Party at Spago on Feb. 10, 2014 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

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    Spring has spring

    Nyong'o wore a breezy orange-and-pink Dior dress to the 86th Oscar nominees luncheon on Feb.10, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

    AP / AP
  • Lupita Nyong'o Visits "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon"

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    Regal purple

    Nyong'o wore a plum-colored top and trousers by Cushnie et Ochs when she appeared on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" on Jan. 22, 2014 in New York.

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  • 25th Annual Producers Guild Of America Awards - Arrivals

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    Sleek and serious

    Nyong'o chose a caramel-colored Stella McCartney dress to the 25th annual Producers Guild of America Awards on Jan. 19, 2014 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

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    Lady in red

    Nyong'o's ravishing red Ralph Lauren ensemble, complete with cape, matched the red carpet at the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Jan. 12, 2014.

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    Terrific turquoise

    Nyong'o was dressed in a turquoise Gucci gown with an elaborate flower collar when she accepted the award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a supporting role for "12 Years a Slave," at the 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 18, 2014.

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  • The Entertainment Weekly Celebration Honoring This Year's SAG Awards Nominees Sponsored By TNT & TBS And essie - Red Carpet

    Lupita Nyong'o and her colorful wardrobe

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    Bloom where you're planted

    Nyong'o wore a Valentina dress bursting with flowers to the Entertainment Weekly celebration honoring SAG Awards nominees at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles on Jan. 17, 2014.

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  • US-ENTERTAINMENT-CRITIC'S CHOICE-CARPET

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    Creative cut-outs

    N'yongo poses in her elaborately cut-out Calvin Klein gown during red carpet arrivals for the Critic's Choice Awards in Santa Monica, Calif. on Jan. 16, 2014.

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  • 2014 Film Independent Filmmaker Grant And Spirit Awards Nominees Brunch - Arrivals

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    Snazzy shorts

    Nyong'o went with shorts and a top by Peter Pilotto for the 2014 Film Independent Filmmaker Grant And Spirit Awards Nominees Brunch at BOA Steakhouse on Jan. 11, 2014 in West Hollywood, Calif.

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  • IFP's 23nd Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards - Red Carpet

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    Put a bow on it

    Nyong'o wore a white strapless Lanvin gown, complete with bow, to the IFP's 23nd Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on Dec. 2, 2013 in New York.

    Getty Images for IFP / Getty Images for IFP
  • GQ Men Of The Year Party - Carpet

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    Pretty in pink

    Nyong'o chose a pale pink sheath by Cushnie et Ochs for the GQ Men Of The Year Party at The Ebell Club of Los Angeles on Nov. 12, 2013.

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  • "12 Years A Slave" Portraits - 2013 Toronto International Film Festival

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    Here comes the sun

    Nyong'o went with a sunny yellow Honor sweater and floral shorts when she posed at the Guess Portrait Studio during the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 7, 2013.

    Getty Images / Getty Images

Travolta will never live down his infamous Oscar-night mulching of "Frozen" star and Broadway singer Idina Menzel's name, turning it into "Adela Nazeem."

In fact, perhaps the anchors should've tried Slate's John Travolta Name Generator, which Travoltifys any name entered into it. When Travoltified, Nyong'o's name comes out as "Louisa Nicheems."

Give Nyong'o (Nicheems?) the last word: She's even recorded the pronunciation of her name.

Follow Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, who is quite familiar with mispronounced names, on Google+.


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