How Do You Pronounce Quvenzhané Wallis? Explained.

Slate's Culture Blog
Jan. 10 2013 11:58 AM

How Do You Pronounce Quvenzhané Wallis?

Quvenzhane_Wallis_Beasts
Photo by Jess Pinkham © 2012 - Fox Searchlight Pictures

Quvenzhané Wallis plays Hushpuppy in Beasts of the Southern Wild.

One of the biggest stories in this morning’s Oscar nominations was the nomination of Quvenzhané Wallis, who became the youngest Best Actress nominee ever for her performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild. So now just about everyone will now know the name of the 9-year-old actress, but how do you pronounce it?

According to Vulture, it’s Kwe-VEN-zhah-nay. According to Entertainment Weekly, it’s the only slightly different Kwah-VAHN-Jah-Nay. According to a phonetic spelling that Roger Ebert worked on with the young actress, it’s kwa van je nay. For the final word, we defer to Wallis herself, who can be heard saying her name at the 2:35 mark in the video below:

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. Email him at Forrest.Wickman@slate.com.