Unusual on-air names at National Public Radio

As someone with an uncommon name myself, I’ve always paid attention when I hear a new name. Often I’ll wonder, how do you spell that? Did that name originate at birth, or marriage, or in some other way?

Regular listeners to National Public Radio have been exposed to a plethora of interesting names. Some on-line commenters have wondered if you need an unusual name to work at NPR.

First there are the names that are spelling challenges. Could you have gotten these names right? John Ydstie? Tom Gjelton? Kai Ryssdal? Steve Inskeep? Ira Flatow? Marilyn Geewax? Sylvia Poggioli? Lakshmi Singh? David Folkenflick? Mara Liasson? John Zarroli? Daniel Zwerdling? Sonari Glinton? Stefan Fatsis? David Bianculli?

The odds of a spelling error increase with the length of the name. How about Mandalit del Barco? Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson? Lourdes Garcia-Navarro? Nell Greenfieldboyce? Dina Temple-Raston?

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

But my favorite on-air NPR names, and probably yours, too, the ones I repeat to myself trying to get the pronunciation right, are Ofeibea Quist-Arcton and Douali Xaykaothao.

One of my great discoveries in spell-checking this piece is the People at NPR website which includes biographies and photos of NPR’s on-air personalities. All your questions answered HERE.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal