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When I first read the Harry Potter books at age 8 Hermione's name always vexed me. Now after seeing the movies I read her name as spoken in the movies, but did Rowling ever give us a phonetic pronunciation for her name?

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    Note that it's a perfectly ordinary - if fairly old-fashioned - name, which Rowling didn't make up, and has a perfectly standard pronunciation. – Daniel Roseman Dec 28 '15 at 10:15
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    You seem to have a gift for asking god-awfully poorly researched questions and getting loads of upvotes and HNQs :-P – Rand al'Thor Dec 28 '15 at 20:34
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    the name Hermione has been around for centuries. Reading it, I always assumed is was pronounced Her-Me-Own. – M. A. Golding Dec 29 '15 at 4:47
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    "It's LeviOsa, not LevioSA." xD – ABcDexter Aug 20 '16 at 18:29
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JKR pronounces it exactly as it's pronounced in the films

and from the FAQ on JKR's old website (along with a handy guide for how to remember it)

Q. How do you pronounce 'Hermione?'

A. Her (as in 'her brain is bigger than everyone else's') + my (as in 'my brain isn't as big as that') + oh (as in 'oh, for a brain that size') + knee (as in 'I've bruised my knee').

and from this interview

Q. This is probably a very American question, but how do you pronounce "Hermione"?

JKR. It's pronounced: Her-my-oh-nee.

And from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Hermione was now teaching Krum to say her name properly; he kept calling her ‘Hermy-own’.
‘Her – my – oh – nee,’ she said, slowly and clearly.
‘Herm – own – ninny.’
‘Close enough,’ she said, catching Harry’s eye and grinning.

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    Bonus for book quotes – Himarm Dec 28 '15 at 0:10
  • The answer doesn’t address stress. As the video shows, it’s the second syllable (my) that is stressed. – chirlu Dec 28 '15 at 19:49
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    @chirlu - OK. I'm unsure what more I can do to cover that. The video clip clearly indicates the pronunciation and stress. The other bits are just basically set-dressing. – Valorum Dec 28 '15 at 20:33
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A phonetic pronunciation of her name is given in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Ron says her name while his mouth is full of food, and it is rendered as four syllables.

‘Oh, c’mon, ’Er-my-knee,’ said Ron, accidentally spraying Harry with bits of Yorkshire pudding. ‘Oops – sorry, ’Arry –’ He swallowed. ‘You won’t get them sick leave by starving yourself!’

The presence of this passage in the book, along with the earlier one where it is pointed out that the reading pronunciation hermy-own is wrong, are presumably not merely incidental. Rather, the author and the publisher probably realized that lots of fans were not interpreting Hermione's name the way the author intended.

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    I've taken the liberty of editing in the book quote. For the record, since his mouth is full of food this probably isn't the best guide to pronouncing her name given that he only pronounces it with three syllables. – Valorum Dec 28 '15 at 1:06
  • Also, the conversation with Krum comes later, not earlier than the quote above. – Valorum Dec 28 '15 at 1:08
  • Four syllables? – Alex Mar 10 at 0:17
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Hermione is a real name, taken from ancient Greek and along with other classical names was fairly common in English speaking countries around the turn of the 19th century, much like Penelope (still common) and Persephone.

Greek derived names are usually rendered into English pronouncing every letter so the conventional pronunciation would be Her-my-uh-knee with the main stress on the second syllable here the third syllable could easily vary between 'uh' and 'er' depending on the speaker without much noticeable difference as in miner, someone with very precise diction might render it as 'oh'.

Although with some English regional accents this would be more like Uh-my-knee or Er-my-knee

  • Not that the other answer is wrong, but I like this response because it addresses the origins of the name and why it's pronounced that way, as opposed to having an arbitrarily author-specified pronunciation as if it were the name of an alien species. – jeffronicus May 15 '17 at 15:25
  • And yet, for quite a few of us who learned the words only in written context we aren't sure on pronunciation. I'm a native us "american" speaker (are we allowed to still call it English?) and I always thought colonel was ko-lo-nel and not kernel. And for Penelope I had a dog named Penny - referenced to as Penelope in formal speak course. In 2nd grade, I was reading a book out loud for some reason, and came across the name - "pen-el-ope". – ivanivan Dec 19 '18 at 0:09
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I always knew it as Her-mine-ee, especially from the original movie. But I listened to it on recording of the book, and it's Her-mine-e, the same.

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    Can you cite the recording you listened to? I'd assume it was one of the audio books read by Stephen Fry. – Longshanks Aug 20 '16 at 18:02
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It's Her-my-oh-knee, as proved in GOF (Goblet of Fire) at the Yule Ball. Hermione was teaching Viktor Krum how to pronounce her name (he keeps calling her Hermy-own). Based on the spelling, it could be pronounced Her-my-oh-knee, Her-me-one, Her-me-own, Her-my-one, Her-mi-on, Her-me-on, and Her-me-own, but not Her-my-knee (I know, that's a lot.)

  • Could you edit in the quote to support this? – TheLethalCarrot Dec 18 '18 at 23:11
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    This doesn't add anything to the accepted answer. – Blackwood Dec 18 '18 at 23:50

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