With an already crowded 2020 presidential race, it may be hard for voters to keep the names of every candidate — as well as their policies and platforms — straight.

This may be an even more difficult task given many people frequently flub the pronunciation or spelling of the Democratic candidates' names. It's been such a source of confusion that some candidates and even their spouses have taken to social media or campaign videos to clarify.


Here's a quick guide to some of the most frequently mispronounced names in the 2020 field -- and how to say them correctly.

Pete Buttigieg (BOOT-edge-edge)

Pete's last name is pronounced "Boot-edge-edge," his husband says.

Pete's last name is pronounced "Boot-edge-edge," his husband says. (peteforamerica.com)

New York Magazine's The Cut wrote an article in March solely on the name of the openly gay Indiana mayor exploring a presidential run in 2020.

Buttigieg is even selling campaign swag with the label "Boot Edge Edge" to make things easier for constituents.


Buttigieg’s husband, Chasten, also gave supporters some "options" when it comes to pronouncing their surname.

"Boot-edge-edge or Buddha-judge or Boot-a-judge or Boo-tuh-judge," he wrote in a Dec. 17 tweet, which received hundreds of likes.

Julian Castro (Who-lee-AHN Ka-stro)

Castro is former President Barack Obama’s U.S. housing chief and the previous mayor of San Antonio. As the grandson of a Mexican immigrant and twin son of a Latina activist, Castro said he is proud to represent the Latino community.


"I'm also very mindful, especially now for the Latino community, that there's a particular meaning to my candidacy," Castro said. "We can't go through the 2020 cycle with nobody on that stage because of what's happened over the last couple of years," he said in December, as he launched a 2020 exploratory committee.

He says his first name with a soft Spanish J, which he explained in his memoir, he committed to officially in college.

As a freshman at Stanford University, Castro said he was shocked when students got the pronunciation of his name right on the first try.

"They pronounced it with a Spanish J and an emphasis on the a—not 'JOO-lee-in,' but 'who-lee-AHN.' All through school, I’d grown up hearing the English-sounding Julian, even in Mexican American neighborhoods of San Antonio, and here in California, in a school with people from around the world, they nailed my name on the first try," he wrote, noting that he had an immense appreciation for the school's diversity.

"From then on, I always referred to myself as Julián, never Julian," he continued.

Tulsi Gabbard (TUL-see Gab-bard)

Believe it or not, there's actually a Reddit thread that only discusses the pronunciation of the Hawaii congresswoman's last name.

"I'm a big fan of Tulsi, and when discussing politics I often bring her name into the conversation. However, I've recently heard a few people pronounce her last name as 'guh-BARD,' instead of 'GA-bird.' Which is correct for Tulsi? I don't want to look like an idiot here," one Redditor kicked off the conversation last year.

Her name is actually pronounced TUL-see Gab-bard.

Her first name is Hindu and refers to a "holy basil plant," according to Slate.

Kirsten Gillibrand (KEER-sten JILL-uh-brand)

When Gillibrand was named New York's senator in 2009, The New York Times wanted to ensure residents knew how to address her.

"It’s a sibilant G ... JILL-uh-brand," an aide in her Hudson office told the newspaper back then.

“The vast majority of her constituents call her Kirsten — it’s very homey,” the aide added. “But you can mess that first name up, too. You can call her Kristen.”

According to the publication, many staff members at that time called Gillibrand by her initials: "Keg."

Kamala Harris (COM-uh-la)

The California senator could make history if she wins the Democratic nomination and made it into the White House. She'd be the first female, first African American woman, the first Indian American and the first Asian American, according to The Washington Post.

“It’s only been in the last year or so that she’s really come out and embraced [her Indian heritage,” Aziz Haniffa, executive editor of India Abroad, told the newspaper in February.

Her Indian first name, Kamala, translates to "lotus flower," The Post noted.

In 2016, Harris posted a 20-second video clip to help people better understand how to say her name properly.

"People pronounce my name many different ways. Let #KidsForKamala show you how it’s done," she tweeted at the time.

Amy Klobuchar (Amy KLO-bush-ar)

As Slate points out, the beginning of the Minnesota senator's name rhymes with "blow."

"That 'ch' is pronounced like an 'sh.' And in Minnesotan, the 'bush' is really quick," the Twin Cities Pioneer Press explained in a February article, adding that it's Slovenian.

Beto O’Rourke (BET-o o-RORK)

A September 2018 YouTube video titled, "How to Pronounce Beto O'Rourke," has been viewed nearly 60,000 times. The Houston Chronicle even wrote an Opinion piece on "How to pronounce 'Beto,'" at that time.

"You stress the first syllable, which is pronounced 'beh,' as in meh or heh. There is no 'y' or 'i' sound at the end of that 'e,'" author Juan Ramón Palomo stated in the piece.

Born Robert, the Texas representative says his nickname "Beto" is common in the Spanish community.

"From day one, in El Paso ... If you are born Robert ... your community calls you 'Beto,'" he explained during a CNN town hall in Texas in October.