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Celebrities are definitely known for having unique, interesting, and difficult to pronounce names. Maybe it is some star-studded right of passage, or perhaps it simply keeps us from confusing one Jake for another, but either way, some names are really hard to say. Stars keep us on our toes as we guess how to stumble through the tongue twisters that are their names.

From Zach Galifianakis to Zooey Deschanel, there are plenty of celebrity names we all pronounce incorrectly. But, the one we get wrong every time, is Marvel’s latest superhero: Jake Gyllenhaal.

Where are the Gyllenhaals from?

Jake Gyllenhaal
Jake Gyllenhaal | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Jake is an American actor and the son of some successful predecessors in the entertainment world. His dad is director Stephen Gyllenhaal and his mom is screenwriter Naomi Foner. Coming from such talent, it is only natural that both siblings, Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, would emerge into Hollywood as big stars themselves.

Jake’s great-great-grandfather, Anders Leonard Gyllenhaal, was his most recent relative born in Sweden. From there, the family traces their roots back to a Swedish noble family. On his mother’s side, he has a lineage that heads to Russia and Poland, from his mother’s New York City-based, Jewish family. 

Jake Gyllenhaal says everyone gets his name wrong

Jake mentions that the only place he has heard his name pronounced correctly is in Sweden and, he jokes, in Ikea. Apparently, it is also difficult for others to spell. Even castmates he has spent a lot of time with have trouble with the actor’s name. Jimmy Kimmel called out Jake’s Spiderman Far from Home co-star Tom Holland with a spelling bee type challenge, in which Tom failed.

Jake seems to be a stickler for pronunciation in general, as is made clear when he corrected his director, Dan Gilroy when he says star Rene Russo has “a touch of meh-lahnk-ly”. He jumps right in clarifying that he meant  “melancholy” (mell-en-kolly).

It’s a problem that likely plagues Jake Gyllenhaal’s famous sister too

With the same last name, there is no doubt that Jake’s sister Maggie suffers from the same name dilemma. However, the star tends to lead a more private life than her brother and likely doesn’t necessarily feel the need to correct people on their pronunciation.

Maggie has other problems. In an interview with ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael, she explains that when she got married and needed to legally change her last name she discovered that her name was, in fact, not even Maggie. Her legal name on her birth certificate is listed as “Margalit” Gyllenhaal, which although the actress admits she really likes the name, it isn’t hers. She’s Maggie on her driver’s license and her passport, and in all aspects of her life. 

It seems that the famous siblings both have some troubles in the name department. 

This is how you pronounce Jake Gyllenhaal’s last name

Most people look at Jake’s name and take a very Americanized approach to its pronunciation. Typically, it is pronounced “Jill” (like a girls name), “in-hall,” as in the hallway.

On separate occasions, even Jake has pronounced his name differently. We can assume that the actor is teasing while he pronounces it “Yill-in-Hoo-la-hey” in an interview promoting his role on Prince of Persia.

We have to guess that Jake likes to play around with his name, and doesn’t mind confusing people because on a later interview with Conan he pronounces his name “Yill-in-Hale-leh,” which has a very different sound to his previous claim.

We think we’ll take the word of and just stick with “Jill-in-hall,” until Jake sticks to his story.