How to get Siri to correctly pronounce your name or call you something else

Trying to figure out how to get the iPhone 4S's Siri virtual personal assistant to say your name properly? One of Siri's abilities is to learn who you are and refer to you by your first name. However, many of us have names that Siri does not how to pronounce correctly. Or perhaps you don't even want to be called by your real name. For example, Ally likes to go by "Jailbreak Ninja". To get Siri to pronounce your name correctly or call you something else, all you need to do ask. Or you can change the phonetic spellings fields of your contact info.

Ask Siri

  1. Activate Siri by holding down the home button and wait for the beep.
  2. Say "Call me ____" Fill in the blank with whatever you want Siri to refer to you as. This can be your name or anything else.
  3. Siri will reply "From now on, I'll call you ____. OK?
  4. Reply "OK."

Siri will the update the nickname field of your contact info to this name. This is also how your name will appear when Siri types out your name.

Manually update the phonetic spelling of your name

  1. Open Contacts app
  2. Select your name
  3. Tap Edit
  4. Scroll to the bottom and tap "add field"
  5. Tap Phonetic First Name or Phonetic Last Name
  6. Fill out the field with the phonetic spelling of your name
  7. Tap Done

Using this method is best for correct pronunciation of your name, because Siri will still display your name with its correct spelling.

Manually update your nickname

To have Siri call you something other than your name, you can update your nickname manually, and here's how:

  1. Open Contacts app
  2. Select your name
  3. Tap Edit
  4. Scroll to the bottom and tap “add field”
  5. Tap Nickname

  6. Fill in the field with the name you wish to be called.

  7. Tap Done

Using this method will display your name as whatever you typed in the Nickname field.

There you go! Now you're all set to have Siri call you whatever you wish - whether that be the correct pronunciation of your name, or something else.

Please let us know how this tip worked out for you! Is anyone choosing a nickname other than a phonetically spelled version of their first name, like "Master", to be humorous? Let us know in the comments below!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Leanna Lofte

Former app and photography editor at iMore, Leanna has since moved on to other endeavors. Mother, wife, mathamagician, even though she no longer writes for iMore you can still follow her on Twitter @llofte.

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Reader comments

How to get Siri to correctly pronounce your name or call you something else


You can also just say:
"Siri call me _____"
I've had it calling me "Master of the Universe" and other funny things, but changed it back to my first name recently.

There is also an option when adding a field to choose "Phonetic First Name" or "Phonetic Last Name". I use this option because it pronounces your name correctly but ignores it when displaying your name.

Justin... I added my last name phonetically, but when I do that my name is moved in the contact list to what my phonetic name is. It DOES display the spelling of my name correctly, but it places it phonectically. My name begins with an Sc...but I spell it phonetically Sh...and my contact listing moves to the "Sh" listings. Have I done something wrong?

I use the "Siri, call me ____" as well. This way you get Siri's interpretation of the phonetics so you don't have to guess around.

Most people will leave the default settings on which is to allow Siri to work even when locked :) So it's going to be fun every time!

I don't have the 4S yet, but I would love for SIRI to sound a lot more sexier than she does now. Sheesh....the girl that announces bus stops where I live in Vancouver sounds sexier.

HSN there sure is. Go to the contact hit edit, scroll all the way down, to add field, and there it is.

I'm trying to decide between "el Jefe" or "el Presidente".
Now if I could only get Siri so finish every sentence with "like a boss"...

I've been trying this all morning and it's not working -nicknames or phonetic names. I wonder what's wrong?

I asked her "How do you know my name?" and she showed me the email info that I had entered.

My phone seems to sort by phonetic spelling, so when I tried to tell it "pronounce my last name like catski" it filed me under 'C'. Some users might want to beware of that.

I've got a friend named Christ, but it's pronounced like Chris with a T on the end. Haven't figured out how to fix that one.

Apparently, the phonetic first/last name only works for YOUR contact. So if Siri is mispronouncing one of your contacts and you add the phonetic first/last name, it still pronounces it the same.

I can't get Siri to correctly pronounce my name to save my life. My name is Tamara. It rhymes with camera. It pronounces it to like the word tomorrow. I hate that!

Great job in the detail of your instructions, but Siri mispronounces my surname despite me trying various combinations of phonetic spellings of my name in the phonetic spelling box in the contact area. If I spell it phonetically as the person's surname, she gets it right. i.e. Siri isn''t using phonetic spelling to pronounce names (at least not on my phone). Any suggestions?

How do you get it to pronounce a surname correctly, and does this carry acrosst to all with the same surname. Mine is Pollard which Siri can't quite get right. Mind you I'm not sure what ir would be. Any suggestions?

Yeah, whenever I tell Siri to "Text Mom" it asks me if I want it to remember that name is my mother... so obviously it remembers, but wants to confirm? It's happened like 5 times already.

when i tell Siri to call me by my name (Johnny), she does but then puts the nickname under my sisters's contact info... any ideas???

when i tell Siri to call me by my name (Johnny), she does but then puts the nickname under my sisters's contact info... any ideas???

Siri has been calling me "work" it must think that's me. How do I change it to "home" that has all of my personal info?

I must be missing something...I have attempted to get Siri to call me by my nickname and all I get is : "I can't make changes to your contacts. You can do it in the contacts app, though." Help!

Siri has not been able to pornounce my name or I just do not know the wirte phonetic spelling for it. What is the correct phonetic spelling for Sofia according to you?

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How often does Siri use your name? Thought she would use my name every time I asked her something...for example....Yes Ken it is raining out.
Thanks for all the tips!

Need to add to my last question. When Siri talks to me...the words type out my name but she doesn't say my name

Just got my iPhone 4S for Christmas and this helped out a lot. Have a few foreign friends whose names were not pronounced correctly. After changing the phonetic spelling of their names, Siri became THAT much more useful and liked. Thanks TiPB!

I have an very odd name in my family. It is spelled Michela (MACHELLA is how it sounds) But when I say "Text Michela" It enters "Machella" into a message and asks who I would like to send it to. I tried entering MACHELLA as the phoenetic first name, but that does not work. Sometimes she gets it right, but pronounces her name Mikayla. HELP

You can spell out the name to get Siri to text or call the right person. My sister has an odd name that Siri can not understand when I say, but when I spell her name Siri can pronounce it the correct way.
I can not get Siri to pronounce my name correctly- She calls me Carolyn even though my name is spelled Caroline!

I asked Siri to call me m'lord, and she replied "ha ha". I thought that was really funny, but when I tried it again to show my daughter, she complied. Strange

I don't have an iPod touch yet (glad I held off) but I've been noticing a severe drop in the quality of LCDs used in Apple products lately.

I cannot get Siri to call me anything. When I tell her, she looks for a contact and says she doesn't know who that is. Also it does not appear this is a contact for myself in my contact list or a way to add one. Any ideas?

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