As the author of many of our favorite childhood novels, Roald Dahl is a name synonymous with magic. Some of Roald Dahl’s most iconic works, of course, include James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The BFG…JUST to name a few. But regardless of which story is your absolute favorite, there’s probably one thing we ALL have in common – how we pronounce the author’s name. Specifically, his first name.
I’m certainly not a phonetics expert, but here’s my best take at explaining how most people pronounce Roald: “ROLLED.” Or, at least, something like that, right? Well, it turns out this is NOT how you pronounce his name.
THIS is how you pronounce Roald’s name:
That’s right, folks. It’s pronounced “ROO-ALL!!!”
WAIT. Wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut?!This footage is from an episode of Dahl’s 1961 dark sci-fi TV show Way Out (it was kind of like a Twilight Zone-esque anthology series). And in it, we hear the announcer VERY CLEARLY introduce the epic author as “Roo-All.” Our minds basically exploded after hearing this.
As it turns out, this is a Norwegian pronunciation.
And WHY you ask? Because his parents were Norwegian. In fact, he was named after Roald Amundsen, a Norwegian polar explorer and a hero of his father’s.