How do you pronounce Buttigieg... is a question more Americans are asking today

As ‘Maltese’ mayor Pete Buttigieg sets out to sound his chances to run for Democratic nominee for US President, it’s his surname that’s raising some important questions...

Buttigieg, with its -tigieg portion of the last name meaning 'poultry', is one of various Maltese surnames of Semitic origin. Pictured are Chasten and Pete Buttigieg.
Buttigieg, with its -tigieg portion of the last name meaning 'poultry', is one of various Maltese surnames of Semitic origin. Pictured are Chasten and Pete Buttigieg.

Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old Democratic mayor of South Bend, Indiana, announced on Wednesday that he is launching an exploratory committee for a 2020 presidential bid. 

He is the son of Maltese immigrant Prof. Joseph A. Buttigieg, who lectures at the University of Notre Dame. 

Buttigieg, a Navy veteran and Rhodes scholar, is the least well known of Democrat hopefuls, and it is clear that voters will likely struggle with pronouncing his name. 

MORE about Pete Buttigieg


CNN and other newspapers such as the Washington Post have already mapped out the various possibilities for Americans to pronounce his surname: buddha-judge, boot-a-judge, boo-tug-judge... although both Buttigieg and his husband Chasten Buttigieg have set out a few possibilties: 

Buttigieg, with its –tigieg portion of the last name meaning ‘poultry’, is one of various Maltese surnames of Semitic origin that were already well established by the late middle ages. It happens to be one of the most common surnames in Gozo, especially dominant in the small village of Qala. 

 

More in National