I Just Learned I’ve Been Mispronouncing Marriott My Entire Life

There’s a lot of words in hospitality that people get wrong all the time. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard people refer to American A-Advantage, or A-Mex. But it never occurred to me that I’ve been pronouncing Marriott wrong for the last 20 years or longer.

  • I’ve always pronounced it “Marry-ott”

  • But Marriott says the pronunciation is actually “Marry-it” and they enlist a Marriott family member to explain this.

She explains it’s also Marriott like “Chariot” but she pronounces it ‘Charry-it’ which is not the most common pronunciation I’m familiar with (‘Charry-ott’). And at the very end of the video I can barely distinguish her pronunciation between Marry-it and Marry-ott.

Personally I just wish they’d stop making up words like ‘Bonvoy’ over there, and stick to obvious concretes like what the definition of a free breakfast is.

(HT: Elevator Enthusiast)

Update: looks like I read and shared an article three years ago saying it’s pronounced ‘Marry-it’ and Marri-ott is so ingrained into my being that I blocked that out.

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Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I’ve always been surprised at how many people mispronounce this major brand, which has been the same for nearly a century. I’ve often wanted to correct workers in call centers since they actually work for the company (as opposed to hoteliers and property workers).

  2. Except I had to call ambassador support the other day and the hold recording clearly says “marry-ot”

  3. You had me until “Chariot”. No way was the great Oscar-winning instrumental song from “Charry-otts of Fire”. It was always announced as “Charry-its”.

  4. Ok, wait. People say charry-ott?

    Chariot rhymes with “carry it” in every context I’m familiar with.

  5. Interesting. I know accountants that work at Headquarters and they pronounce it Marry-ott. Everyone in Bethesda pronounces it Marry-ott.

  6. I just came to the phenomenal conclusion that bonvoy derives from bonvoyage …
    The only thing looking forward to after a stay in a Marri-ott ….

  7. Thankfully I’ve been pronouncing it correctly. It could have been rather amusing if I were to be pronouncing the name incorrectly when dealing with some Marriott family members at meetings around DC.

  8. From reading View from the Wing, I learned today that the proper pronunciation of “Marriott” is actually “Marry-it.”
    Accordingly, “Bonvoy” should be pronounced as “Bon-vit” or in the Southern hemisphere, “Bon-shit.”

  9. Well, after better than seven years as a vendor to the company working with everyone from execs to housekeeping and av staff, I can tell you that woman is an idiot and it is pronounced exactly as it is spelled.

  10. Where is this pronunciation rule written? The one that states that, in some cases, the letter AFTER another letter in a word must be pronounced as if it’s BEFORE the other letter.
    This first came to our attention (OK, my attention) when Brett Favre (always supposed to be pronounced “fav-reh”) insisted that the proper pronunciation was “Farv.” Which ya gotta admit, is a bit more masculine than “fahv-rey.” Now, we’re being told that to pronounce “Marri-ott” we must flip the ‘I” with the “o”. Again, based on what linguistic rule or tradition?
    For what it’s worth, back in the day, my grand mother and her sister Rosalee proudly told the story of their, I believe, brother (cousin?) who was Bill Marriott’s college roommate, remained his life-long friend and was later given a card by Bill Marriott that gave him lifetime free rooms at any Marriott.
    I’ve NO idea if it’s true or just a family myth, but I recall Gram pronouncing it “Marri-ott.”

  11. Here’s a funny thing…the BYU Marriott center is pronounced “marry-it” by everyone I know. And everyone I know also pronounces the hotel name “marry-ot” even though we all know it’s the same family. Go figure

    Here’s something else you are probably mispronouncing: “Zion” – as in Zion National Park. Zion rhymes with lion. It’s not “Zi-on”

  12. I still say it is “Marry-Ott”.

    The hotel name should sound like MaryOtt but the family name sounds like MaryIt.

    With Vice President Cheney, he said it was CheeKnee but the fake news media said ChainKnee

  13. Even family members residing jointly in one household may pronounce a shared family name differently from one another.

    Some individuals even pronounce their own name in different ways, depending on the context applicable at a time when stating their name.

  14. @david miller As the commenter who cares enough to have posted your same question twice, you seem to have answered it yourself.

  15. Colleen – Snarky of you. I commented twice because I cannot fathom that this joke of an “issue” is worthy of any comments, other than saying, again, “who cares”. People need to get a real life and find something of real importance to comment about.

  16. In England, we pronounce it as per ‘chariot’. I’ve always been slightly bemused by the emphasis on the ‘MarriOTT’ in the USA, but it’s an American brand after all!

  17. Graham: I’ll chock you up as a member of the “full of it” club as I have been to many of the UK locations working with the hotel and not one of the hotel staff pronounces the name as you claim.

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