WASHINGTON, D.C. – Kamala Harris is sure to come up a lot in conversation now that she’s been announced as Joe Biden’s running mate.
Although Harris has been a prominent figure in the Democratic party for several years now, some Americans still may not be familiar with her and may struggle to pronounce the U.S. senator’s first name correctly.
Even people in the media struggle to get the pronunciation right some times. Just Tuesday night, Fox News host Tucker Carlson pronounced her name incorrectly and lashed out at a guest who corrected him.
Tucker Carlson loses it when a guest corrects his pronunciation of Kamala Harris's name pic.twitter.com/1fHIrPGuwN
— nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) August 12, 2020
Harris is no stranger to people mispronouncing her name, though. In fact, when she was running for her California Senate seat in 2016, she released a video with kids explaining how to say it.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 24, 2016
And during an interview on “The View” in January 2019, Harris provided a mnemonic device when Whoopi Goldberg asked her how to pronounce her name correctly.
“It’s Kamala,” she said. “Just think like ‘comma,’ and add a ‘la.’”
The name Kamala is actually derived from the Sanskrit word for “lotus.” The vice presidential nominee explained the symbolism behind the name at a book event last year.
“The symbolism is that the lotus flower sits on water, but never really gets wet,” Harris said, according to The Washington Post. “Its roots are in the mud, meaning it is grounded. One must always know where they come from.”