How To Correctly Pronounce “Marriott” (I’m Surprised)

Filed Under: Marriott

Does this actually matter? No, not really. But yes, actually, it sort of does, because apparently I don’t know how to pronounce the name of the family that founded what became the world’s largest hotel group. I’ve been saying it wrong all this time!

How do you pronounce “Marriott?” I’ve always pronounced it “marry-ott,” with an emphasis on the two “T”s at the end.

However, apparently that’s not how Marriott is pronounced. Travel + Leisure reports that instead the world’s largest hotel group is apparently pronounced in a way that rhymes with “chariot.” Let’s call it “marry-et.”

Have I been living under a rock all this time — did you guys know the correct way to pronounce “Marriott?”

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

  1. I had at one point worked for 20 years at Marriott and yes we were told this. But we all pronounced it as everyone else does. Putting the emphasis on the T’s just seems more natural than having it rhyme with Chariot. In a speech by David Marriott once he compared it to saying Elliot Marriott. You wouldn’t say Elli-OTT.

  2. It’s “marry – it”. I’ve met a few members of the family and when they introduce themselves, they say “I’m _______ marry – it”.

  3. Ben – What next? Will we find out that Hyatt is actually pronounced as “hey-at” instead of
    Who knows…

  4. I always pronounced it the correct way and I think other Canadians/British also tend to pronounce it correctly (ie. rhyming it with “chariot”). But I found Americans tended to pronounce it incorrectly (‘ott’ like otter). I think Americans tend to pronounce these sorts of o’s in a large rounded fashion ie. they pronounce “Montreal” like “Mawn-tree-awl” whereas Canadians will say “Munn-tree-awl”.

  5. I have always regarded the Marri-ott pronounciation as the “American” way. We, in the UK, prounounce it the (apparently correct ) was as Marriott (rhymes with chariot) :-).

  6. Really? Marry-et like chariot is the only way I have ever known how to pronounce it! This is South East Asia btw

  7. Reminds me of a company I once worked for called Ord Minnett, one of the oldest stock broking firms in Australia. A memo was issued company wide to remind us that the correct pronunciation was is fact “Ord Minute”, not “Ord Min-et” – luckily most of just referred to the firm simply as Ords 🙂

  8. When I’m in Bangkok, I’m telling the driver to bring me to the MalliLot. Now one ever understood the correct pronunciation, but MalliLot always works, and isn’t that what communication is about?

  9. I was shocked this week when I learnt that there was a way to pronounce it other than rhyming with chariot.

    Perhaps this is a difference between American and British English. I read on another American website that people were surprised at the “correct” pronunciation of the name.

  10. This is actually pretty funny to me. I used to say marry-et when I was a kid but switched to marry-ott because everybody else pronounced it like that. I guess my 8 year old self was right.

  11. If they dropped the second T from the name, I could see their point. It’d also be helpful for them with the merger mess as it would leave less T’s left uncrossed.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been pronouncing “GIF” and “Emirates” incorrectly too.

  12. Justin in Quebec it’s Monh-ree-ahl :)…Mun-tree-ahl for the rest.

    Just like in Ontario it’s Torono or Trono…(Toronto)…..

    Etihad is Itt-ee-haad (Unity) and not Et-ee-had as it is widely known. Though they themselves call it Et-ee-had in the English version.

    A simple case of Toh-mat-to vs To-may-to.

    Though surely by know there should have been the right way to say Marriott. I guess the frontline staff, phone reps have been pronouncing it correctly all this time.

  13. I first noticed this in their ads and wondered if I was hearing things! I just figured the voiceover guy was wrong haha

  14. I would think given the number of times you’ve had to call them to fix some screwup you would have learned this from the recorded message by now.

  15. Coming from Australia, I’ve always pronounced it as “Marry-et” (the British English version). Interestingly, only the USA has “American English” whereas the rest of the English speaking world goes by “British English” (thank goodness).

  16. I watched Bill Marriott as a guest on one of the afternoon TV talk shows many years (and fewer brands) ago and learned the pronunciation then, making me an outlier among my fellow Marriott loyal colleagues. He was asked what he wanted every customer to know about their hotels and he said something to the effect of, “let us know if our staff isn’t kind and please place the bottom of the curtain inside the tub before showering.”

  17. It drives me f’ing crazy every time I get into my room and the Marriott TV welcome channel narrator says “Welcome to Marry-it”. Over and over and over.

    I steadfastly refuse to pronounce it this way, even if that’s how they say it’s pronounced. Phonetically, that’s not how most words with those spellings are pronounced and I’m pretty sure it’s a vast majority of people that say “marry-ott”.

  18. After reading the comments, I suppose it’s the American pronunciation!

    Ha, I always knew that was correct but haven’t ever heard anyone actually say it that way. I guess I never talk about Marriott with my British colleagues…

  19. Somehow this is nothing new to all Indonesians. We pronounce it similar to “chariot” since the beginning of time.

  20. Another word that drives me around the bend is this: I find it absolutely grating whenever I hear T-Mobile being pronounced as T-Mobill. I always have thought it was T-Mobaayl (and this is what Britons called it as long as they had T-Mobile).

    For the record, I have no knowledge of how T-Mobile’s parent, Deutsche Telekom, pronounces it.

  21. I always thought it was Marry-ott, too, but was at an event in Washington, DC once and Bill Marriott walked in, introducing himself to many people. He walked up to me – among many others – and said, Hi, I’m Bill Marriott (with the chariot pronunciation). Ever since, I used it the way he said it. It is also how they pronounce it when the automated phone answers at Reservations.

  22. Yay! Apparently I always pronounced it correctly! Since i was young i always called it how it should be (the chariot one) but then I heard people putting emphasis on the T’s and thought i was wrong. I even started to change my pronunciation. Now i can laugh in their faces, even if it doesn’t matter that much (but it does) 🙂

  23. As a non-native English speaker, I am confused by the mention of “emphasis on the double t”.

    To me, the difference between the first and second pronunciation is in the last vowel: the first one is /ɔ/ while the second one is /ə/.

    Is “t” and “tt” pronounced differently in American English? I’ve always pronounced them the same way.

  24. I think thats how its always been pronounced here in the UK. In fact I have never heard it pronounced otherwise by anyone here or abroad!

  25. I have always pronounced it Marry-it. I also pronounce Hyatt — HI-at, but I hear many people say Hi-ATT.

  26. Of course it’s pronounced as in chariot, it shares all the letters in the ending (plus an extra t, which makes no difference as to how the o is pronounced). How on Earth would it be pronounced differently?

    Come to think of it, can someone give me a single word ending in -iot(t) that isn’t pronounced that way?

    Elliott, patriot, compatriot, Cypriot, even idiot… all rhyme with chariot, no?

  27. I live near Marriottsville, Maryland, a few miles from their HQ. To locals, it’s always Marry-ottsville (as in chariot).

  28. The only reason I knew this is because I used to work for “Marry-it” for a few years during college.

  29. Hmm that’s news to me, but I always pronounced Marry-et and so does my friends. I didn’t even knew some people pronounce Marry OTT. I guess it depend on circles of people?

  30. In Spanish you have to stress the first syllable, as in ‘chariot’. If you stress the ‘ott’ it will sound like 2 words instead of 1.

  31. I’ve always wondered why Americans pronounce it Marry-OTT while other english speakers pronounce it without the emphasis on OTT at the end.

    Anyway, glad to hear that the American way isn’t winning out in this case.

  32. Calling it “American English” is like calling it “British English.” There are lots and lots of different accents within those headings, that do all sorts of crazy things with the vowels.

    @Tam I think what people are referring to is the part of the word getting the stress/ emphasis. If you stress the end of the word (focusing on the “tt”), you get a rounder/truer vowel sound. The “correct” stress is on the “MARY” part; unstressed vowels tend to turn into “ə,” thus something closer to “MARYuht.”

    dl/tl it’s not about the accent but where in the word you thought the stress went.

  33. I’m a student at the Cornell Hotel School, and the vast majority of my professors pronounce it Mary-ott, so even some leaders in the industry fall victim to the mispronounciation!

  34. Have always pronounced it as “marry-et”, but noticed it’s typically the Americans that go with “marry-ott”

  35. Ummmm…. I’ve always pronounced it similar to “chariot”
    Don’t know about anyone else in the comments

  36. Marriott is “shampoo cheapskates” because they are ending individual shampoo bottles. I hate that. Hilton for me.

    I consider the hotel name is “mary-ott” but the man’s name is Mr. “marry-et”

  37. Marriott is an Anglo French name and derived from a medieval name Mariot, a diminutive of Mary As such it would generally be pronounced Marry-ott

    Anyhow is there a right or wrong ?

    There are hundreds of English accents and dialects. Dozens in the US alone. When you talk about US English it’s now predominantly rhotic as opposed to England which is non rhotic

    How about caramel ? Many pronounce it car-mel.

  38. It’s always fun seeing how different people pronounce the same word. I live in the Seattle area and we have a decent amount of cities, rivers, streets, counties, parks, neighborhoods, or mountains that are based on or named after local Native American tribes, places, or words. Like Tulalip, Snohomish, Duwamish, Tukwila, etc for example. People joke around here that they can tell if you’re a native or lived here a long time if you know how to pronounce Puyallup (which is pronounced like pew-AWL-əp)

  39. My wife had the pleasure of meeting BIll Marriott (son of the original Mr. J Willard Marriott) at an event two years ago in Washington DC. He shared a funny story about how several years ago in a board meeting with Marriott execs, Bill’s wife Donna interjected to say “why are you all pronouncing it Marry-Ott? My name is not Marry-Ott. It’s Marry-it!” And from that day, Marriott corporate began to pronounce it correctly 🙂

    (Funny enough, Bill Marriott’s wife goes by Donna Garff, though their children have adopted the Marriott name)

  40. Haha as a Brit I was wondering how it was going to be pronounced, then realised it was the way we say it.

    Emphasising the ‘ott’ is definitely an American pronunciation.

  41. I’ve always said ‘marry-ott;. On the recording I get when calling the Marriott Vacation Club (MVCI), that is how the message says it. Marry-ett sounds strange to me; I wouldn’t pronounce ‘otter’ as ‘etter’ 🙂

  42. Ben, have you never had to spend time on hold or with their automated phone system? That’s where I first learned the proper pronunciation.

  43. I worked for one briefly in the US, and even the staff and head of that location pronounced it -Ott

  44. For us, it’s 2 Estonian names Mari (female) and Ott (male) got married, so Mari+Ott got married=Marriott. Simple as that:)

  45. Since it’s a family name, i pronounce it as they intend (just as I would do with a friend). However, I am often surprised at the number of workers who mispronounce it. The other commonly mispronounced corporate name is Chevron (it’s Chev-run, not Chev-ron).

  46. Once again the British pronounce the word in the correct way.

    Let’s add that to the long list.

    Now please pronounce this word

  47. I find predominantly only Americans pronounce it the incorrect way. I’ve always pronounced it the correct way, except when talking to Americans, as normally I get a puzzled look when I pronoun e it correctly hahaha

  48. Australians have ALWAYS pronounced it as the Marriott family do.

    As for @Tom: “I steadfastly refuse to pronounce it this way, even if that’s how they say it’s pronounced.”

    Seriously, fella; it’s their bloody name, so when in Rome. Get a grip.

  49. Sigh. Will people stop with just saying the british pronunciation is the “correct” way of pronouncing things.
    Standard(Received) English Pronunciation and Standard American English have significant historical reasons for why they sound different. Most english accents was “rhotic” (pronunciation of the “r” consonants) and actually sounded American/Canadian during the colonial era. British english changed to its current form in the 1800s by the educated class while the original accents remained in the colonies and among the less educated peoples.
    Original London english accent sounded like a mix of various current english dialects and sounded very much like a hybrid of english dialects and american accents.

  50. All this haggling about pronunciation and no-one has yet commented on the split infinitive in the title of the post, which ought to read:

    How Correctly To Pronounce “Marriott”
    How To Pronounce “Marriott” Correctly

  51. I have always pronounced it Marry-et or marry-it . That is the way we pronounce it in United Kingdom and Hong Kong. My daughter worked for a time at the Hong Kong Marriott.

  52. Typical American English issue. I’ve also pronounced it correctly and the few times I hear people pronounce it wrongly it seems so weird

  53. Have always pronounced it marry-et … but thought that was because I’m Australian and we are notoriously lazy with our pronunciation. Turns out for once we were getting it right.

  54. This is funny. I have a friend with that last name and when I think of his name, I pronounce it correctly. When I think of the hotel, I say OTT.

  55. If you refer to the first folios of Shakespeare he write center, colour etc as there was no standard written English

    I love it how so many british comment how theirs is the correct way when you have to consider the diversity of dialects and accents there

    Ask a Liverpudlian to say “ Chicken and chips”

    And some pompous a-hole above being didactic and informing Americans how to pronounce an American name

    If you watch videos of people on tangier island off Virginia , that’s how they used to speak in parts of England hundreds of yrs ago

    How about Los Angeles ?

    It makes me cringe when I here Brit’s say “los anjerleez”.
    It sd be “ los an-he-les”

    And the Australian claiming they speak British English down under. Yeah right. Lol

    Ok so let’s see how people can pronounce

    La Jolla
    Des Moines
    Sault Ste. Marie
    Van Nuys

    In the end will why restrict it to Marriott ?

  56. @Hyatt Gold Passport Appreciation Society

    “hey-at” is indeed exactly what a British Upper Class friend of mine would say for Hyatt !

  57. As long as you are aware the Marriott empire is part of the Mormon church and every time you stay there you are giving money to the Mormons. It’s your decision if that’s a good thing or not.

  58. There was an advertising campaign a few years ago entitled “Your Marriott Awaits”, as in ‘your chariot awaits’. It was a crap campaign, probably from the same people who gave us the name Bonvoy. Anyway, I still say it incorrectly as “Mary-ott”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *