How Do You Pronounce Economist Thomas Piketty’s Name, Anyway?

French economist Thomas Piketty smiles during a meeting at the National Assembly on March 13 in Paris. Photo: FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

French economist Thomas Piketty’s new book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, has made Piketty a hero among lefty intellectuals, and his U.S. book tour — on which our own Boris Kachka accompanied him — has turned him into a bona fide media celebrity.

But there’s a problem for anyone hoping to engage in cocktail-party chatter about Piketty’s latest work or interview him on the air: Namely, his name is kind of tough for Americans to pronounce.

Here’s a hint: It’s not pronounced "THOM-as PICK-et-ee," as the Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim said in a recent interview with the man. (Update: Grim writes in to say that he asked Piketty which pronunciation he preferred before their interview, and Piketty, ever polite, opted for the Americanized version.)

It’s also not THOM-as Pick-ET-ee,” as MSNBC’s Krystal Ball erroneously said.

The correct (and far more pretentious) way to pronounce Thomas Piketty’s name, as confirmed by both the New York Times and our in-office French speakers, is as follows:

Tome-AH PEEK-et-ee”

Here it is in audio form, as read by the Cut’s Véronique Hyland:

Now you know. Félicitations!