Author Jodi Picoult reveals the correct pronunciation of her name: “Ummm”

Now that’s a real pickle.

Famed author Jodi Picoult, 56, stunned fans this week when she revealed how to pronounce her last name correctly in a TikTok video.

The Long Islander native has published more than two dozen novels, including My Sister’s Keeper, which was adapted into the 2009 hit film of the same name, starring Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin.

But her fame didn’t help with the pronunciation of her name.

“Hey, this is Jodi,” says Picoult in the 34-second clip, which was viewed by nearly a million viewers in just two days.

“I’ve heard that since I joined TikTok there has been some discussion about how to pronounce my name.”

The author remarked, “You all get Jodi right, but you’re not sure about the last half.”

Then came the plot twist. She explained that her last name is pronounced “pico,” as in pico de gallo, and held up a glass of salsa to make her point.

In her video, the “Mad Honey” author debunked other pronunciations she had heard people say.

She stated her last name was not “Pea-coat”, “Pea-cult” or “Pea-colt”.

The "My sister's keeper" The author revealed that her last name is pronounced "Picture."
The My Sister’s Keeper writer revealed that her last name is pronounced pico.
Tiktok / Jodi Picoult

Viewers were shocked by the novel idea.

“I’ve read about 20 of your books and got it wrong the whole time,” one person announced.

Another agreed, revealing: “Omg Jodi! I’ve been a fan of yours since middle school and I’m pronouncing it wrong ๐Ÿ˜ฉ.”

“And that’s why I always used the JP initials ๐Ÿ˜‚ whenever I said it out loud,” claimed another. “Because I knew I said it wrong.”

One user even joked, “Um, I don’t [think] So. I’ve read your books for years. Maybe you’re saying it wrong! ๐Ÿ˜‚.”

The pronunciation is reminiscent of pico de gallo salsa.
The pronunciation is reminiscent of pico de gallo salsa.
Tiktok / Jodi Picoult

Speaking to the Daily Beast in 2012, Picoult admitted she had a hard time breaking into the publishing industry.

Her first book, Songs of the Humpback Whale, was published in 1992.

“I’ve had over 100 rejection letters from agents,” she confessed. โ€œFinally, a woman who had never represented anyone in her life said she thought she could take me on. I jumped at the chance. She sold my first novel in three months.”

last name to other things people think is pronounced like "pea cult."
She rejected other pronunciations such as “Pea-Cult”.
Tiktok / Jodi Picoult

She said her name isn't "Jodi Caban," and even tried on a peacoat to prove her point.
She said her name wasn’t “Jodi Pea-Coat” and even donned a peacoat to prove her point.
Tiktok / Jodi Picoult

Some of Picoult’s other titles include Wish You Were Here, Nineteen Minutes, The Book of Two Ways and Salem Falls, which was made into a TV movie in 2011, starring Sarah Carter and James Van Der Beek.

Her books often deal with romance, relationships and family matters.

Picoult doesn’t play the name-shame game alone. Adele and Brendan Fraser recently revealed that we mispronounced their names too. Author Jodi Picoult reveals the correct pronunciation of her name: “Ummm”

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with Emma Bowman by emailing

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