Mellifluous NPR reporter name: Ofeibea Quist-Arcton

I first heard Ofeibea Quist-Arcton when she reported for the BBC. Now she's on NPR (you can listen to her discuss corruption in Nigeria in this recent report), thereby wresting the title of "most mellifluous NPR reporter name" from its previous holder, Sylvia Poggioli. (Sylvia Poggioli's dirty secret: She was born and grew up in the United States!)

Other NPR personalities with cool-sounding names: Andrei Codrescu, Mandalit del Barco, Snigdha Prakash, and Eric Westervelt.

Christiane Amanpour has a nice name, too, but she works for CNN, not NPR.

Comments (18)
  1. HA HA HA says:

    defanatlay a totly cool name b ut i wuldn say ‘malifulous'[1].


  2. I’ve met her a few times at the BBC Johannesburg bureau, and most people there just called her Fee.

    She’s a very cool woman. Plenty of self-confidence and she has a disarming forthrightness about her. I was very sad to hear that she was leaving South Africa, but she loves West Africa, so I guess it’s the right move for her.

  3. Shog9 says:

    I always liked “Mara Liasson” – just rolls of the tongue, the first name blending smoothly into the second.

    [Ah, yes, Mara Liasson is a wonderful-sounding name. -Raymond]
  4. Pete says:

    The first term I heard Steve Inskeep’s name, I didn’t hear the ending p, so I heard something like Steve Insky.  I thought that was a cool name — it sounded like a fun play on the name Steve: "It’s Stevinsky!"  I was somewhat disappointed the second time I heard his name and caught the p.

  5. gid says:

    I am Rita Retardo.

  6. Feroze Daud says:

    I personally like Lynn Rosetto-Casper, from the Splendid Table. Has a beautiful voice to go with the beautiful name.

  7. Ro says:

    Andrei Codrescu is a Romanian name. If that sounds cool, try "Andrei Alexandrescu" (the C++ guru, but you already know that) or "Emil Constantinescu" (former Romanian president, but otherwise completely irrelevant guy).

  8. eho says:

    My personal favorite is KPLU’s Bellamy Pailthorpe.

  9. Dicko says:

    Here in the UK we have Nina Nannar which I think is a great name!

  10. Daniel says:

    My favorite NPR "personality": Dewey, Cheetham & Howe… :) Those Car Talk guys come up with the greatest stuff.

  11. Seth McCarus says:

    I like how all the morning Marketplace hosts have such "topologically" similar names: Kai Ryssdal, Tess Vigeland, Scott Jagow…

  12. Ken Hirsch says:

    I’m suprised at the word division in "Snigdha Prakash." I thought it was something like "Snick Deprakash."

    I remember a long time ago (pre-Web, I think) trying to puzzle out "Mara Liasson."  Was it "Mo Reliasson" or "More Eliasson" or "Moira Liasson" or "Morel Eyasson"?

    One time on Saturday Weekend Edition they read a letter from a listener wondering if Sylvia Poggioli married Jim Zarroli, would she go by Sylvia Poggioli Zarroli or would he go by Jim Zarroli Poggioli.  Those would trump even Ofeibea Quist-Arcton.

  13. Michael McGuire says:

    For some reason, I feel a surge of violence everytime Sylvia Poggioli says her name.  It drives me nuts.

    And I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought the guy’s name was Steve Inksy.  

  14. bmm6o says:

    Ken: I also heard her first name as "Snick", and thought her surname was the unlikely "Paprikash".

    Seth: Unusual names must be a requirement for Marketplace.

  15. Ken Hirsch says:

    Re: "I feel a surge of violence everytime Sylvia Poggioli says her name."

    I once mentioned to a friend of my wife’s that Sylvia Poggioli’s pronunciation of her last name seemed excessive.  This friend has an Italian father and, therefore, surname and said that when she visited Italy, people would correct her on  how to pronounce her own name–not just her father’s family, but shopkeepers and other strangers.  "Abbati-ELL-o"

  16. Joytotheworld says:

    I always liked Achilles Tyson, but he was just support staff for the local station.  

  17. My favorite is a CBC reporter named Azeb Wolde-Giorgis (pronounced "ahzeb olduh gee OR gis", always a soft "g").

  18. What about Borzou Daragahi?  Well, maybe not NPR, but I sure hear him enough on NPR.

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