When I text my husband something like "I picked up Hailey from school and am on my way," Siri always misspells my daughter's name as Haley (with no "i"). I have an entry in my contact info identifying who my daughter is, but when I'm dictating a text or other message, that appears to be irrelevant.

I'd like to teach Siri that any time I refer to my child's name it should always be spelled a certain way. I feel foolish sending messages with my own child's name misspelled.

  • Does your daughter's name have an unusual spelling? Your user name is "candez", if it's pronounced "candy" you can't complain that no one spells it correctly. – paul May 3 '15 at 7:23
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    With all due respect to privacy and such, this question would be much more effective if you actually wrote your daughter's name… privacy is a good thing, but if you overdo it, it becomes bad. – o0'. May 3 '15 at 8:40
  • Haha. Fair enough. My daughter's name is Hailey, and Siri always spells it Haley. So it's not a terribly unusual spelling, just not what Siri expects. – candez May 4 '15 at 3:45
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    Did you try telling Siri "Pronounce my daughter's name"? Not sure if it will fix spelling recognition, I'm just making a suggestion. – LaX Jun 13 '15 at 18:06

Siri isn't the brightest bulb in the box and she often misunderstands unusual words and names. Fortunately, you can teach her how to speak properly by adding phonetic pronunciations to your contacts.

How do you do this? Watch this video or follow these instructions:

  1. Open up your uniquely-named contact and tap the Edit button up top.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the contact page and find the area that says "Add New Field."
  3. From your options, choose "Phonetic First Name" (or "Phonetic Last Name," depending on which one is the problem).
  4. Enter in the phonetic version of the problematic name and tap Save. Now when you ask Siri to recognize or say a name, she'll get it right.

Source: Teach Siri to Correctly Recognize and Pronounce Names in Your Address Book

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    That works for instances where I am trying to reference a contact, say when I want to send an email or set up a meeting. But what I am looking for is spelling the name in the midst of other text where Siri doesn't seem to concern herself with my contact list. Within my own contact info I have a relationship "daughter: Anne." But when I say "Siri, text my husband 'What does Anne want for lunch?'" the text that is created is "What does Ann want for lunch?" The point gets across and my husband understands whom I'm speaking of, but it bothers me to send texts out with my child's name misspelled. – candez May 3 '15 at 6:43
  • This worked for me. Siri was always spelling my daughter's name as Catherine, instead of Katherine. I added Catherine as the phonetic first name in the contacts and now Siri replaces Catherine with Katherine automatically when I dictate text messages. – MindJuice Jul 15 '17 at 17:49

One possible solution, though it may backfire if you ever do want to spell Anne with the e…

Go to Settings > General > Keyboards > Shortcuts & add a new shortcut from the + key, top right.

Add -
Phrase Anne
Shortcut Ann

I haven't tested it for this particular instance, but it's worth a try.

  • BTW, shortcuts cannot have spaces. When I say "Josiah" then "Joe Seiyu" is entered so I can't use this trick. I can say "LJ" and enter that. – chrish May 6 '15 at 18:05
  • input must be one [for Siri, recognisable] word, but actually output can be several sentences, with carriage-returns & the whole shebang. I have shortcuts like this for my name, email address & entire postal address. – Tetsujin May 6 '15 at 18:55
  • Just tried this and it didn't work, unfortunately. – candez May 8 '15 at 7:58

My son's name is spelled Zach… and not Zack as Siri likes to do… here's how to fix it.

Open the contact for this person, press the Edit button, scroll to the bottom and press "+" next to Add Field, select Nickname. Here type in the spelling that you want Siri to use. Press the Done button and try Siri again.


I figured it out! In contacts under the name, write the name in quotation marks. Then Siri knows you "are to be called that". It worked for me after I did the shortcut you described here. In other words, first change the shortcut from Haley to Hailey, then put "Hailey" under her name in your contacts.


I've done it for both of my girls unusual names. I added them as keyboard shortcuts so when I type jai then Jaida automatically pops up and ay brings up Ayanna. I also taught Siri the correct way to pronounce both their names and added the phonetic spelling, which helped with talk to text recognition.

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    Can you explain how you taught Siri the correct way to pronounce their names? – Daniel May 27 '15 at 12:48

If you make a contact with the person's name and then add the phonetic name on the contact it will work. I just did it.

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