How do you pronounce Travis Etienne? A guide for how to (correctly) say Jaguars RB's name

How do you pronounce Travis Etienne? A guide for how to (correctly) say Jaguars RB's name

Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne and the Jaguars will attempt a franchise-defining upset at the top-seeded Chiefs in Kansas City on Saturday.

Etienne, who has 1,234 rushing yards and five touchdowns this season — including a 109-yard performance vs. the Chargers in the wild-card round — stands to be a central figure to Jacksonville’s upset bid. Chances are, the NBC announcer crew of Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth or Melissa Stark will mispronounce his name. At the very least, there will be multiple iterations of it.

The pronunciation of Etienne’s last name has been a point of discussion dating back to before his playing days at Clemson, when he was a standout back at Jennings (La.) High School. Even now that he has reached the highest stage of the sport, Etienne’s name has been a source of confusion from NFL broadcast crews, whose pronunciation ranges from “A-T-N” to “eh-T-N” to “E-T-N.”

With that, The Sporting News looks at the proper way to pronounce Etienne’s name — at least depending on whom you next:

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How do you pronounce Travis Etienne’s name?

Etienne has gone on record saying his name, in South Louisiana at least, is pronounced “ay-chan,” or  The information came from a March 2021 interview between Etienne and NFL Network’s Steve Smith Sr. during Clemson’s pro day.

“Everyone down there in South Louisiana says, ‘Travis Etienne,’ like ‘A-C-H-A-N-E. Travis Etienne (ay-chan),’” he said. “And so that’s how they kind of say it back at home.

“But I came here, ‘Travis Etienne (E-T-N).’ … That’s the correct way to say it, but everyone (in Louisiana) put that French, that Cajun lingo back on it. ‘Etienne (ay-chan).’”

So: Etienne says the E-T-N pronunciation is technically correct, but deviates from the French-Cajun pronunciation of the name. (Etienne, for what it’s worth, derives from the old French name “Estiene,” which itself is derived from the Latin name “Stephanus.”

That pronunciation of Etienne’s name was backed up by a 2019 report from Manie Robinson of the Greenville (S.C.) News providing background on the running back’s name:

Since arriving at Clemson, coaches, teammates and most local and national media members have pronounced Etienne just like the letters ‘E-T-N.’ However, back in Louisiana, the predominant pronunciation is ‘Ay-chan,’ with a Cajun twist. Etienne also said he has gone by ‘A-T-N.’

He was too polite to correct folks during his freshman year, and now ‘E-T-N’ and the ‘Run E-T-N’ tagline has stuck.

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But what about Travis Etienne’s little brother, Trevor? The class of 2022 running back who chose Florida over LSU and Clemson said he has gone by a different pronunciation all his life.

When asked how he pronounces his last name, Trevor said “E-T-N.” From a Jan. 7, 2020 interview:

“That’s how I’ve been pronouncing it my whole life,” Trevor Etienne said.

When pressed by the reporter that his preferred pronunciation is “E-T-N,” not “A-T-N” or “ay-chan,” the running back responded, “It’s really the same thing. It’s the same thing, but we pronounce it “E-T-N.”

Florida football confirmed Trevor Etienne’s preferred pronunciation with a guide.

In conclusion: “ay-chan” is the way South Louisianans pronounce Etienne, while the older of the two brothers will go by either “A-T-N” or “E-T-N” — he’ll be too polite to correct you. The younger Etienne goes by the latter.

Regardless of how they pronounce it, Jaguars fans will want to hear the running back’s name called early and often for the remainder of the playoffs.