How to pronounce Kamala Harris' name and what it means

WLS logo
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Kamala Harris: Journey to be 1st Black, Asian woman elected VP
"Kamala Harris: To Be The First" details her journey of hope from Berkeley to Washington, where she will soon begin a new chapter as the first Black and Asian woman elected vice president of the United States.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Unless you've been living under a rock, every American knows Kamala Harris' name by now -- but do they know what her name means? Or even how to say it?

Harris' first name is rooted in her South Asian heritage. Sen. Harris' mom is from India, her father from Jamaica.

RELATED: 1st Black, Asian woman elected VP: Watch Kamala Harris' journey

Kamala means "lotus flower," a plant holding deep meaning in Indian culture. Harris describes the flower in her memoir as growing underwater, with flowers that rise above the surface, with roots planted firmly in the river's bottom.

Despite holding national office for several years and being elected vice president, some still seem to struggle with her name. The best way we can explain the correct pronunciation is to take the word "comma" and add a "-la" sound to the end: "Comma-la."

But hearing it may make it even easier. Politifact made this video to fully break it down: