How to pronounce Mordaunt | The Sun

PENNY MORDAUNT is among the contenders for the Tory leadership after Boris Johnson announced his resignation.

But how do you pronounce her last name, and who are the most famous Mordaunts?

How to pronounce Mordaunt

Penny Mordaunt entered the race to become leader of the Conservative Party on July 10, 2022.

Her campaign video featured music from Elgar and concluded with a brief voice over from Penny herself, in which she says: "Our leadership has to change.

"It needs to become a little less about the leader and a lot more about the ship."

The MP, who was named after the HMS Penelope, a Royal Navy Cruiser, concludes: "I'm Penny Mordaunt, and I'm ready to serve as the next leader of the Conservative party."

The former Defence Secretary pronounces the first syllable of Mordaunt as you might expect, like 'more', with a British non-rhotic 'r' sound.

But the 'daunt' part of her surname is pronounced like the last syllable of "ardent", rather than like "gaunt" or "flaunt".


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What does Mordaunt mean?

According to, the name is English and Irish, and is of Norman origin.

It apparently comes from an Old French nickname "mordant" which means biting, sarcastic.

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Who are the most famous Mordaunts?

Penny is the latest in a long line of notable Mordaunts, but she's not known to be related to the famous aristocrats associated with the name.

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Her parents were teachers, and she was the first in her family to go to university.

Among the most famous Mordaunts through history are:

  • Penny Mordaunt – UK Member of Parliament
  • Harriet Mordaunt (1848-1906) – Wife of MP Sir Charles Mordaunt. Sir Charles filed for divorce after she confessed to being unfaithful to him.
  • Sir John Mordaunt (died c.1505) – English politician in the Tudor period, served as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Speaker of the House of Commons
  • Elinor Mordaunt (1872-1942) – English writer and traveller
  • Thomas Osbert Mordaunt (1730-1809) – Poet and British Army officer
  • Norman Mordaunt – Founder of loudspeaker manufacturer Mordaunt-Short, which is now owned by Audio Partnership Plc.
  • Prof Joseph Mordaunt Crook CBE, FBA – English architectural historian
  • Mr. Francis Xavier Mordaunt (1915-1941) – Australian Petty Officer Writer who died serving aboard HMAS Sydney II which sank in a battle with a German raider

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