The present study evaluated the hypothesis (Mayeux et al., 1980) that visual confrontation naming deficits may underlie the memory complaint in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Thirty-nine patients with medically refractory left (n = 23) and right (n = 16) TLE were compared with an epilepsy control group with idiopathic primary generalized epilepsy (n = 38). All subjects completed selected subtests of the Multilingual Aphasia Examination and Wechsler Memory Scale (Form 1) together with a measure specifically designed for quantification of the memory complaint in TLE. Objective verbal memory test performance, confrontation naming, repetition, and comprehension were unrelated to memory self-report. Controlled Oral Word Association was the only measure to exert an influence on memory self-ratings, and this relationship was specific to the TLE group. The hypothesis of Mayeux et al. (1980) was not specifically supported, but the present findings do suggest that cognitive processes reflected in orthographically based and internally generated word retrieval play a role in memory self-report.