Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sometimes You Want To Go Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Having lived in eight different states during my life and moving to seven of them during the last 20 years, I've met lots of new people.

My name has caused casual comment.

My name has caused raised eyebrow.

The pronunciation has been questioned.

It's origination has been questioned.

My name has been thought to be simply due to a Southern accent.

My name has been butchered, mispronounced, and misspelled more than it's been pronounced or spelled correctly.

My mother's middle name is Kay, and so I'm Kayren instead of Karen. It's pronounced with the long 'a' sound like you hear in play or day. The first syllable is emphasized stronger than the second one.

Tonight we had a meeting at church for all the Awana workers. This is the first year Hubby and I will be working in Awana at this church. I was in the meeting for the T & T girls, and the director was saying my name...Karen...Karen...Karen. I corrected her several times. Finally she heard me and repeated it to make sure she had it correct. I walked into another room and someone I thought knew my name called me Karen, and so I corrected her (I found out in Virginia that if I don't, it becomes ingrained and then it's harder for people to correct later).

When I'm on the phone I will usually always spell my name, because if I don't people think I say Kaylen. I'm not sure if it's because I talk fast or if it just comes through the phone that way. Since the name Kaitlin has become popular, people will sometimes mistake my name for that. I've also been called Kayreen, Kayleen, and some twisted pronunciation between Karen and Kayren that I can't even try to replicate.

But the name issue is not limited to unusual names. For one brief blog post Hubby is going to come out of anonymity. His name is Robert, and he goes by Robert. Not Bob, not Bobby, not Rob. Robert.

When he meets new people he is inevitably asked, "Do you go by Robert or Bob?" His answer, "Robert." Their reply, "Okay, Bob."

People will often shorten his name to Rob even if they don't call him Bob, but at our church there are at least two people who call him Bob. I never call him anything but Robert, so they have to hear me call him that and they still do it anyway.

So what about you — have you had problems with your name being misspelled, mispronounced, or shortened?

Photo by Eugene Hood Photo. Original blog post idea by Ronnica, the Ignorant Historian.


Kelli said...

People spell my name wrong all the time, with a Y, IE, EE...very common. My husband's name is Rondell and he always introduces himself as Rondell. He gets irritated when people then say "nice to meet you Ron."

Betsy said...

You would not believe how many times I've seen my name spelled "Besty". Cracks me up.

onlymehere said...

School teachers are the worst at shortening kids names. My daughter is Kellianne and they always shorten it to Kellie or worse, Kell. My son Nicholas became Nick at school. My daughter Brianna (bree-anna) was called Bree by teachers and others. But get this, my husband Larry (not Lawrence) is often called Lawrence. What gives? I always wanted to be a Cynthia but I'm just boring old Cindy. I correct people all the time on the use of my kids names but they never pay attention and call them what they want. The only one who doesn't get his name changed by teachers and strangers is my son Travis. Funny enough at home we often call him Trav, lol!

Mari said...

I'm glad to know that I've been pronouncing your name right, when I read it!
My name is pronounced just like the regular Mary, but I get people calling me Marie frequently. There is a couple at church that both call me Marie, although I've corrected them several times.

Kristenph said...

People frequently spell my name wrong. Most often it's spelled Kristin, but sometimes it's Kristine or even Christine. Though most people can pronounce it, I've had a few that struggled. I had a neighbor as a child who always called me Christian. Then I had a hair stylist who called me Kristy. Since I didn't correct her right away, I wound up letting her call me the wrong name for about 5 years! I was too embarrassed to correct her. My maiden name was horribly difficult for people, but I'd better quit for now ;)

Heather and Reese said...

Hey Kayren...I had to jump in on this one. I love my girls' names, but they do cause problems. My oldest is named Kyleigh..which is pronounced Kilee. People obviously never spell it right and some people put the enunciation on the Ky instead of the leigh. So, they call her ky-LEIGH, instead of KY-leigh..if that makes sense. I don't like the way it sounds with the LEIGH stronger then the Ky.

My youngest is Tristyn and people say it right but never spell it right.

Our son is Landon. His name is usually spelled and said right, however, my kids are not able to buy anything off the rack that has their name on it, like those cute license plates or anything.

Their names all have special meanings though and I think they like that so they never complain. Tristyn is starting to ask why we gave her a boys name, but I think it's a nice name for either.


Diana said...

I'm "Diana." But my parents called me "Diane;" that's what I call myself. Some close friends now as an adult call me Di.

I get Diana, Diane, and Dianne for spellings! Oh well.


Karen@Candid Diversions said...

Well, my name is just Karen, so I haven't had anywhere near your troubles. :)

My husband is Philip. Not Phil. And his brother is Stephen. Not Steve. And they have an uncle Robert who is also not Rob, Bob, Bobby, or any other Robert variation. Must run in the family!

Demara said...

that's hilarious...'Bob' hehe

yes lately people have been spelling my name's DemAra.

It's been pronounced Tamara, DemAREaw, DamAREaw,DeemAREaw, DeeemAREaw

It's pronounced: DeMAREaw

And it's spelled: Demara

but my nickname is: D

ceekay said...

Thanks for stopping by and saying HI! Well, even my blog name gets messed is Ceekay...but some say Cheekay....Which I hope they mean in a positive way!!!

Bonnie said...

Well ... Bonnie is pretty easy so it doesn't often get mispronounced. Mispelled, yes. I can live with it. My last name though ... my maiden name was ALWAYS mispronounced. Sometimes just a little bit but often horribly !! We have some great family stories about our name ! When I got married, I thought it would be simpler ... but no !!! People still mispronounce this simpler name !! It's nuts !!

Anyway ... I know how to pronounce and spell your name ! :) I remember when you corrected me ... :) Glad you did though !! I think your name is beautiful ! And I love the origins of it !!

Gattina said...

That people spell your name wrong I can understand, but the prononciation ? My real name is easy to spell and pronounce and for our son we choose a name nobody can deform and it exists in all languages without changing anything. It's Dario.

Faerie Mom said...

My last name gets butchered. It's DeLuca. Deh-Loo-cah. I have had it pronounced de-loo-chia, De-loose, De-louis, and any other way that you can think of!

My maiden name is white. I used to have people ask me how to spell it. I always said "Ummm.... like the color?" LOL

My children's names are easy (to me!) Jenna, Braeden and Malachai. I think Malachai will have the worst time of it when he gets into school!!

MomsTheWord said...

Almost every day people ask me how Roger is doing. I just answer about my husband, who's first name is Richard. It confuses people because our last name is Rogers. There is a town in state that is Rogers and when I go "home" people assume I live in Rogers, they'll even argue with me that I lived there at one time! (which I haven't!)

Sarah Dawn said...

I married a BEDENKOP and lived on the mission field in Central America for years. I was more shocked if someone got it right.

And sweet one, I know the joys and frustrations of moving as well. So delighted that God is the one leading my steps and making the path.

Blessings to you,
Sarah Dawn

Tracey said...

Mine is misspelled all the time! It's never Tracey, but Tracy or Tracie. Just had a conversation with a Walmart worker about this. Her name was the same as mine, spelling and all. We commiserated about how often it is misspelled!

Rochelle said...

Ugh, that's so frustrating! And my name is Rochelle, pronounced "ROW-SHELL"...not Roachell, Rockell, Rachel, Michelle, or Rawchell. Both last names I've had have always been messed up too. Urghhh. I correct people only if I'm going to see them regularly, but if it's just someone I run into somewhere casually, I let it go.

I'm glad to learn how your name is pronounced though, I was thinking of it incorrectly, doh!

Love Bears All Things said...

Well, this sure opened a can of beans, didn't it. I pronounce your name correctly. I knew a girl in school with the same name. It isn't a southern thing but some people do miss say Karen with the Ka with the long a.
Honey Bear is a Jimmy, not a James. We have a problem with this but his mother named him after the singer, Jimmie Rogers.
Many people get my name wrong. I always try to correct them until they get it right. Like you said, it will never be right if you don't.
Mama Bear

Kayren, Pink Daisy Girl said...

MomsTheWord ~ What about family gatherings when both of the guys are together and Richard is Robert and Robert is Richard? That gets to be a bit much.

Lora said...

I feel your pain! My name is always misspelled and mispronounced and as a kid I could never find it on ANYthing that was already personalized: i.e. bike plates, shirts, key chains, etc.. Plus I had a unique maiden name, too, which was forever butchered as well. Then I married a guy with a name that I thought anyone could pronounce correctly--and people still manage to get it wrong at times. LOL Such is life, right?

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