Afternoon Inquisition

AI: Mistaken Identity

I deactivated Google Voice last week because the service usurped my voicemail and translated my messages to text (badly), yet these messages were for Kay, Karina, or Carol.

People often mistakenly hear my name as Carol. This isn’t just an accent issue, this happens to me in Australia, and the US.

Sometimes I just go along with it…sometimes I correct them and they don’t remember anyway…

I also know a Nick who’s known as Mick and a Matt known as Max.

How is your name misheard?

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80 Comments

  1. “Stephan” for people who don’t know that Stephen is spelled with a ‘ph’ (often people from Quebec),

    My insurance company sent me my card one year labeling me as “Stephanie” and decided from that, to also change my sex to “F”. Remarkable that some low-level insurance bureaucrat thought that I misspelled my own name, AND got my sex wrong.

    I didn’t even notice it until I got pulled over for a busted headlight, and the police officer asked me to explain why I have this woman’s insurance card.

  2. I have a double whammy. My first name, Brian is often misheard as Ryan. But the fun part is that my last name is also a first name. George. This leads to lots of fun. “Mr. Brian” “George Brian” “Mr. George… O’Brien?” Add in my middle name and it sounds like enough people for a party.

  3. Mine isn’t too bad, although a lot of people spell it with an ‘e’ even when replying to emails that have my name in. I forgive that once, but twice or more gets a gentle reminder.

    At school I got called Tracy Paper.

  4. My name “Fred” has been misremembered as “Jeff” by a surprising number of people in completely unrelated situations. Maybe I look more like a Jeff (whatever that means), or names with an “F” sound are stored close together in the brain. Or it’s just a weird coincidence.

  5. My first name is Bradley, but I shorten in to Brad. Sometimes people get it wrong and say Brett. My freshman year of college a teacher really had a hard time and thought I was saying Fred.

    My last name has two F’s and when I spell it people sometimes think I’m saying S. I’ve gotten to just saying “F like Frank.”

  6. Misheard: I’ll never understand why Sarah always turns into Sharon over the phone.

    Miswritten: And not only do they drop the H off my name when writing it, they frequently stick it into my last name, which does not naturally have one.

    Sarah McGee ≠ Sara McGhee

  7. I get Sharon, Shirly, and Sherry a lot, and once Sarah.

    More often are the manglings of spelling Sheryl. Cheryl I understand, it’s actually a bit more common than my spelling. However I’ve also gotten Sherril, Sherl, Cheril, Sharril, etc. How hard is it just to ask?

    Lets not get into what happens to Westleigh, I’ve seen it confused for other names, misspelled in every way possible, and mispronounced in more ways than I thought possible (if your wondering it’s pronounced the same as in the Princess Bride).

  8. If people hear my name first (Leigh) they always write ‘Lee.’ (and typically think i’m male) If they see it written first, I’m typically called Leah, or Laya, or Leeg. Which is quite funny, as the state capitol, an hours drive away, is Raleigh, and no-one seems to have trouble with that. :/

  9. My name is Whitney. People almost always think I’m saying Britney. It’s gotten to the point where I will exaggerate the “W” sound when I meet new people. They still think I’m saying Britney.

  10. My name is Rea (“ray”), which has all sorts of fun. If a stranger reads it, it is frequently read as “ray-uh” or “ree-uh.” About one in ten will get it correct the first time. Nearly everyone wants to spell it Rae, which drives me nuts.

    If people hear it without seeing me, they assume I’m a guy. My husband and I had a friend staying over tell his family that he was staying the night with Steve and Rea, which automatically made them wonder if he was staying with a gay couple.

    I frequently respond to anything that rhymes with Rea, including but not limited to: Hey! Say! May! etc

    My surname, Manderino, gets butchered frequently, despite the fact it is simple if is just sounded out. Madrino, Mandarino, etc. are frequent misspellings and mispronunciations.

    And, finally, the number one reason I did not take my husband’s name: My full name would then be Rea Jenn Waner. I think you can all guess how Waner is taken, particularly with any form of accent.

  11. My name is Pamela. I introduce myself as ‘Pamela’. I sign my name as ‘Pamela’. I have not written just ‘Pam’ since I was about four and learning how to spell my name, and I have never introduced myself as such. Of course, it takes most people about a week to start calling me ‘Pam’.

    There’s also the introductory conversation that I have every couple months. “Hi, I’m Pamela.” “Hi. Do you prefer Pamela or Pam?” “Uh…”

    Spelling of ‘Pamela’ include ‘Pamila’, ‘Pamala’, and a few others. Seriously, is it really that hard of a name?

  12. It’s pretty hard to screw up ‘Scott,’ and other than people assuming my name was actually ‘Scotty’ because that’s what my mother calls me, I haven’t had much trouble with it.

    What I have had trouble with is the fact I go by my middle name. My first name is William. So I constantly get called William. I sign my name ‘W. Scott Jones’ so that also causes a lot of issues since most forms you fill out ask explicitly for first name and middle initial.

    I actually had one form that asked for first name, middle name, and last name that I filled out for a conference I attended. Trying to nip being called ‘William’ the whole time in the bud, I wrote down ‘W. Scott Jones’ in the appropriate fields.

    My name tag was printed for Scott W. Jones.

    Yes, thank you. Goddammit.

    What I didn’t know was, what they intended to do was print first name, middle initial, last name on the name tag only.

    At least they reprinted it for me correctly when I asked.

    And no, I don’t mind saying my full name at all on the Internet because you will never find me in a Google search. I also have three of the most common names in the Western world coupled together, and there are 70,000+ hits for my full name as entered on Google.

  13. Oh, also, didn’t happen to me, but one of the professors here. Went to Starbucks with him and a few others. He’s German, and his name is Hans. When asked for his name, he told the barista, who then said as she wrote it on the cup, “Is that with a ‘z’?”

    So now he’s ‘Hans with a z.’

    And actually, on second thought, I have had some confusion over my name before.

    My parents used to have a dog named Spot.

    I never knew if my mom was calling for me from across the house, or yelling at the dog for getting into the trash.

  14. Back in the days before I used my full name I went by Gabe. That was often misheard as Dave. Now that I use Gabriel I don’t think anyone has gotten it wrong. Brawley is heard as Crawley or Drawley. Once someone told me that the reason I got into so many fights was that my name was Brawley. Brawl ee. Someone who brawls.

  15. My name, Kelly, is often misheard as Kerry (damn liquids). That’s about all I get though.

    My boyfriend has it worse – no one can ever remember nor pronounce his name, Peredur, unless they are also Welsh. Without using the IPA, the best way I can describe its pronunciation is “PRED-ir”.

  16. Nom de Plume?

    Carol, err…Karen,

    Men and women have been using the “mistaken name” ruse for quite some time. If, during a particularly intimate moment, a third party’s name is ahem…mentioned… the quick thinking offender just claims to have misunderstood the offended’s name and all is well.

    There actually was a litigator from Surrey who successfully used this little trick on her husband at least twice over the course of their twenty eight year marriage. A third time was claimed, but this writer doubts the veracity of that boast.

    Stanley Jordan Thomas was surely not that big of a fool.

  17. It’s not that my name is mistakenly misheard, it’s that my wife and I have different last names. I am forever being addressed as Mr. Corsby, though my last name is Reardon. It happens so frequently that I have given up trying to correct the error and just go along with it, so half the time I’m a Reardon and half the time I’m a Corsby, and of course it’s vice-versa for my wife.

  18. Not misheard, just too many folks can’t pronounce the “gw” sound. As I live in the East Bay area of San Francisco, which has a large Asian and Hispanic population, I’m probably called Win and Gin more than my given name.

  19. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess that at least a quarter of all the Lisas in your acquaintance are actually named Liz.

    The ONE time I introduced myself as Elizabeth just to avoid being remembered as Lisa, I became an Elyse. But that’s cool!

  20. @nowoo: Out of all of these so far, Fred to Jeff is the strangest to me. You would think it’d be Ted or Jed.

    Oh, and I hope you correct them with a quickness and fierce pride! Fred is one of the very best names. (True fact!)

  21. Not so much misheard as constantly misspelled by anyone who is not British. My name is Lesley, which is the feminine form of the name in British circles. North American types use Leslie for both males and females. It is very rare for me to have my name spelled correctly, even if I have signed a previous message. I get a few letters to “Mr. Lesley” too.

    My last name before I got married was Tanton, which was often heard as Panton. My aunt had the best mis-hearing though, she got a letter addressed to Mrs. E. Tampon.

  22. Alicia (pronounced a-LEE-sha). Has to be one of the most often misspelled and miswritten names in existence. I’ve seen it spelled: Alisha, Alesha, Aleshia, Alica, Alecia, Aleca, Elisha, Elicia, Elishia, Ellisha, Illesha, Illeshia, etc. And any sort of pronunciation you can come up with for any of those? I’ve probably heard it. Most common is definitely (a-lish-a), as that’s the Spanish pronunciation for the same spelling.
    It also apparently sounds like a ton of different names. I have been mixed up regularly with Alesha (a-lish-a), Elisa (el-EE-sa), Alice, Felicia, Alison, Amelia… basically any name with that starts with Al sound.
    My last name is not much better.

  23. With people who can’t seem to grok that Joey can be a girl’s name:

    “Joey.”
    “Joy?”
    “Jo-ey. Like a boy’s name.”
    “I’m sorry…Joy?”
    “JO. EE. Like short for Joseph. Like the guy from Friends.”
    “Oh, I see.”

    And then it gets marked down as “Joy” anyway. Which is just so me.

  24. My real first name is Jacob and I swear 20% of the male population under the age of twenty-two is named Jacob and no one my age is. My last name, while only four little common letters, is nearly always misunderstood over the phone and is never spelled correctly on the first attempt . To this day my wife and I regret not taking her last name when we got married.

  25. My name is Robert, but I go by Rob. My job is to go to various schools and do programs with kids (where I go by “Mr. Rob”), so I’ve gotten some weird variations from both kids and adults: Bob (most often, naturally, even after correcting them), Rod, Ron, Roger, and Tim. I think my favorite was a written comment from a kid calling me “Mr. Rabbit.”

  26. I too am called Scott. This is rarely a problem for people to hear, though I am often mistaken for some doppleganger named Chris.

    However! My first and last name together contain three pairs of double letters, and it is exceedingly rare that anyone can write my name properly the first name around. Even my own university registered me once, then again with one too few letters.

  27. My name’s Alison.

    I think the last -on part frequently falls off when it’s said aloud because people frequently think that my name is Alice. For a small time in high school I actually introduced myself giving my name a french/spanish accent so it became “ah-lee-SONE”. Which, coincidentally, did nothing for the confusion.

    I’m also remembered as Ashley for some reason, and everyone wants to spell my name Allyson and call me Allie.

    Personally, I find names really hard to remember, so I assign people letters associated with their names and remember them with a fact. “Gah, what’s here name? I just met her. She’s S and she’s Russian, Sofie? Steph? Oh! Stacie.”

  28. I’m also a Sara though I’m sans H. It is fine if the first time you contact me it shows up with one. But really my name is on all my stuff, all over, it is my e-mail, it is my signature. So after that first time? Just get it right. (Other Sara/hs always get it right.) Mostly people get Sara right but my last name is a killer. I used to tell people it was a palindrome but years of “you don’t have to be so snooty” or “no it isn’t, it isn’t X” and other stupid things I’ve given up on that as a way to help people spell it, now I just repeat myself slowly 5 times.

  29. My name gets misheard as Tracie or Stacie. However, it gets misread as Cassie. Then people ask me why I just don’t abbreviate it to KC since the spelling is so “unique” in the first place. And when asked to spell it, it takes a few minutes since it isn’t Casey…it is really confusing for people to listen to me respell my name :)

  30. My name is Bailey and I generally go by Bai to anyone who I spend a lot of time around. Nevertheless, they invariably pronounce my name Bail-ey (bail rhymes with pail) rather than Bai-lee, which is the pronunciation my family has always used. When I try to correct it (I try now and then, but it’s not worth it), they can’t even hear the difference most of the time.

    Like many of the rest of you, I frequently am addressed as though I am the wrong sex. I was accepted into one graduate school as “Mr.” and actually got a men’s razor from Gillette when I turned 18!

  31. After moving to Australia, I found out that I am unable to pronounce my name. My first name is “Wilson” (which is reason enough for confusion, but that’s another story), and most people simply don’t understand me when I say it. I’ve been shortening it to “Will” when precision is not required.

    And my last name, “Afonso”, is consistently written as “Alfonso” by other people.

  32. My name isn’t mis-heard or mis-pronounced, this I could forgive and deal with. The problem I’ve had all my life is that people make an assumption as to what nickname, if any, I prefer to be called.

    My given name is James. All my life I’ve been called Jay by my family and friends. At work, I’m know as James, but only because there was a Jay already in my work group when I started and I wanted to avoid confusion.

    What pisses me off is when people who have just met me, or people who I speak to on the phone for various non-personal reasons insist on calling me Jim. I hate being called Jim. I used to correct people, but most people forget and call me Jim again anyway.

    I’ve got to the point where I refused to even answer to Jim. If someone calls my phone asking for Jim, even though I know they are looking for me, I tell them that there is no Jim here. They will usually call back and when I say the same thing again, they ask, “Aren’t you Jim Walker” and I’ll say, “No, I’m James Walker”. There usually follows silence or profuse apologies.

  33. I’m really named Penn. No, not that Penn.
    I get a lot of Ben or Ken, as well as a lot of people spelling it Pen.
    Understandable, really. It’s not a common name. If only I knew someone named Teller, it’d be easier to explain. I have to go with ‘…like Pennsylvania’.

  34. People in the past have gotten my name completely wrong. Funny that they use the same number of letters, 3 in the first and 4 in the second. But what they call me has none of the same letters as in my real name so I have always failed to see how they manage to call me ass hole and think that it’s my name.

  35. My last name is Duchek. When salespeople call (which always puts me in a good mood anyway), they usually ask for Mr Ducher or Durchek. I even asked one lady to spell it:

    “D U C H E K”

    OK, how do you pronounce that?

    “Ducher”

    Where’s the R?

    This last summer I worked with an Iranian lady named Maryam. She told me one day that the proper Persian pronounciation was Mar-yam, but she liked the American Mary-am better.

    Oh, my sister is Lara, but she’s had people insist it was supposed to be pronounced Laura, and that she was pronouncing it wrong.

  36. I’m called Jennifer almost as often as Jessica, which is actually my name. Even though I clearly sign my emails with the correct name, it’s not uncommon for them to come back all “Thanks, Jennifer.”

  37. I often mishear my sister’s name as mine. She’s named Jes, and I’m Jeff. It only comes up at home, but since we’re both in college, that’s still a few months. Most of our older friends have taken to saying Jeffrey and Jessica when they call the house phone.

    If someone does screw up my name (which is rare), I tend not to correct them. I don’t care what you call me, as long as it doesn’t have to do with Jeff Dunham. For such an innocent thing, I hate him more than any person I actually know.

  38. When I was in elementary school, people used to convince me all the time that my name was the girl’s way to spell Sean. It all came from someone who knew someone who knew someone whose mom’s name was Sean. Nevermind that Sean fucking Connery spells it the way I do. And nevermind that it’s just Gaelic for the name John either. It’s a girl’s name by god.

    I also had teachers who almost always mispronounced it as well. People with educations. People who remember watching James Bond movies with Sean Connery as James Bond when they were new. Only in northern Ireland will I ever accept the name Shane as the proper way to pronounce it.

    And you fucks who think it’s Seen or Sheen or whatever clever joke that’s older than Jesus riding Caesar’s T. rex can get fucked.

  39. It usually isn’t. Foreigners will sometimes use Bjorn instead, and I’ll try to correct them: “No, it’s Bjørnar. Bjørn is not an acceptable short form, it’s a different, and more common name.”

    I had a boarding pass made out to Bsurnar once on the Kiel-Oslo ferry though.

  40. Normally my name is distinctive enough when I’m around people who speak Serbian or a reasonably close language. It’s when I introduce myself to English speakers that the troubles start. The ‘lj’ bit is a sound virtually unheard of in English (it’s akin to the sound ‘lu’ makes in ‘volume’) and I usually have to either give an impromptu tutorial on Slavic phonetics or invent a suitable nickname. Usually ‘V’ which is good, but does leave me with a compulsion to speak in iambic pentameter. And blow up things. :)

  41. “Jessa” is a fairly easy name to spell and say. There is an occasion mispronunciation by students of mine, mu favorite was by a student who just couldn’t say Miss Jessa to save her life (even after many attempts at kindly correcting her), my name one week was Miss MaJessa and the next week it had evolved into Miss Majestic. I stopped trying to correct her after that as I kind of liked my new name.

  42. I’ve seen some variations of my name: Ola, Olu, Oli, Ule, Ollie, Uli, Ula, Oleg, Olaf, Olef, John (OK, that last one was my own when one day in a StarBucks I decided I was too tired to explain them how to spell my name. So I told them John when they asked . When they called out the drink I had forgotten I gave them another name so I haven’t done it since…)

  43. My name is Hannah, but people always want to call me Heather, for absolutely no reason I can discern. I once had a truly horrific boss who continued to call me that after 2 years of working for her.

    Also, if one more person calls me Hannah Montana…

  44. My first name, “Garry”, is rarely mispronounced – tho I sometimes get Gerry, or Jerry. What usually happens is it is mispelled. So, I have to go into the litany, “Garry, with 2 r’s, ala Shandling, Trudeau and Marshall.” Of course, if the person I’m speaking with is under 30 years-old, they don’t know any of these people, and it’s back to square one.

    To top it off, my older brother’s name is Barry (yeah, our parents were a bit twisted), so growing up in the same town, going to the same schools, and hearing (on a daily basis) my name mispronounced as “Barry”, became a regular thing. Of course, he was the “brilliant” one – valedictorian of his class, played the lead in all the plays, fantastic singer. Bitter? A tad, but I love the SOB.

    Now, we live about 700 miles apart, so there’s rarely any confusion.

  45. My first name is Addis, which gets “translated” to Denise, Adidas, Addison, Addie, Alex…. I moved to a new city, and thought I’d save people some trouble by going by my middle name: Melina. Of course, I now have to answer to Melinda, Melanie, Mandy, and sometime Mo. Very few people will just say Mel, which I might prefer since those letters are together in my name.

  46. My given name is Faith. Obviously I get Fay, but often I get people who think my name is Saith. Which, as far as I know, is not actually a name in this world. Most often, again, not surprisingly, people think they remember my name is Hope. Or some other concept.

  47. My forename is OK, but my surname is Waldock. I’ve had letters addressed to Mr Warlock and (ironically for a gay man) Mr Wedlock. Once there was one for Mr Waddleduck, but I think that was a friend being a cad and a bounder.

  48. My real first name is Stevie. I don’t know if it’s because they don’t expect a girl to have that name but these are what I ALWAYS get mistaken for:

    Bebe
    Didi
    Phoebe
    Mimi

    And then I get these names when people remember it’s a boyish name but know I’m a girl:

    Frankie
    Nicki

    And then I always get these when someone has to fill out a document with my name on it but don’t pay attention:

    Steve
    Steven

    And then THIS is what I got when AARP sent me something in the mail (I am a 26 year old woman)

    Steve Mendoza (that’s even just PART of my last name, not the full name).

    Yeeeah — who knew a name like Stevie would be so difficult?!

  49. As a Stephanie, I am forever plagued with people who shorten it to Steph without asking, but it’s rarely mispronounced.

    My *last*name on the other hand… It contains an “ols”, which a lot of people find hard to voice, a silent e on the end which everybody pronounces, and I can’t spell it on the phone without resorting to the phonetic alphabet because of an F and an S, which sound alike over bad connections no matter how well I enunciate. I have a whole list of spellings I ask people to try if they can’t find me on a page of, say, reservations.

  50. Me: This is Ed how may I help you?

    Them: Oh hi Seth, I can’t remember my password.

    (I guess they hear the “S” in word “IS” and think “Well there is no way he said “SED” so I’ll call him “SETH”.)

  51. My name is Scott but it’s been misheard as ‘Beth’ when ordering takeout before. That made finding my pizza kind of interesting.

    I ask most Scotts I meet if they ever get called Steve, and most do. I think it must be a particularly short jump in English-speaking brain space.

    My wife and I have different names too, and it’s convenient to make phone solicitors go away. “Am I speaking to Mr. $WIFELASTNAME?” “Sorry, no, there’s nobody here by that name.”

  52. My first name, Adrienne, gets mangled verbally and in writing pretty much once a day, but unlike Stephanie and others, no one’s ever really tried to shorten it…well, not to a shorter version of Adrienne, anyhow. What’s better is that my surname is a “first” name, and sometimes people will use that instead (possibly thinking I won’t know the difference?). :)

  53. Once in a while someone on skepchick will think I’m Penn Jillette, I am not. I’ve also been accused of being related to him on a number of occasions. It does make my vacations to Vegas much more interesting, and once I had a paparazzi think I was Penn’s kid, this was when he was on dancing with the stars, it probably didn’t help that I yelled at the pap and insisted on not being filmed.

  54. I have a few…

    My name, Danny, is always remembered as Dan, which drives me crazy inside, but I don’t really tell anyone. I just politely correct.

    I have also gotten Sammy, which really drives me crazy because I had a female friend named Sammy a few years back and our friendship ended in not-so-friendly ways and I am still holding a grudge.

    But the best was when a customer service rep on the phone kept calling me “Nanny,” like I was her babysitter or something.

  55. I work at a helpdesk and spend my day on the phone talking to people. Every call begins with “Corporate Help Desk, this is Kevin, can I have your login id?” and, in years of doing this, I have come to the conclusion that people don’t listen.

    Sure there are the easy mistakes of Devin and Evan, close enough to Kevin to be understandable, but there is also Calvin, Gavin, Jason, Justin, Adam, Kenneth and Kelly, which tends to stretch things. Finally, there are those mistakes that are completely unbelievable such as Edward, Brian, Jeff, Tom, Ken, Frank, Steve, Jim, Greg, Chad, Kirk, Mike, and Paul. Clearly these people are not paying attention.

    In fact, just today I had the absolute proof that people do not listen to me. As I was ending a call, the caller used the name Mark, wasn’t
    sure it was right, and said “It’s Mark, isn’t it?”

    “Actually, It’s Kevin.”

    “OK, Mark, have a good day.”

    Tim, Dan, Mark, Dave

  56. @9bar: I have the reverse problem – I have 2 ‘s’s in my last name, and people keep thinking I’m saying ‘f’! I’ve had to use the police alphabet to spell my last name – “bravo-sierra-india…”

    My first name never gets fucked up, at least not to date. Hard to screw up “Anna”.

  57. My first name is rare enough that it’s pronounced wrong far more often than it is pronounced correctly.

    Usually I don’t bother to correct people, unless I’ve taken against them, in which case I’ll lead them through the stone-faced dance of every possible version they can think of, whether it has the correct number of syllables and starts with the approximate vowel sound, or not.

  58. My name is Zebulon but most people call me Zeb. Introducing my self I get a lot of “Ed?”, “Ev?”, “Zeke?” and even “Eb?”. I don’t really mind, being Canadian my name is quite unusual. In some cases I’ve even been known to let people call me by the wrong name (for years) to wait for that perfect time to spring it on them.

    @w_nightshade: Thanks for that, it’s kind of cool to hear that someone is getting my name even though I almost never get it. Only twice have people got my name right on the first saying, both at book signings. John Irving and David Cronenberg both heard my name and immediately spelled it correctly. It was a good time for a nice change.

    I’m understanding when people get it wrong, not only is it very unusual but I have trouble with other peoples names myself. I cannot spell them at all and if it’s a name with two common pronunciations I go insane trying to remember which is the correct one. I have a writing partner of two years and to this day I can’t remember if his wife is “Sandra” or “Sondra”. Remembering one thing is not bad but remembering which of two things is very difficult for me. Fortunately my partner accepts my freakish ways and appreciates my desire to get his wife’s name right and casually prompts me or outright tells me before it’s an issue.

  59. Hi there!

    Hey, @QuestionAuthority and @Garrison22, I get called “Greg” all the time, too. But for me, it makes a little bit of sense, since my name is actually “CRAIG”.

    Usually I don’t notice when people call me by a different name, since I live in New Jersey. Jersey boys tend to swallow their hard Cs so that they sound like Gs. (Must be from eating all that Capicola*) ;) So sometimes a person saying: “Craig” sounds exactly like someone saying “Greg”. It usually isn’t until I hear the person say “Your name’s “Craig”?! All this time I thought it was “Greg”” that I could tell the difference.

    Technically, my name really should be pronounced CrAYg, instead of CrEg, which is how I pronounce it. I guess it’s the more Americanized way of saying it. [shrug] I am American, but the name is Scottish. It means … “Crag”.

    Also, I often get mistaken for a woman on the phone, which makes for an interesting moment when the person asks for my name.

    *http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=gabagool

  60. My first name is Leilani. Like the Tennessee Ernie Ford song ‘Sweet Leilani’.

    When I introduce myself, I usually get a blank stare as I am a pasty white girl with a Hawaiian name. They usually say “I’m sorry?” It takes me slowing it down, one syllable at a time. I don’t know why. It’s not that tough of a name. (Lay Law Nee).

    When I say it to a barista, they usually spell it Laylanie or Lelani or Lalany or other variants.

    When someone is calling for me I usually get Lillian, almost like they think it’s misspelled and they are graciously correcting it. Every so often I get “Lee I Lain EE”… just lets me know they don’t know me.

    My maiden name was Mascio… which is Italian. I would get it replaced by Matthews a lot.

    It doesn’t bother me. If someone is struggling with my name, I usually just ask that they call me Leia, like Princess Leia from Star Wars, since that reference is more current, it seems easier for people to remember.

  61. In college, my nickname was Stiffy (don’t ask, it’s not even as interesting as it sounds).

    One guy at a party was named Micky, so a girl (and her numerous friends) kept confusing me and him, and ended up referring to me as Sticky.

    I never corrected her. Stiffy, Steve, Sticky — heck, my real name is Tim.

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