Do folks mess up your name?


What's in a name? I think the thing that is most frustrating in communicating with someone is when you mess up their name.  Folks don't mind too much of you mess up the town they live in or the name of their car, the school they went to, but their name is personal and I think folks feel like you are messing with them when you mispronounce or misspell their name. Now my given name is Joanne.  Not very unusual, but I guess the way I pronounce it over the phone with my accent made it sound like something else.  I would often have to say it three times and then get, "Oh hello Jillian!"  UGH! And don't get me started on how to spell it!  I'd get Joanne, Jo Anne, Jo Ann, Joann, Johanne, Johanna, Joan and Jillian! LOL  Then I got married and my last name became Tabares.  Took ME six months to learn to pronounce it right!  Tabaras, Tobarus, Tobarez...ROFL So when I started my business, I began to refer to myself by my nickname I had since I was a wee tot (Yes!  Even smaller than I am now!).  Joanne was my given name, but I gave it back!  Started using JoJo and you know what?  Everyone could pronounce it and EVERYONE could even spell it!  A 20 minute conversation were 15 minutes was spent explaining my first name became an efficient and succinct 5 minute call! Do you have an unusual name? Do folks mispronounce it or misspell it all the time?  What do you do about it? Leave a comment and share! JoJo (Alias Joanne, Johanna, Joan, Mom, Mrs. Tabares... and Jillian!) Art of Elephants Eloquence!

19 comments


  • Matthew Lewis

    People tend to misunderstand “Lewis” on the phone – many think I’m saying “Willis.” So I always pronounce it V-E-R-Y slowly and distinctly, then spell it out.

    My main thing is people calling me “Matt” when my name is “Matthew.” I really have a hard time getting used to that!


  • Kimery

    With a maiden name of Kruckenberg, I won’t BEGIN to go into mispronuniciations…after all, even the family itself pronounces it differently… Mom would say like ‘truck’, cousins pronouned like ‘kirk’…Thankfully, ordering pizza became much easier with Lorenz! My pet peeve is people thinking they may, without asking first, shorten your name. My name is Kimery NOT Kim, Kimberly, Kimerly, Kimbery or any other such modification. By the time I was a senior in hs, I usually answered ‘whatever’ when they asked what I was usually called. In my older years, I just refuse to be called “LateToDinner”! It’s much simpler that way! Haha (PS my street name is Norris - any idea how many times people mess THAT up and even with spelling it we get mail to “North”…I got smart-I spell then say “Norris, as in Chuck Norris”. Then it’s right!)


  • Sharon Ball

    LOL! When I got married my last name changed to Ball. I honestly thought no last name could be simpler than that. You would be amazed at how many people ask me to spell my last name. Invariably, after I spell it they say, “Oh…Ball.” So now I’ve gone to automatically spelling my last name whenever I say it. It may seem like a silly thing, but spelling my last name cuts down on confusion.


  • Laurie

    Oh my! Yes!
    My name is Laurie…not Lori…not Laura…LAURIE.
    My maiden name was Hill…would you like to know how many times I’d be asked how to spell it?? Too many…umm…how many ways are there to spell Hill?? Are there some ways I’m not aware of??

    My last name now is Bostwick. You wouldn’t believe how many ways folks mess that one up!


  • Lafayette Jefferson

    My name is Lafayette Jefferson. When I’m on the phone and say my name people think I’m representing a company and ask for my name again. I’ve actually never thought about spelling out my first name for people, it’s been pretty much automatic ever since I’ve learned how to spell it. My issue now is with Jefferson. How in the hell do people end up calling me johnson. I’m sure Mr. Johnson is a cool dude, but he’s not me. Not that I put much thought in it but the only similarities are the first letter and “son” at the end. My name is three syllables and Johnson is two. ARRRGggh! Thanks for letting me vent. I just hand people cards when they ask my name


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