Clare is dating someone with an apostrophe in his name. It is a Native American name meaning first born son. My whine is not about the name or any other hard (for me) to pronounce name. It is about being corrected every time I try to pronounce it. He doesn’t correct me, but both my kids do. I think I pronounce the part before the apostrophe pretty well, but it is the part after the apostrophe that I always get wrong. (I say /key/ when it should be /kay/). I hope they date long enough for me get it right.
7 thoughts on “168/365 Hard to pronounce names”
I have a dear friend who retired from teaching in a rough-and-tumble inner city school district. He entertains us with amazing names collected over the years. My favorite was a girl who came into his school with the name Psyche. “Interesting,” he thought, “A classics connection.” He called on her that day, to be informed (with some anger), that her name was pronounced “Saa-shay.”
I knew someone who had a friend named Mercedes. She pronounced it “Mercy-DEES”.
I have an unusual name for you: a child I once taught was named Monsoon. (pronounced the usual way)
I’m chuckling at your last line. In New Zealand, we have a lot of Samoan and Tongan names, and a lot of their names have apostrophes in them, requiring a glottal stop. I’m also afraid I correct my husband’s pronunciation (of English words as well) all the time. Pronunciation of Maori words is particularly problematic here – unfortunately, criticism of pronunciation stops a lot of Pakeha (non-Maori) from attempting Maori words. That said, they have a right to do it, as many Maori place names have been completely and utterly mangled over the years (including places where I grew up).
If they get married, we’ll keep an eye out for a post about hard-to-pronounce grandchildren’s names.
I teach in a high poverty urban middle school and the pronunciation doesn’t get me, it’s the spelling. Demesha, Demeisha, Demeishia are all pronounced the same. Bria Breea Bry’a and Breya. Dakarai and Dakari. Christian and Chrystion. Ashanti and Ashantie and Ash’Anti.
When I taught in school with a large Vietnamese population, I was ashamed by my inability to pronounce names correctly.
My niece is named Mairi (rhymes with starry), but people around here almost always pronounce it Mary or Marie. It doesn’t roll off the tongue at first, and I once called her Murray.
Oh and I forgot my own kids’ names! Sophia’s middle name is Esme, which gets mispronounced as “Esm” and of course every doctor’s office has said “Maeve” as a dull purple color. Who would name their child Mauve??