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JLeslie's avatar

Are there any names that are weird for you to say?

Asked by JLeslie (56042points) 2 months ago from iPhone

My sister’s name was very rare when we were young, so she never had to call another girl by her same name. Now, it has become more popular, and she knows a few girls with her name, and she says it’s weird to call someone else by her name. I, by contrast, have a very common name, and my whole life I have had many many friends and acquaintances with my name, so it’s just normal to me.

One name that feels odd to me to say is the name Christian. I didn’t know anyone named Christian until my 20’s. I didn’t even know it was a given name before that. I’m finally a little more used to it. It’s not odd to me to refer to the Christian religion, I only mean odd when it’s someone’s name. It would be odd to me to call someone Jewish or Muslim or Hindu, and that’s how it seemed to me when I first heard it.

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24 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

Well, but there’s Hans Christian Andersen. You probably knew his name, right?

Some people prefer not to use a common nickname for Richard, but it doesn’t bother me.

I had a hard time making myself seriously use a professional colleague’s name, “Taffy.” Other names that I think of as toy names or baby names make me hesitate too.

I think the ones that slow me down the most, though, are names that are words we’re not used to seeing as names. We may be familiar with flower and gem names, for instance (Rose, Lily, Ruby, etc.), and virtues (Prudence, Charity, Grace, etc.), but not be used to others such as Precious and Pretty and Baby and Money. That may just be a cultural thing. I try to take them all in stride, and do my best with pronunciation, but some do catch me by surprise, and it might sometimes show.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

How about honest republican.
Or totally truthful Trump.

Demosthenes's avatar

There’s an episode of friends where Phoebe needs to speak to a woman named Precious and says “So listen, Suzy, can I call you Suzy?” and Precious responds “But my name is Precious” and Phoebe says “Yeah, I’m not saying that. Anyway, Suzy…” :P

I don’t think I’ve come across many names that I found weird to say, but there are some that have made me do a double-take. A co-worker of mine was named Irish. At first I thought it was some kind of mistake. I’d never heard of such a name, but apparently there’s a character in a show my mom watches named British. So it’s a thing I guess.

I do have a problem pronouncing certain “ethnic” names with “Anglicized” pronunciation. I went to school with a kid named Jorge who just pronounced his name “George” much of the time, and I found that hard to do. And no matter how Brett Favre pronounces his name, I can’t say “Farve”. Spell it differently if you want it pronounced differently. lol

Jeruba's avatar

Come to think of it, I believe it was Taffi. Worse, by a lot.

raum's avatar

My daughter came home from school today, brimming with excitement about a new girl in class.

Her new friend’s name is Amaryllis. She asked me how to pronounce it and I’m pretty sure I butchered it.

But probably better than this pronunciation of it.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jeruba You’re correct that I was aware of Hans Christian Anderson, for some reason that did not compute for me as a name someone might be called. When I was young I had a lot of things that I didn’t really take in, they just were. I guess maybe this is one of those things.

Similarly, I never considered what God was, I didn’t even have much of an inking about God until my late teens. God was mentioned at Passover Seder in the book we read, and my mom would say things like, “why is God punishing me,” and “oh my God,” but it never registered with me that people think there actually is a God until much after I heard references to God.

I’m not fond of a lot of the flower names. Rosa, Rose, Daisy, all not easy for me.

raum's avatar

@JLeslie That’s funny that you say that because my daughter has made three new friends in her class this year.

Their names are Daisy, Iris and Amaryllis. I told her she should draw a picture of her garden of new friends. :)

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Brian1946's avatar

I find Cthulhu to be challenging, although I think a name like Cthulhu Clinton could be amusing.

Jeruba's avatar

@Brian1946, Lovecraft didn’t mean for that one to roll off the tongue. A kind of strangled sound would be fitting. I don’t go along with the folks who want to say Cthoo-loo. Given Lovecraft’s naming patterns, I’m pretty sure he meant us to struggle through Cthool-hoo.

I like the idea of Cthulhu Clinton. That’s moderately brilliant.

JLeslie's avatar

@raum I love that idea of the garden. My MIL has one of the names I mentioned, and she’s living with me now! Her first name is actually a name I have always loved and she doesn’t use it.

@Demosthenes I used to feel somewhat similarly about the anglacized names thing. Sometimes I find the names much prettier in English. Sometimes prettier in the mother tongue.

For instance Julia I think is beautiful, and I threw it out as a possibility when I was pregnant. My husband said, “no way, all my relatives will call her hulia,” and in an instant I was with him.

I used to feel more like you about names like Jorge being pronounced George, or the last name Jimenez being pronounced Jim-men-ez instead of Hee-main-ez, and then I started to know people who simply use it both ways for themselves, and it became less weird to me.

flutherother's avatar

Ralph….Ralph…Ralph. It sounds like a dog barking.

JLeslie's avatar

@flutherother You just reminded me that in the book Forever the main male character names his penis Ralph. I haven’t thought of that in 40 years. Ugh, I think Judy Blume did a real deservice to men with that name. Although, when I hear Peter and the above mentioned Dick my mind can wander to the same place, but I can not let it wander also. I know so so many Peters, and I guess maybe some parts of the country didn’t use that as slang.

Brian1946's avatar

@Jeruba

It could be that Lurvecraft feared the correct pronunciation of Cthooly’s name, might accidentally summon It.

Believe me now or defenestrate me later, but that’s why there are no Great Old Ones named Bob. ;-)

ragingloli's avatar

Anything with a ‘th’ in it.

JLeslie's avatar

@ragingloli Is it hard to pronounce th because of your first language? Or, you just don’t like it? My inlaws can’t pronounce th well.

rebbel's avatar

Benebitch Batchercum.

chyna's avatar

I have heard of a couple of other people with my first name, but never met them. I think it would be odd to call them by my name since I never have in all my years.
There is a woman where I work that has a pretty high position and her first name is Kitty. It is her given name, not a nickname. I avoid saying it as much as I can because it makes me uncomfortable.

ragingloli's avatar

@JLeslie
Both.
Especially “dth”. That is the worst.

notsoblond's avatar

@rebbel Don’t forget his brothers-
Bandicoot Thundersnatch
Bumblesnuff Crimpysnitch
Buttercup Cumbersnatch

ScienceChick's avatar

Ingelbert Humperdink is a hell of a name. I come across foreign names all the time. Ones from Africa are interesting. A boy named ‘Promise’ and another named ‘Humble’. The one’s with Å and Ø and Æ are really fun and that’s just members of my extended family.

rebbel's avatar

I never know how to pronounce the name Nguyen, whenever I read it (and I feel it’s a common name, because I see it regularly).
All other names, be they Scandinavian, Easterly European, African, Chinese, I always like to try to pronounce them.

Kardamom's avatar

I’ve always had trouble with Ralph Fiennes. I thought it was pronounced Ralph Fee-inis or maybe Feens, for years. I actually thought there was another dude called Ray Fines.

One day I saw a picture of the actor, and someone pronouncing his name, and thought WTF? Who is this guy?

I read a book by Amy Tan, and one of the characters is named Esme. Still don’t know if it’s pronounced Ez-may, Ess-may, Ez-mee, Ess-mee, Ezem, or something completely different.

And then there’s Demi Moore. I know she says it as Dah-Mee, but you have to take a pausing breath to say it that way along with her last name, or else it sounds like Demee. Then what about Demi Lavato? I see the word demi and pronounce it demee, but then I see that name Demi and I am never sure.

This is how they pronounce the term demi glace: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5RtGK0IfEU
It’s different than Demi Moore’s first name. So I don’t know.

I was also sure ther the singer Jamiroquai’s name
was pronounced Jammy-roki until months later I heard someone say it.

I have great respect for newscasters that repeatedly have to say the names of leaders, foreign and domestic, and the names of countries (like Qatar) over and over again, and get them right.

mazingerz88's avatar

Christian is a common name for guys in the Philippines…which is 90 percent Catholic? Nickname is Chris of course.

Not a name but I haven’t uttered the words trump and President together so far. I suffer whenever I hear people on TV say it.

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