The Embarrassment of Mispronouncing People’s Names


I love my mom but sometimes she drives me crazy. Not the angry kind like usual but the insane kind. When it comes to mispronouncing names, most people would be embarrassed when they mispronounce people’s name the first time but they will try and try to correct themselves as to never embarrass themselves ever again.

Not my mom. She seem to take joy in saying people’s name wrong. Like if your name is Aaron, she would call you Alan or Lucy, she would call you Luce. Or even our current next door Charles, she calls him Char. I’ve been scratching my head on this matter for the last decade. I mean, how hard is to properly pronounce someone’s name. It’s almost like if the name is in English or Spanish, she cannot say it.

One very good example would be, I was good friends with the assistance manager’s daughter of the apartment when we lived in LA. Her name was Amanda but for some reason, mom kept calling her Mandy. It’s just a variation of the name, I know, but still, that’s not her name.

The first time I saw mom call Amanda Mandy, Amanda’s face literally glowed red. I told mom afterwards, that’s not her name. Then I taught her, syllable by syllable, A-MAN-DA, but she still called her Mandy.

Mom actually told me this one years later. She used worked at the school in the nearby city, there were a few kids in her class named Jose and Jesus. The first day, she said their names just like she would in the English language!

The kids laughed and laughed because she didn’t know that in Spanish, the “J” pronounce like “H”. I corrected her pronunciation afterward that Jose pronounce like “Hosay” and Jesus, “Heysues”. She mastered Jose pretty quick but to this day, she still pronounced Jesus “Hisue” which it’s pretty odd.

I would have been so embarrassed with mispronouncing people’s name over and over but not mom, she takes pride in saying people’s name wrong. What’s the matter with her?? Probably, that’s why when I got my citizenship and she insisted on changing my name into an English name, I was like NO WAY. What if you mispronounce my name for the rest of the life?

P.S. mom wanted to change my name to Catalina like the island off the coast of California but she kept pronouncing it like Katerina.

Thanks for listening and have a great day.

9 thoughts on “The Embarrassment of Mispronouncing People’s Names

  1. I just got cold busted spelling one of my girl scout’s names incorrectly. *mortified* “That’s really cool Ms Michelle, but you spelled my name wrong.” :/ Her mom gave her a hard time for giving me a hard time. The guilt was overwhelming – I apologized profusely, hugged her lots, and ran home to print another page!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Whenever I met new people they would always mispronounce my name. Some deliberately, to annoy me, others because they couldn’t be bothered to try. I’ll never change it though. You don’t find many people in England with my name-and I like it! Yinglan is also a better name compared to Catalina in my opinion as well. 🙂

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