What it’s like having a name no one can pronounce


Having an uncommon name has both its upsides and downsides. But, just like being a Leicester fan, the upsides are definitely greater.

With an unusual name, introductions become an art, an ordeal that can go either way. You say your name confidently at first, smiling as they tentatively repeat it back to you, attempting to pronounce it right. By the third time that they repeat your name, you just nod and smile in a tight-lipped grimacing fashion, and begin any topic of conversation to move on from the fact that they think your name is Nicole or Nike or anything other than what it says on your birth certificate.

Some will never bother to even learn it

Clubs are where it’s the most tragic. If you’re chirpsing it becomes so much easier for them to forget your name, and they won’t send you a friend request the next day because they won’t be able to spell your name. There’s always that one person two months into Uni who still doesn’t know your name because they never remembered how to pronounce it and was too embarrassed to ask.

It must be hard being this witty

Starbucks NEVER get it right

Having an unusual, or as some say ‘interesting’ name, means that Starbucks will misspell it 100 per cent of the time, and that so I begin the process of slowly and almost apologetically spelling out my name when booking an appointment or placing an order.

It’s happened to the best of us

Everyone wants to know what it means

Typically I then get asked what my name means or where it originates from as for some reason people think this makes for great conversation. Mine, in case you were wondering, means beautiful and admirable. Classy. There are definite downsides to not being called a generic name such as Ellie or Megan.

Teachers can never pronounce it

You get used to preparing yourself for the substitute teacher’s pause and quick sigh of breath before attempting to pronounce your name and quickly learn that autocorrect is definitely not your friend. The misspelling/mispronouncing danger is a real one. A friend called Sakshi timidly suffered through year eight Latin lessons being called ‘sexy’ by a teacher who genuinely thought that was her name.

I know my name’s different but it’s not that different

You never have to worry about e-mail addresses

On the plus side, there’s no confusion: making usernames for an email/Instagram/Twitter account is easier as there’s no need to put one or 97 at the end of your name. There’s also no need to use your surname as a distinguish yourself like the Emily G and Emily C in the WhatsApp chat.

A thing of (10 year old me’s) dreams

You had the coolest name badge at school

There’s no danger of picking up the wrong person’s hoodie at school after PE and, most importantly, no competition. You are the one, the only and therefore the best. Although 10 year old me desperately longed for a brightly coloured water bottle with my name embossed on it in Comic Sans, or a mass produced, chunky name necklace, 19-year-old me now sees the value in having an uncommon name. I’m yet to meet anyone with my name and subsequently embrace my own, with all the catastrophes that come with it.