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Last Updated: Friday, 26 August 2005, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
20 of your tricky names
Earlier this week, many of you shared your trauma of growing up with a name that no-one could pronounce. Here are more of your most painful examples.

As The Magazine reported on Wednesday, the late synthesizer king, Dr Robert Moog, spent his life with people pronouncing his name wrongly. It was "Mogue" rather than sounding like the noise of a cow.

And you weren't slow to share your pain. So here - sensitively presented - are 20 more of your top names.

1. "Vaila has people tied in knots - either spelling or pronouncing. Even when I spell it to them over the phone, I still get Valia, Veila, Valerie, Vanessa, and once, even Vanilla. That was my Uni graduation...... It's simple really, say unavailable. Now split it up un-a-VAILA-ble...... And don't get me started on the complexities of my surname, you'd think Alexander was easy, but the English seem to insist on Alexandre. My maiden name was McAllister - need I go on? It's a double edged sword, having an unusual name. People comment on how nice it is, they don't forget you in a hurry - but spelling it, and explaining it every day does get a little wearing.... Oh, and I'm FEMALE by the way."
Vaila Alexander, near Stirling

2. "My name is Karenna. Not Kareena, Karona, Cruella, Gorilla, Katrina or any other pronunciation. When people forget and say it wrong, I correct them. However, I do feel the need to tease a bit when I say "Hello, my name is Karenna" and they reply "Hi Kareena". The only way I could explain to someone who didn't understand why it was such a problem that they said it wrong was by saying it was like her introducing herself as Jenny and the reply being "Hi Genie". It's just not right."
Karenna Speechley, Woking, Surrey

3. "My surname is Birtwisle without a 't' (a Cheshire variant of a Lancashire name, apparently). It's pronounced 'Birt-whistle' but people seem to take the missing 't' as a licence to mispronounce it. 'Birt-while' is the most common one, but I've also had 'britwifle' and my father once had 'Birblethorpe'. It's not all bad though - if a cold caller can't pronounce my name, I put the phone down."
Nicola Birtwisle, London

4. "My Electricity supplier is currently addressing my mail to Miss A Dblinmg (don't ask) but by working in travel my favourite mispronunciation was by a Texan calling for "Angie Jy-bline" It's not so much the terrible guess at my surname that I hated, you get used to that - it was the presumption to shorten Angela. No one has ever called me Angie and I don't even make the connection that they are talking to me."
Angela Giblin, Welwyn Garden City, Herts

5. "Since my surname is somewhat infamous (and no, I'm not related thanks for asking) people seem to be determined not to pronounce it correctly in order to avoid the unfortunate association. I am regularly called Hanley, Hintley, Hinkley, Hinley or Henley and my boss insists on pronouncing it with 'Hind' as in 'hind quarters'."
David Hindley, London

6. "I don't know how to pronounce my name - but it should be easy, shouldn't it? It's Scahill. Now is that 'scar-hill', or 'skarl', or 'sky-ull' or what? It's Irish, but I'm 7th generation English. Can't be that different to Cahill (like the guy who plays for Everton) but no-one seems to know how to pronounce that either! Answers on an eCard please..."
Rob Scahill, Baldock, UK

7."Unwin?" - "sir!"
"Vine?" - "sir!"
"Wanklyn?" - (whole room sniggers) "sir".
As for the rugger coach who insisted on calling everyone by the first syllable of their surname followed by "ers". My mate Giles Smith was fine...he was "Smithers"...Thomas Benson was "Beners". Me? oh yes...he said it...I was "Wankers". I kid you not!
Peter Wanklyn, Northants

8. "Where to start? Wobberley, Willoughby, Wibley, Wilberley, Webberley, and my all time favourite, Wembley. It's not tricky, and its certainly phonetic, yet I've spent years not actually giving my name to people over the phone, but just spelling it out before they ask."
Mark Wibberley, Derbsyhire

9. "You think you've all got unpronounceable surnames, try mine for size. I was the only boy in my school known by my first name."
Chris Mlynarczyk, Edinburgh, UK

10. "I think I win for the most difficult! My maiden surname was Smith, my saving grace, but now I've taken my husband's lengthy surname to complicate things further. Siobian (Shavonne) Andriamampianina (phonetic, just lengthy)."
Siobian Andriamampianina, Balkans

11. "Well I have been called Lol far longer than the internet acronym has been around, and it still confuses people from time to time (although it did get me my first name in my chosen industry!). When I add my surname to the mix, the comedy element seems to be raised a few bars. I personally pity my poor wife who decided to take my name and often gets bizarre references to Mrs Scogg, Scoggle or Scraggle. Surely two syllables is easy enough for most people?"
Lol Scragg, Arbroath, Angus

12. "OK.......my surname is Duddy. Not 'Dubby', 'Doddy', 'Diddy', 'Doody' or 'Daddy'! I'm not overly thrilled with it but am constantly amazed by the people who either laugh in your face or ask with a vacant expression 'how do you spell that?'"
Monica Duddy, Glasgow

13. "My name is dead easy - HALFYARD, as in half and yard. Straightforward Anglo-Saxon. Yet after 40 years on this planet I can count on one hand the number of times a stranger has pronounced it right first time. And I can only recall one time that I have not been asked to spell it. Can anyone explain this?"
Adrian Halfyard, London, UK

14. "Two things surprise me, the large number of people who have a pretty decent attempt at pronouncing my name, (roughly Shen-kev-ich) and those who miss by miles."
Darren Sienkiewicz, Rochdale

15. "Being called Jess and being male, I am constantly being called either Geoff or Jesse. I got frustrated during one mail order call when as I tried to explain that it was J-E-double S (for sugar), and the guy thought my name was Geoff Sugar."
Jess Humphries, Newquay

16. "I live in the French-speaking Canadian province of Québec, where H is a silent letter and where the English "th" is completely unpronounceable. As a result, the Québécois call me "'Eat," if they can even guess my name at all. That's coupled with the English-speaking members of my country who never get my name right.
"Hi, my name is Heath."
"Hi Keith."
"Actually my name is Heath."
"Oh sorry. Hi Pete."
"No, Heath, with an H."
(which once prompted:) "Did you say your name is Jeremy?"
Heath Johnson, Nuns' Island, Québec, Canada

17. "Someone terrific."
Simon Trevethick, Singapore

18. "My name is Gaelic for Mary... pronounced MAA-re, NOT Marie, Moira, Maria, Maia, etc etc.. I have got used to just saying "yes it's me" when answering phone calls starting "oh hello may I speak with err emm...". Most annoying is the response "what?" when telling an English person my name!"
Mairi, London

19. "I've been accused of making my name up before now. Didi is mispronounced 'Edie' and I've even had 'Did I' on the phone once - particularly funny because it was someone dishy I'd met the night before in the pub and given my number to! The best ever was at 7am one morning when my mum staggered into the kitchen unable to breathe from laughing, holding a letter in her hand addressed to 'Miss Methylene'."
Didi Messerli, Liverpool, England

20. "Sadly my name is all too easy to pronounce."
Keith Bumbum, Perth WA


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