Thursday, March 05, 2015

Sterling's Non-names

When I was growing up, if someone called me by the wrong name, it was usually one of these three:

1. Brittany
2. Heather
3. Gretchen

Brittany I get, because it's a Bri- name that's a lot more common than my actual name. Heather and Gretchen are a little more difficult to understand. Gretchen does have a consonant cluster in the middle, and maybe Heather just evokes the same feeling as Bridget?

Well, Sterling has acquired his own Non-names. Over the past 17 months of his life, three totally different people from different countries have called him Preston. And then today, someone called him Tristan.

I am especially fascinated by Preston. There is the st cluster there, like in Sterling, but otherwise, I think people mistake it for his actual name because it evokes similar ideas - vaguely British, maybe it's even a town/area there, two syllables, emphasis on the first.

I haven't noticed that the girls have any Non-names yet. I'll have to keep a clearer ear. I probably wouldn't have noticed the Preston thing except that it kept happening (three times).

What's your Non-name?

22 comments:

karina said...

I get called Katrina more than Karina. I get it - it's practically the same name (except it's NOT). And it makes me very, very angry. When I graduated from BYU the reader read it wrong - as I passed him I said (carrying into the mic), "It's Karina" because it's that important to me.

Ariana said...

I have a Preston who has mistakenly been called Parker more than once. Growing up, I was most often mistakenly called Adriana or Andrea. Usually Andrea was the mistake of choice. Usually the pronunciation of my name just gets butchered...with a different "a" sound for each of the three As in my name. It drives me crazy. There seems to be a connection between the age of the person trying to pronounce my name and the level at which it's butchered. The 50+ crowd just can't get their mouth around it. haha! I've been called Arlanna, Areena, and my favorite, the blank stare and "shoot I have no idea how to say your name." Really? It's not that hard. Younger people seem to have less problems...I think they have encountered way more Arianas than the older generation.

Nancy said...

Mine is Natalie. So many people have called me Natalie it's not even funny.

Myrna said...

Mine is actually Nancy. Which is awesome, because I liked that name enough to name a child that. So much prettier than my actual name, in my opinion. And sometimes I was also called Miranda, which is also prettier than my actual name, although when I was young it would upset me to be called that.

Yvonne Anderson said...

Sometimes I get Yvette. My least favorite is Oven. Some people in Matt's family STILL, after 15 years and many corrections, call me Oven. What the heck!?

Matt gets called Mack all the time.

Susanne said...

LOL @ Oven! :) (sorry)

Mine would be Susan or Stephanie (my sister), I guess.

Some friends and I were talking about this recently and one friend mentioned her daughter Rebekah being called Rachel.

Sarah Familia said...

The worst that every happens to Sarah is leaving off the "h." But my kids get mis-named all the time.

Axa usually gets called Sasha (occasionally Tasha), which rhymes with her name and is much more common. This happens when people are first introduced to her. When they are trying to remember her name later, they often say Asia, which I guess is the closest relatively common name that begins and ends with A and has a reasonably similar middle consonant.

Raj has a similar situation. Upon initially hearing his name, people repeat it as Roger. When they're trying to remember (or write) it later, sometimes it comes out as Ray.

Sarah Familia said...

Also, that photo of Sterling is darling. Those blue eyes!

Jennifer said...

The only other name I've ever been called is Jessica and that's only from people who know my older sister, Jessica. Other than that, no name confusion for me. One perk of a super common name, I suppose. :)

ETree said...

I always got called "Sarah" which makes absolutely no sense because my name is Emily. Every time I corrected someone they looked confused, apologized and told me I looked like a "Sarah." How does someone LOOK like a name??

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Like Susanne above, I get called Susan, sometimes even by people who know me. I can think of 2 reasons: 1, Susan is more common and 2, perhaps they have never known a Suzanne and don't realize it's a different name. You would think I'm used to Susan because it happens ALL the time, but if I'm in a waiting room and they call for Susan, I don't even look up. Later, when I'm still sitting there and go to the receptionist, she informs me I was called 15 minutes ago. Sheesh.

amber said...

I get Amy, Amanda and Andrea. I guess they're close to Amber.

Crys said...

Rarely I get called Kristin. The only person to ever call me the wrong name regularly was my mother....all my siblings names all the time. I do the same thing to my children...especially E who I call David or Daniel (my babybrothers) weekly and S who I call Flo...my little sister. I guess my grandmother also calls me Chris but is sounds like Crease every time. In her defense she is 90 and English is her second language. Jason gets called Matt at church all the time. I think it because there is another resident who moved in at the same time and between the two of them they make it to church about one active person worth but even though they are both blue eyed and blondish Jason is super thin and Matt is the opposite.

Liz Johnson said...

Um... I've never had anybody mess up my name, at least not in a way that doesn't involve my name (somebody once called me Beth, but since I'm Elizabeth, I don't really think that's wrong). I guess that's one of the perks of having a super common name?

Connor often gets called Cooper or Corbin, and Nathan gets called Ethan occasionally. I don't think I've heard any for Claire or Ian, oddly.



Nancy said...

Oh, Andrew is the pianist for our ward choir. The director calls him Anthony all.the.time.

Aimee said...

Well, other than the misspelling of my name, I didn't get called other names for my first name. Perhaps Jamie every once in a while. Now, my last name was a different story. Shawcroft is said exactly how it's spelled but I heard it as Shellcraft, showcraft, shawcraft, Sharcroft and many other interesting renditions.

My children are called different names Jameson gets Jason which makes sense if he introduces himself quickly or quietly. My favorites are Franklin (My husband's grandpa calls him that) and my Great-aunt used to call him Jefferson. Every so often someone will say Jamie. Tobin gets called Torbin, Toby or they don't quite understand what I said so they smile and nod. Calvin is sometimes Kevin or Cavin (is that a name?) or Gavin. At least our last name is easy.

Hannah said...

Oddly enough, I was just having a similar conversation with some friends. My most common non-name was Heather, probably because it's a much more common H name for my generation than Hannah.

Rebecca Jensen said...

I get Rachel all of the time. I even had a supervisor who couldn't get it right in the 3 months we worked together.

Bridget said...

These are all so funny/sad (Karina, graduation, seriously??).

I just remembered Miriam's non-name: Marian.

Sometimes I wonder why people seem incapable of reading the letters in front of them (barring an actual diagnosed inability to do so). Usually, the letters are there, and if you put them together, they will make the name! Really!

Nancy said...

Bridget—yes! We have two Marians in our ward. And Miriam. She gets called Marian quite a bit, too, probably more often than I notice because, let's face it, those names are awfully similar! :)

Jessie said...

Hmm. This whole thing, but especially the conversation about Miriam vs. Marian, is illuminating to me. I love love love the name "Mariam" but I wonder if a Mariam would ever not be called Miriam or Marian.

Re: "non-names" - As someone with a common, easily-remembered name, I never really knew this was a thing! Then again there are plenty of names that are basically interchangeable in my mind so I totally get it. (Donna and Linda, Angela and Cynthia are two sets that immediately come to mind.) Rachel and Rebecca don't trip me up personally, but I can easily see why other people might get them mixed up!

Bridget said...

In Arabic, Mariam is the same name as Miriam. In fact, many people here assume Miriam's actual name is Mariam, and we're just pronouncing it the English way.

I'm guessing a girl in America named Mariam would get "Marian" a lot. And frankly, all three names are lovely so maybe it's a moot point, ha ha.

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