Why Janes and Jims are Less Prone to Trouble
I find that some people tend to struggle with my foreign sounding name. Usually when I think I’m not going to meet someone again, I give them a fake name. Not because I enjoy deceiving them, but simply to spare us both from a 5-minute conversation on how to pronounce my name (at the end of which they will still not be remotely close).
This strategy of mine has served me well most of the time. However, I had the misfortune of meeting one of these people again. Someone who remembered me introducing myself as Abigail. Rather than consistently using the same fake name, I’ve always said the first name that popped into my head.
The gentleman who knew me as Abigail was an acquaintance of my roommate, and before I knew it he had invited the two of us to dinner and she accepted for both of us. My roommate warned me that I should come clean but I was adamant about going along with being Abigail. I couldn’t possibly bump into him again, right?
I find that most people use names maybe once or twice during the course of a conversation. Maybe 5 times at most. This gentleman insisted on saying Abby or Abigail every 2 minutes. My roommate reluctantly agreed not to out me but repeatedly insisted I come clean. In her final attempt to get me divulge the truth, my real name slipped off her tongue. Unfortunately the gentleman picked up on that and demanded to know why she was referring to me by another name.
Miraculously I talked my way out of a potentially catastrophic situation by saying I’d idolised the name Abigail since childhood. Despite the extensive eye rolling by roommate, the gentleman happily agreed to continue calling me Abigail. Until about a month later when he saw another acquaintance come up to me and say “How’s it going, Amelia?”
Reminded of me of one of my lecturers who was from Vietnam. He used to say “my name is Anh Nugyen Dinh kgiym…. You can call me Fr. Thomas… “
Thanks for posting the link to your article, Abigail. I mean Amelia. ;-). Funny that we should both have been thinking about names today!
That’s Ida to you
reminds me of Kane Adams & Regina Filange from friends…..#truestory
So Abigail, what is your real name?
You can call me Zoey 🙂
You got to do this so nobody make fun outta your name. People tend to pronounce well but in the end they made u some fashion dilemma. I spent two years in London and all the time my collegues call me Puma rather Umer, because they try to pronouce with their accent “oo-mm-aa” so they make a fun and start indulging me PUMA. Once I thought to my self I may become Ambassador to Puma. Now that I’m in Kuala Lumpur people here simply didnt get my name so I have to say them “Ah, leave it Never mind”. Should try to get some Chinese or Malaysian name…lolz
In KL they don’t know the name Umer? I’m surprised. I thought it was a fairly normal Islamic name. Isn’t it the Urdu pronunciation of Omar, the 2nd Caliph? Would it bother you if they called you Omar instead?
That’s amazing! I have so many middle names I used to pick one an insist that that would be my name from then on. It usually only lasted a day, but I spent a week as Victoria once.
🙂 Awesome post! I feel your pain, I don’t even remember what my name sounds like…
Hahaha ! Lol this was hilarious. You know I have the same problem. My name is Lalarukh and many people don’t understand it at the first place and then after understanding it they immediately ask for its meaning lol I feel so annoyed by it ! Now usually when I order some food or at public, I change my name to some easy one ! But No one has recognized me yet with a different name lol I wish they won’t ever 😉 Love the story ! Looks like I have written it 😛
Maybe we all should just go by superlatives. Your Most Excellent Maker of Pancakes, She Who Rolls in Sarcasm, Your Highness, etc. Because really, what name can encompass any of us?