Flexible Friday #25 The Name Game

My name is a wee bit unusual especially for my age.

I’ve known this since grade school. (We’ll save the endless list of current strange names for another post.)

Typically, the teachers, all the way through college would simply ignore the “a” at the end of Sherra and roll call usually went something like this:

Insert Ferris Bueller’s teacher voice here:

“Sherry? Sharon? Sheryl?”

My very rebellious nature led me to sit quietly while other students would whisper…

“The teacher is calling you.”

By college, when I finally broke out of my quiet, meek shell (not kidding) I had this awesome one-liner that my friend Ann says she clearly remembers as the first thing she heard me say in Freshman Seminar. I sometimes still use today.

“I’m Sherra, rhymes with Sara.”

Because I find it incredibly awkward to correct people in future meetings when they say, “Sharon?”

I’m not quite as flexible as PhilBillPaul, who you may remember, went for a solid YEAR and let someone call him “Paul.”

He likes to introduce us as Sharon and Bill just to confuse people. He’s funny like that.

I have lived through this name game and I’m no worse for the wear.

Then I saddle my firstborn with a name like The Grunter Everett, rhymes with umm…nothing.

I’m a firm believer in giving a kid a name that they can grow into instead out of.

Our college boy has grown into his name but I see now he may face some of the same problems I have. I learned this when he shared some student critiques from his Speech class.

The phonetic spelling of our last name is the best version yet. That a college student wrote it makes me worry about this generation we’re sending out in the big, bad world.

Evan is close and this student didn’t even attempt the last name. Way to play it safe.

Ahhh, meet my son, EverettEdwardEvan. He did get an “A” on his speech.

Little Lesson (LL): Names matter and it shows you care when you pay attention and get them right.

Share a Little Lesson (SALL): Are you good or bad with names? Have any tips that help you remember someone’s name?


One year ago..

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  1. 1
    julieann says:

    We had a next door neighbor in Charlotte, NC named Maree French (she also had her first name on her auto tag—guess it helps you find the car in the mall lot???). Everyone took her name as Marie, but actually it was Mar-ree. By the way, she named her daughters Angel and Ingrid. Wizzie and Roger Leroy are much nicer.

  2. 2
    Leigh Anne says:

    My maiden name is Best – very simple – you would think people could spell Best but I can’t tell you how many times we were asked to spell it. I guess people could just not believe someone’s name would be Best.

    My father, thinking he was funny, would respond when asked how to spell his last name – W O R S T Isn’t he funny!!!

    Then top that off with having the first name of Leigh Anne – Leigh as in Vivian Leigh. I was often called LAY Anne . Who would name their kid LAY Anne!!!

  3. 3
    Gayle says:

    Someone suggested this to me YEARS ago as a way to remember someone’s name when you meet them: Immediately REPEAT their name after they introduce themselves. “Nice to meet you, Sherra!”. Simply the act of saying the name out loud gives you a much greater chance of remembering it the next time.

    I have to spell BOTH my names just about every time: G A Y L E, not Gail, and S T E P H E N S O N , not Stevenson! Yikes!

  4. 4
    Terry Williamson says:

    Well I have two name issues. My name is Terry, the spelling causes me problems all the time. Apparently my Mother did not know there was a spelling difference between the girls and boys name. So now as an adult I receive x rated mail for men…amusing! I also have gone to events where people are expecting a man because they havent met me yet but have seen the list of people attending, that is always fun to see the look on the face when I tell them, all 4 foot 11 inches of me, that I am the one they are dealing with. The other thing is my own problem…when I talk to people on the phone and tell them my name it somehow comes out sounding like I am saying Carrie. So I have ultimately created a new person , I get mail and phone calls for Carrie Williamson. Who knew so much of an issue with such and easy name like Terry

  5. 5
    Karen says:

    In the south, when I say my last name (Hedgelon – pronounced Hedjalon), most people say, “what does that start with” (is that a sentence?!?!?). We’ve southernized it to Hedge-lon. I don’t mean for this information to belittle southern people – after all, I was born in Rome, GA, lived there until I was 19 and have spent 35 of the last 37 years in North Georgia. Did I mention my first name? It’s Karen, not Kayyyyron. Now, I smile and say “yes, that’s it” to however my name is murdered. You know what’s funny? I can say all of my names backwards (it all started with a game for vacation trips with my parents) – Arabrab Nerak Citruc Retrac Nolegdeh!!

  6. 6
    Peggy says:

    For some strange reason, I’m good with names. It drives me nuts if I can’t remember someone’s name, and I kind of like to know the spelling of it too, that helps me remember it. Since our last name has an ie at the end, instead of a y, people tend to then spell Peggy with an ie- Peggie.

  7. 7
    wendy says:

    I am terrible with names. If I forget someone’s name, I will be honest and say, “I’m sorry, I’m really bad with names. Tell me yours one more time.” Then I make a point to say it several times to help me remember. Also, I try to relate the name with someone or something familiar to me to help me remember.

  8. 8
    Ann says:

    No tips for remembering names today. Remember when we were in Nashville trying to get some lunch at a sandwich shop and the person behind the counter called you ‘SHERL’??? LOL And then your answer was, “No. Ann.” ROFLOL

  9. 9
    Andrea says:

    Most people can’t pronounce my name right, especially here in the south. It’s not Ann-dree-uh. It’s ON-Dray-UH. I went with out correcting people for awhile but, like you, noticed that this usually causes problems in the future when I don’t respond to someone pronouncing my name incorrectly.

    And you’re totally right, names are important. I really have a terrible memory with names and wished that sometimes everyone would walk around with name tags on.

  10. 10
    Sherra says:

    Definitely going to have The Name Game Part #2 soon. Have some other funny name stories and sounds like you all do too! We’ll discuss maiden names and more tips on how to get better at remembering people’s names…

    @Ann–I think the correct spelling would be “Shirl” and I forgot that until you reminded me. That beat the Sharon/Sherry/Sheryl on all levels. LOL

    @Peggie–I think we’re in the minority but I’m good with names too.

    Signed your friend Shirl Humpfreeze 😉

    @Karen–I’m pretty sure that backward name thing is a marketable talent!!


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