what’s in a name, I heard you say?

She moves on before I can correct her. She said it wrong. She said it so wrong. I have never heard my name said so ugly before, like it’s a burden. Her entire face contorts as she says it, like she is expelling a distasteful thing from her mouth. She avoids saying it for the rest of the day, but she has already baptized me with this new name. It is the name everyone knows me by, now, for the next six years I am in elementary school. “Tazbee,” a name with no grace, no meaning, no history;
it belongs in no language.
–  Tasbeeh Herwees

Story of my life, right here.

My life, and conflict with my (real) name, in a nutshell.

You gotta read this, it’s so good!


2 thoughts on “what’s in a name, I heard you say?

  1. We’re in the same boat. No one pronounces my name correctly. Especially of they see it written. Only two people have ever pronounced my name correctly without intervention a random kid I met in Iceland (I’ll never forget you Hordor!) and my dad.
    Oh and I definitely get the Kindergarten story. My teacher read my name out and I got in trouble for correcting her. So my own mother started to mispronounce my name because she was afraid I’d get confused or expelled. My little sister didn’t start pronouncing my name correctly until she was in college.
    Yep, thems the breaks. Needless to say, though I’m not at all ashamed, I’m never excited to meet new people.

    1. Ah, friend! Someone who understands! *waves*

      I thought it’s really, really cool that a random kid – of all people! – in Iceland – in Iceland! – got it right :D I have yet to have that kind of cool, random happening but I must say personally whenever I hear my American classmates pronounce my name the correct way (which is all the time here, now) – for some reason it sounds as if there’s a French lilt to it haha. Maybe I’m just imagining things, but my name sounds more elegant when they say it :p

      OMG but does this mean your mum still doesn’t pronounce your name right? But funny, we are kinda similar cos in Real Life my Mum is the only one who calls me Jan and not Jan(e) – although she’s aware everyone else including my siblings and dad call me the latter.

      UGH I totally feel you about meeting new people though, so true. “What’s your name?” is one of my most-hated Qs, because no matter what I say and/or how I pronounce it (the right or wrong way), later on when they see it in writing they’d go, “but it’s-” or “it doesn’t sound like how you just pronounced it!” or somewhere along those lines. Then when I tell them they can just call me Jane if it’s so hard, they give me a side-eye look, like “that’s weird… but okay.” I just can’t win…

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