The Child Name Murderers

Cynthia Dermody
baby names

Photo by Nicole080984

My daughter is Carolyn but lots of people (her swim teacher, some acquaintances, moms of her classmates) sometimes call her Caroline. I know if she was a Caroline it would be the other way around and she'd be called Carolyn all the time. Not that it's a hard name to pronounce. I think it's just a case of one name or another sticking in people's heads so that's the name that always pops out first.

So my daughter announced the other day she wants to have a nickname: Caroline. I think she's just tired of correcting people.

I love both names, but I explained that Caroline is not a nickname but a totally different name and that just wouldn't work. I'm still trying to get her to agree to Callie, but for some reason that's a no-go just now.

A mom in The CafeMom Newcomer's Club referred to it recently as "Name Murder." Like when your name is Brianna and people call you Bri-AHH-na instead of Bri-Anne-a, or when your name is Craig and people call you Greg.

My husband wins the World Record for the Most Murdered Name: Padraic. It's the Gaelic spelling/pronunciation for "Patrick." I can't blame people when they butcher it. You really need an Irish brogue to say it correctly, but the closest we Americans can get is "Paw-rick." When people try to say it most times it comes out "Pad-dray-ick" or "Poor-rick."

I laugh at it all, but an anonymous mom in Answers really hates it when people mispronounce her daughter's name: Kursten -- pronounced "Cure-sten" but frequently pronounced "Keer-stin."

But then sunkist78 chimes in and notes that her Kiersten is always called "Cure-sten," so I'll have to tell this story to my Caroline, I mean, Carolyn, so she knows it's not just her.

Do teachers or friends or even family members mispronounce your child's name? Do your children speak up or just let it go?


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