My name is Dahlia, pronounced (ˈdeɪljə) 🍃
(A dahlia is a garden flower with a lot of brightly coloured petals)
I am purposefully driven to water the soil to grow the seed that is already planted.
My name is Mdumiseni which means when I pronounce it, Says Praise God 🙌🏽🙏🏽
This is such a lovely thread...thanks for starting this @Dahlia T. One of my teachers in school literally mispronounced my name for 6 years, despite being corrected several times. I finally gave up and responded to whatever she called me. :/
Having lived in Thailand for the last few years, I've noticed that South East Asians often use a Western nickname to make it more convenient for other people, which means some people often don't use their real names at their institutions or workplaces at all, which is sad, as many of these names have beautiful meanings and stories behind them.
My name is Kakoli (pronounced kaa-koh-li), and it means "Birdsong." :)
Would love to know how exactly to pronounce your name. :)
It's not easy most of my white colleagues and friends they just call me Mdu which means Mdu is my shortest nickname It's hard to Pronounce my Full name to everyone that is not speaking my home language so call me Mdu
Thank you for starting this thread, @Dahlia T - I saw this image recently and it got me thinking. It's nice to be able to have a conversation about it. I have spent years with people not being able to pronounce my name and seemingly not even caring to be honest. I was born and have lived in England my whole life and so peers, friends parents, teachers etc. have just not been able to say my name (similar to @Kakoli Majumder ). I have also been subjected to mocking because my name is unfamiliar so people find things they're familiar with to rhyme with. I have had people ask if they can call me something different instead because it's easier for them, and made to feel like I'm being unreasonable when I say no. I agree with Kakoli, that it is a shame that people use a westernised name, I have heard it happen a lot too. I do understand it though as well, instead of feeling always like you're being addressed incorrectly, I guess it gives some semblance of control over one's identity.
My approach with people's names (when we speak at least!) is to ask how to pronounce their name and I'm honest about the fact I want to ask so I don't get it wrong because it happens to me all the time and I don't want to do it. Or at the very least, I mimic how they have introduced themselves and pronounce it the same way, still I like to check if I can.
Another thing that irritates me a lot (that isn't relating to the sound, but similar feelings are caused) is when people spell my name wrong, particularly when it is written down for them to copy. There is another common variation of how to spell my name in some locations and it bothers me that people choose to use that one rather than my name.
My name is pronounced "shr-oo-tee", which I always thought was pretty straightforward but I've heard (and unfortunately just answer to) many variations. I love that you have all shared your name meanings @Kakoli Majumder , @Dahlia T, @Mdumiseni Mazula - I think my name can be interpreted slightly differently, but as far as I know, it is the name given to the teachings of God that aren't written down, but spoken.
Thanks for bringing up such a common but also commonly ignored topic @Dahlia T . And thanks for telling us what your names mean @Mdumiseni Mazula @Kakoli Majumder
I, personally, am not very sensitive to how my name is pronounced because I understand that we all are used to different sets of speech and sound patterns across the world. But I do appreciate it when someone I meet takes the effort to ask.
My name makes a lot of people gawk slightly, do a double take, or simply feel confused. I confess to feeling rather amused by the experience, especially at conferences or at Starbucks. I simply use "J" or "Jayash" and the people I meet seem to feel relieved at that.
My name, translated, means Goddess of Victory. Jaya = Victory + Shree = Goddess.
Here's how I spell it. Not using phonetics here but simply similar sounding words.
How to pronounce Jayashree:
Jay - like the bird Blue Jay
Shree - The Sh of "Shrill" + the ree of free = Sh+ree
On a more serious note, being sensitive to this is quite important today for academics I think as we begin to interact more and more with peers from different cultures.
On a separate note, @Raj sundaram and have very similar sounding names. 😄
@Mdumiseni Mazula , I'm curious :-) My innate nature, I'm afraid ... Do you pronounce the first 'm' in your name, or is it silent? Do you say m-du-mi-se-ni or (...)? Also, if you pronounce the 'm', do you say it like 'emdu' or 'mmodu'?
And by the way, love the meaning. I can imagine your parents being so thrilled at your safe delivery...healthy...and so thankful.
My dear @Kakoli Majumder , your name is so apt!! As I tried your pronunciation out loud, I started smiling because I literally felt like I was hearing the song of a bird indeed. So beautiful!!
@Shruti Turner , loving and nodding at your comment...especially that bit about your name being written and very visible for someone to copy then they still get it wrong 🤦🏾♀️ .
I smile and I cringe at the same time because I know 'exactly' what you mean.
By the way, I love the meaning of your name!
Honestly, @Jayashree Rajagopalan I sum it up to ignorance, laziness, and not caring enough. I could be wrong but when I see repeat offenders, that's all I can think (plus a few other 'choice' things that I normally just sat in my head 😏🤫)
Many people forget the answer to this most basic question, 'what's in a name?' If they took the time to think it through then they would make that extra effort. You know that extr effort that 'we're often have to make to get their pronunciation right. Once, after deliberately mispronouncing someone's name, they started making the effort to pronounce mine ...you know in the way I repeated to them when we first met and many many times after.
PS: love your name ...Goddess!
Yes you start by M for Me and D for do U for universe M for me again I for Individual S for Sensitive E for Empower N for Nation I for Immune
My name actually has 2 or more pronunciations:
One pronunciation is 'da-li-a'. Another pronunciation is 'day-li-a', the one I got from my mum. I often say, think 'daily Dahlia' to remember me 😉
Names are unique, beautiful, and powerful. Your traditions and your identity are some of the things that your name encapsulates. Names deserve the time and effort to know and to use them properly. It is okay to struggle to get it right...but that struggle translates into effort making all the 'beautiful' difference.
Like many persons, I am very tolerant...but I am peeved in particularly instances. Highest on the list ...
- I introduce myself, and say the right pronunciation 'verbally', then literally 2 seconds later, you greet me with another pronunciation...the one you prefer. As if saying to me, oh by the way you (owner of the name) are not pronouncing your name properly, let me correct it for you 😕😫😏
PS: I used to think my name was fairly easy to pronounce 🤣 ...then I found out otherwise 🤣🤣
My name is difficult to pronounce - even for Indians, who almost always pronounce is wrongly.
So...it became Raj, when I went to the UK. Which is a man's name. That has helped me a bit, actually. 😋
Pronunciation - Raj + Yuh (rhyming with duh, with the h silent/minimized) + Shree (as @Jayashree Rajagopalan described).
Meaning: The person who brings prosperity (shree) to the country (Rajya)/someone who brings prosperity to where she resides
Also, goddess of the country/place (by interpretation of the word "shree" given by @Jayashree Rajagopalan) or the name can also mean "Queen" 😊
Having got my name murdered by Indians, Japanese, Americans, British and Europeans....I have now gotten a thick skin, I just dont care.
I try my best to make an effort for others' name - because for me, its my ethics. I treat my fellow humans worthy of respect - that starts with pronouncing their name, one of their core identities properly.
Those who dont make an effort even after me trying to explain - if they ask for an explanation that is - its on them. I dont try to second guess intentions, as far as I am not directly negatively affected. It consumes my energy, without leading to anything constructive.
I agree with @Dahlia T ,@Shruti Turner , @Jayashree Rajagopalan - sometimes, it is clumsiness, other times covert/overt racism/racism that people dont understand as racism but is delivered very politely with a broad smile in a nice voice (like in Japan).
In countries outside of India, sometimes - I am "just a brown skinned Indian woman with a weak passport in a first world country who has "come in" for a livelihood - I dont have to learn a sub-human's name"....attitude.
Back in India, "some woman I really dont care about - because you are one in 1 billion, your existence doesnt really matter...you are just a statistic" - attitude.
Other times, people have other things (probably more important/productive or not?) to do rather than learn to pronounce a "difficult" name. I dont know, and now, I just dont even want to know. Not a worthy battle to pick in my situation...😂
But on a related note - here is a very interesting article on this name business in academia (as always, thanks to science worklife)
Ah, it is simultaneously so good to hear someone else is feeling the same way and also so frustrating that you have been made to feel that way too. Thank you for sharing <3
Thank you! I guess I can't take credit for my name or its meaning. I have to say, I, myself, am not religious but I do take pride in my name and I feel there is a special something that I can't put into words that I feel from knowing my parents named me this. Your name makes me very happy to read, I have fond memories of dahlias from childhood with my mum :)
100% agree with all of this! I didn't think my name was all that difficult either...
I must have missed this given our such close posting times! I feel you are much more tolerant than I am about names, and how people get them wrong. I just feel like some effort should be made. I do love your approach and I think I need a lesson from in your tolerance! I I also really like your name and it's meaning, I really think it suits you.
I saw a quote these past couple of days which has stuck with me, especially with this thread: "My full name is Uzoamaka. I came home one day and said 'Mommy, can you call me Zoe?' Without skipping a beat she said 'If they can learn to say Tschaikovsky, Dostoevsky and Michaelangelo, they can learn to say Uzoamaka" ~ Uzoamaka Aduba, Actress.
I saw this on an Instagram post, which was an interesting read. I have linked it for anyone interested.
@Dahlia T this is such a lovely thread! Thank you for starting a discussion on such an important topic :)
@Mdumiseni Mazula @Jayashree Rajagopalan @Raj sundaram @Dahlia T @Kakoli Majumder @Shruti Turner thanks for sharing what your names mean - they're all so beautiful! ❤️
I wholeheartedly agree with everything that's been said about making a conscious effort to pronounce people's names correctly. It's an important part of who they are and we have no right to take that away from them. I try my best to pronounce names correctly. Sometimes, if there's a wide cultural or linguistic gap, I try to Google the correct pronunciation before a meeting. And then during the meeting, I'll still ask the person how to say it correctly and request them to correct me until I get it right. If, even after all this, I happen to get it wrong, I make sure I've apologized and try again. I feel like this is the least we can do for the people we meet along our journeys 😊
@Dahlia T I agree with what you said about repeat offenders. It's like they aren't trying and as if they don't even care and that can be incredibly frustrating. My name is fairly easy and quite common so I've probably not experienced this as regularly as the others but the times that I have are enough to help me relate. I had a professor in college who thought the last "a" in my name was silent and she kept calling me "And-ree" no matter how many times I corrected her.
My name is pronounced An-dree-ah. I just did a quick Google search to make sure I was giving you guys the correct meaning and found out that my name doesn't mean anything close to what I thought. It means "manly" (laughing is allowed. I know I did 😄). So anyway, my parents have some explaining to do lol
@Andrea Hayward I know I for one very much appreciate your approach to names, and I have a similar approach :)
I find it interesting about your name meaning, I guess there are many interpretations of different names? What did you think your name meant? I wonder if it is one of those things from the past where 'manly' actually means 'brave' or some trait which was perceived to be "manly" back when the name was created?
@Shruti Turner yes, I think you're right! I think it also has to do with Andrea being a name that's shared by both men and women or it being a feminized version of "Andre" or maybe "Andrew." I discussed this with @Jayashree Rajagopalan and she was thinking along the same lines. Maybe the name could be interpreted as 'brave' or 'courageous' even or like you've said some other trait that was perceived to be "manly" when the name was coined. Either way, this has become the joke of the week on my family WhatsApp chat 😄
I find it fascinated where names originated from and the change of meanings/interpretations over the years. Thank you for sharing and I'm glad it brought some entertainment on the family WhatsApp! 😂