12 Experiences Those With Unusual Names Will Understand

I decided to write this post after a woman at work left me a message earlier this week which said; ‘Hi, its —– here, no I’m no relation, I’m not your mum, but everyone thinks you’re my daughter cause my daughter’s name is Rhiannon Davies!!! Hahaaaaaaa!!!”. Talk about an unexpected phonecall. Well, I actually thought it was pretty funny until she ended our phone call by calling me “Ree-un”. Then, 2 hours later, somebody called me Rhina in an email. MY NAME IS ON MY EMAIL SIGNATURE. I SAY MY NAME ON MY VOICEMAIL MESSAGE.

no name sign

My first name is Rhiân, pronounced “ree-anne”. To you, it might look a relatively normal name, easy to say, easy to remember. But despite that, my life has been full of mispronunciations, misspellings, and pure disappointment at gift shops the world over. My name, quite frankly, gets butchered. My second name is Davies, pronounced “dave-is”. Again, very common, but it still gets its (un)fair share of butchering.

I’ve tried to make things easier – sometimes I just introduce myself as ‘Rhi’, but of course, that leads to further questions about my ‘full’ name.

WHY, mam? Why did you name me this? She said I was going to be Kris if I had been a boy.

name tag

I thought I’d compile a quick list of the kinds of things the Sophies, the Sarahs and the Johns will never understand.

1. After 24 years of existing, you’re still not convinced that your Nan knows how to spell your name. But it’s still fun to count the amount of failed attempts at the spelling on birthday cards before she gave up.

2. You tensed up at your graduation ceremony when they got close to calling out your name. Nope, pretty sure ‘Ryan Daveys’ did NOT graduate today.

3. “Ohh, short for Rhiannon? Like Fleetwood Mac?”. No. No no no no no no no. It’s just a name, worthy of its own existence…

4. Never being able to introduce yourself to someone new anywhere that isn’t deadly silent. Not a bar, party, club or even those bustling work conferences. Not unless you want to endure having to repeat your name around 6 times per person. “Leanne? Hey, Leanne!!!”. Nope.

5. Those people who take it upon themselves to tell you how your name *should* be pronounced. “It’s Dave-eeees, though, isn’t it?”. Yeah, thanks for that.

6. It’s not Ree-un, it’s not Raina, it’s not Rhina, it’s not Rhianna, it’s not Rhiannon and it certainly isn’t RYAN.

7. Having to be on super high alert at the doctors, dentists etc in case you completely miss your name. Because that name they’ve called is definitely not your name, but they mean you.

8. You hold grudges against the people who say your name wrong after a maximum of three times, even after you’ve corrected them.

9. The people who say “Woah, alright! Someone’s defensive!”, when you correct them for the twentieth time on their pronunciation.

10. No, you’re not gonna get a coke bottle with your name on. Not even close. (Rhiannon isn’t close).

11. Don’t even bother at Starbucks. Be Jane.

12. The relief you feel when a stranger pronounces your name correctly, first time. You feel you really could get on with this person.

And if you have any kind of accent on your name, then that’s a whole new world of despair (prepare to be okay with being Rhi????n on all letters).

What are your funny experiences with unusual names?


16 thoughts on “12 Experiences Those With Unusual Names Will Understand

  1. I have one, that I think will actually be annoying to you! Having an unusual name, but that is easy to say, means that NOONE ever forgets my name. I can have been one of 20 people at an event and the next time someone sees me they’ll be like “Hi Bibi, how are you?” and I’ve often never seen them before in my life, to my knowledge. I feel like a jerk having to ask – it feels unbalanced.


    • That’s interesting, Bibi! I’ve actually not experienced that before and I can see how it would be awkward…It really is a very pretty name though! Only tonight I was introduced as Rhianna to a room of people..it’s like Chinese Whispers sometimes!


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  3. Hi there

    My nanes Egypt, Yep its a pretty rare name and one of the most annoying things is knowing there will never be a cup or key chain with my name on it unless it has a pyrimid on it 😄

    But i do agree with Bibi ^ no one has ever forgotten my name even though i do stare at them like ” Wait, Is it Susan ….. No Mary,….. Jane? ”



  4. My name is Theresa which is pretty normal in English speaking countries but here in Denmark, it’s a nightmare. The more common version of it is Therese, and E-V-E-R-Y-B-O-D-Y always calls me that “just to be sure”. My nickname is Tess, and don’t even get me started on how people react to that. One night at a club I told this guy my name was Tess, and who just looked at me and said “why?” … thanks, random dude.

    Tess x


  5. I’ve now got into the habit of introducing myself as ‘Imii, with an I/ I-m-i-i/short for Imogen’ and people still call me Amy. It drives me absolutely insane.


  6. Hah, love this so much! Basically no one pronounces my name like it’s supposed to be pronounced (Mim-i) here in the UK, so I’ve become used to being called Mi-mi. I don’t mind much, though. I get ‘Amy’ a lot of the time, too. And Starbucks never get it right. The good thing about it is that people always remember my name once they’ve got it right!


  7. I had a lot of similar problems when I was younger, it’s thankfully slightly better now that “Chloe” has become more popular. Although I still get “Zoe” quite a lot!

    Unfortunately for me I’ll be losing my nice simple surname next year, im marrying a name that people get constantly wrong! Argh!


  8. My name is Helena, which I say on my voicemail, I say as I answer the phone, when I introduce myself, and it’s on my email signature. So why do I get called Helen? Or its mispronunced two seconds after I’ve said it. It usually goes like this, “hi I’m Helena [helen-ah]”, they reply “oh hi Helena [Hel-ay-na].”


    Absolutely incredibly frustrating.

    I feel your pain.


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