I hate being called Elaine.

I hate it. Seriously, it’s not my name, there’s no a in my name, I hate it when people don’t look at my name long enough to realize that it’s not Elaine. Or when, after they’ve known me for several weeks, they still can’t get it straight.

I was thinking about that because it doesn’t bother me at all when French people call me Hélène, and I think there are two reasons. 1) I like the name Hélène. I think it’s pretty. I like the vowels. (I also like the name Elena.) I have neutral to negative feelings about Elaine (and Ellen), but I can’t tell if that came before or after the misnamings… 2) I’ve been called Hélène on and off in French class since I was 6, which is also about the time I told people I was too old to be called Nina and changed to Eileen. Oh and maybe 3) It’s clear that French people have a hard time saying my name and figuring out how to pronounce it because it’s so different from French. But Texans are just lazy.

Maybe it’s just that one was voluntary and one wasn’t. But seriously. I’m tired of being called Elaine.

I have a professor named Elaine, though, and she said she gets Eileen a lot. Which is something I never thought about. Maybe it’s generational.

End of rant.


6 thoughts on “I hate being called Elaine.

  1. Laurel says:

    That’s actually really funny about your teaching getting called Eileen. I never thought of it that way. Is there any chance there are Laurens out there getting called Laurel?? I seriously, seriously doubt it.

  2. Rather than go into all the random names people get from Andromeda, I just wanted to comment about the French, since they never understand my name at first, I have to say “You know . . . Androm?®de?” “Ahhhh, ouiiii” like, changing one letter makes it so totally different they can’t recognize it, lol. But I just love love love hearing my name with the French accent (also been hearing it since childhood) so even if they’re close I’ll accept it, sounds lovely no matter what!

  3. Yeah… French people also seem incapable of recognizing the “patrick” in my last name. It’s like they see the consonant clusters and panic and can’t get past the fitz (which I believe is of French origin…).

  4. mom says:

    I like all the permutations of Ellen. Elena, Eileen, Eileana (I have a student named Eileana), Elaine, Eleanor, Helene, Helen, Helena, and all the others

    But I know what you mean: Charlotte, Claudette, Colleen, Carlotta, I’ve been called ’em all

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