Ruh-roh, Reorge!

Whats my name again?

Yesterday and today are slow days because I’m new to the job and at the moment the only one in the office: the execs are in all day meetings with a potential client.

Throughout my multi-cultural life I have encountered a multitude of variations on the pronunciation of my name. In fact, it is so hard for some of Mr MM’s family that he told them to call me Maryam (some of you may know my issue with being called that, but whatever, I don’t complain.)

Since moving to Egypt and having the chance to talk extensively with British and Irish expats here I realized that the American pronunciation of my name (of which I prefer obviously) is in fact a MIS-pronunciation of it.

Standard American of Molly: Mah-lee

Standard UK: Moh-lee

One British woman quipped, “well its not spelled with an ‘A’ is it?”

Illusions shattering, glass everywhere.

But truth be told, I don’t care at all how its pronounced in England, I like it to be pronounced “Mah-lee” because THATS my name. While overseas though I have taken to attempting to pronounce it in the original fashion just because its easier for people to understand for whatever reason.

Today I have encountered what I believe will only be the first of many mistakes in regards to my name: confusion as to my sex. While no Anglophone would make that mistake, Molly is not a common name to find here, even among expats, and Egyptians have no cultural reference on which to base their assumption of my sex. In response to an email I sent to the AUC I received this response:

“Dear Mr. Carlson,”

Aw, shucks. Call me Molly, Mr. Carlson is my father.


11 responses to “Ruh-roh, Reorge!

  1. I’m sorry to say I would pronounce your Name the spanish way which is much like the british in this case: it would sound like moli to me hehe:-) have you sent me your email to get the invite to my blog?

  2. Ya my name is never right either, mostly cuz when they see it in arabic, it changes the sounds. So I have to accept the wrong pronunciation or maybe I should just write it differently, I dont know. They suck. Im in such a sucky mood today, I really feel like ranting on the stupidity of living in this assinine country. Sorry.

  3. I’m with you. Lets go home.

  4. lol thats cute.. i sometimes never even realise that ppl say things different over the WWW cause i dont hear them.. my answer would have been the same to the british ladies 😛 wheres the A?? hehee

  5. I imagine that’s so frustrating! It’s really simple actually.

  6. Congratulations on finally getting your job. Hope it cures that cabin fever of yours 🙂

  7. LOOOOL!!!
    on the flip side, think of how arabic names are pronounced in the West and Europe. The first days were always so hard: the quick glance at the name tag, face screws up in indecision, lips pursed to say it then.. “uhhhh… ma’am??”
    So trust me, I feel ya.
    I hope it gets better though. It can be very, very frustrating =D

    • It can’t get any worse when your husband’s name is Ahmed. It’s the hardest thing to say for my family to say….AhmAd…AKmed…it even changes completely to Mohamed sometimes

  8. Well, people butcher my name there too. They just can’t do all the consonants or something. Ginger quickly becomes Gi Gi… Well, never mind, I’m sure I slaughter peoples names too, although I do try to listen to how people pronounce their own names…

    On another topic… Whatever happened with the project we talked about ???? Hmmmm??? LOL let me know, I have another participant.

  9. Solution…get an Arabic name?…that you like? Hmm my reply is so “late” maybe you’re used to Maryam by now

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