On names, changing them, and pronunciation

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Wed Mar 5 14:17:17 EST 2003

On Wed, 5 Mar 2003 14:05:18 -0500 (EST), johanna wrote:

>> ones).  It led me to wonder if perhaps the pronunciation of that name in
>> England (and probably the etymology) came from a different source than
>> Spanish.  Or, I don't know, it's just you crazy Brits being different
>> again. :)
>Ha! Yeah, isn't Regina pronounced ra-gyn-a over there & in Canada? It's my
>middle name, & I have always said (& had said to me, here in the US)
>re-jeen-a (think of the Regina Steamer Carpet Cleaner commercials!). No,
>my middle name does NOT rhyme w/vagina. ;P
Even if it DID, I would totally go the other way as soon as I was old enough
to understand the allusion.  :)  Ick.

We had trouble with the inlaws when we were naming our kids because they
were sure that they would be teased.  Our oldest is Teleri, which is a story
in itself because in trying to be kind to the dumb Americans, we opted for
TEL-uh-ree instead of tel-AIR-ee, which I assumed no one would ever come up
with.  Of course, strangers always assume the second pronunciation.
(Everyone else says "you mean Tillary like Hillary?")  Anyway, the way we
say it, it rhymes with "celery," and a well-meaning aunt pointed this out.
We reminded her that the next-older cousin is named Hanna (banana) and then
there's another cousin whose name is Breazy (sleazy).  You can make fun of
anything if you try hard enough...I think I saw a Saturday Night Live skit
on that topic once.

Melissa Proffitt
declining to reveal any of the teasing nicknames she gained in her youth

English doesn't borrow from other languages. English follows other languages down dark alleys, hits them over the head and goes through their pockets for loose vocabulary.

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