Misheard names

Every time I call a place to make a reservation, they always mishear my name and spell something else. Who else has the same problem as I do? Elaine swiftly becomes Eileen, Aileen, Lynn, Ling, Yilin. Even when they ask me to spell it out, they mishear the spelling and it’s a ding dong back and forth of “E”, “no ELA”, “you mean ELE?” “NO! A”, “ALE?” before they finally get it right.

I don’t get it though. my name is common enough with a common spelling, none of the strange Gen Y fancy spellings like Eleayneae (I made that up. Shoot the person if they do have a name spelled like that). The only time the person got it right immediately was when I pronounced my name the way my French tutor did, not surprising as it has French origins. Strange though in a Singlish society.

Richard shared this link wtih me “Starbucks Spelling“. it’s a collection of pictures of Starbucks cups with misheard and even funnier, misspelled names. this one is my favourite:

Actual names: Ian and Amanda
Photo: Starbucks Spelling

I’m tempted to reserve a table under the name of Jesus next time. “YES! Jesus would like a table of 12 please. just pull up an extra one in case Judas shows up. thank thee!” Or what my colleague did once when making a reservation at a Chinese restaurant. He jokingly addresses himself Handsome when he speaks to clients, and he decided to carry this joke through when booking at table. So I guess it’s not surprising when we spotted this on the reservations board:


  1. If you think ‘Elaine’ is hard, try ‘Tricia’… At Starbucks, I just say ‘T’, and sometimes it’s spelt ‘Tea’ – god bless the coffee folk 🙂

    1. haha starbucks can be somewhat noisy, especially with the coffee machine grinding at the back. maybe next time I will say “LUCKY”. so when they announce, “LUCKY! WHO IS LUCKY!”
      incidentally one of our F&B staff is called Lucki.

  2. I read somewhere someone reserved a table under “pokemon”! haha. but seriously how hard can it be to mis-pronounce your name such that it gets spelled wrongly?

    1. makes me wonder if i’ve been pronouncing my own name wrongly!

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