M. Giant's
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Sunday, July 27, 2008  

What's on a Name?

The things I do for my boy. Yesterday, just as an example, I took him to Blockbuster and rented the Wall-E videogame and then played it while he watched, just for his entertainment. Sometimes being a parent is nothing but sacrifice.

* * *

Here's how desperate I am for a topic right now: last week, Pamie posted this photo that had Trash and me reminiscing about how people used to screw up our names back in the nineties when we had phone jobs. I was occasionally "Jess" or "Jack" or "Jim," although you'd be surprised how many times I was giving bad news and became "Buddy." Trash was sometimes "Lola" or "Lulu" or a diminutive version of her name that she hates, and on at least one occasion, the first thing out of the other person's mouth was, "I don't want to talk to you, I want to talk to a man" (this was in the financial industry, mind you, and nothing health-related, and, I hasten to clarify, the 1990s). Naturally she reached through the phone and pulled his goolies right through the handset. But our friend Kirk had us both beat.

You won't be surprised to hear that his name was often mistaken for "Kurt" or "Curt" (generally the latter when he had to correct people on his name). Once or twice someone thought they were talking to "Turk," as though they'd dialed up a 1970s urban gang movie instead of a mortgage company. But my favorite had to be when someone called and asked for "Cork."

Do you know anyone named "Cork?" Do you know anyone who knows anyone named "Cork?" And if so, what were their parents trying to pull, if you'll pardon the expression?

Trash and I wondered how a person could even thing that was someone's name. Maybe they thought that "Cork" had been a "Corky" throughout childhood but eventually dropped the "y" to convey more maturity, Because that would totally work, right? It worked so well for Ricky Schroeder that eventually he reverted back to the "y."

So here's a shout-out to my old homie Cork, and thanks to the lovely Camle for the topic idea. I promise to have more to say next time, one way or another.

posted by M. Giant 7:39 PM 15 comments


I'm a nurse at a hospice facility and I often give tours and talk to people on the phone. More than once, people have remembered the tour I gave them as being from "Jamie" or "Annie," but my absolute favorite was when a patients' son said that he had talked to a "hot nurse named Candy."

By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 27, 2008 at 10:52 PM  

I don't know any Corks, but I do konw a Court (first name). Not sure what that is about.

As for me, try being a female Andy sometime. I too used to work on the phone and many a time I would answer "Hello, My name is Andy, how can I help you?" and the caller would reply "Andy?, but you're a woman!" Ummmm, last timed I checked I was, though I'm not sure if that can just spontaneously change.

You can check out my most recent problem with the name Andy here.

By Blogger Andy, at July 28, 2008 at 3:58 AM  

When I worked customer service at Blue Cross MN, my "this is Jeni" intro would, 50% of the time, be followed with someone saying "Hi, Debby". I guess I have poor enunciation!

We had a friend, Curt, and a MN musician who shall remain unnamed always insisted on calling him "Kirsch". Even after multiple corrections.

By Blogger Williams Family, at July 28, 2008 at 5:41 AM  

There is a series of books by a Minnesota author "William Kent Kruuger" his main character is, if I recall correctly, Corcoran O'Connor, but goes by Cork O'Connor.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 28, 2008 at 7:17 AM  

My pre-married last name was Wright. Imagine my delight when I looked at a CVS receipt made out to "Sharon Weight." I may be a plus-sized gal, but I really didn't need that little commentary on my appearance from the place where I was purchasing my toe fungus cream!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 28, 2008 at 7:24 AM  

Cork?! Oh dear. My poor Kirkie just can't win.

By Blogger belsum, at July 28, 2008 at 12:02 PM  

I worked at a company with a senior manager named Vish - more than once we got resumes sent to the office attention "Mr Fish (Lastname)" - we figure they must have called reception and misheard our lovely but somewhat accented office manager.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 28, 2008 at 12:07 PM  

I went to have blood taken at a lab, and told the woman my last name (because that's what she asked for) and ahe looked at me as thought I had two heads. She asked me to repeat myself. I said "Herbert" she laughed and said, "I thought you said 'Pervert"'. TO make matters worse, another patient in the waiting room agreed with her.

By Blogger herbette, at July 28, 2008 at 12:39 PM  

My husband is "Shelby" and for us we use it as a sure fire way to know when a telemarketer is calling. It also helps when I have to do some of his banking or address changes :) I can quite easily pass for a "Shelby".

By Blogger Unknown, at July 28, 2008 at 2:44 PM  

I'm right there with you...people mis-hear my name all the time. And it's Jordan...not exactly a mouthful. I get Gordon, George and sometimes Braden (WTF?).
The oddest thing?. I'm FEMALE. How was that again?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 28, 2008 at 3:48 PM  

The company I used to work for had a man in IT named Anal...pronounced ah-nawl. I had to give the phone to someone else when calling his office because I am essentially still 13 years old and couldn't ask for him without losing my sh**. To make matters worse ( could it get any worse? OH YES IT CAN ) his last name was Ram.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 28, 2008 at 6:14 PM  

I was always a bit humbled when people would call me Mr. Messiah.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 28, 2008 at 6:22 PM  

When I was working as a temp I had coworkers getting my name wrong all the time. Mostly they called me 'Michael' or 'Andrew', but one of my supervisors couldn't stop calling me 'Brian', and there was one day in which I was addressed variously as 'William', 'Harry' and 'Frank'.

By Blogger Matthew E, at July 29, 2008 at 6:16 AM  

When I named my son, I thought for a long time about it. Knowing how cruel children can be, I put a lot of thought into it and named him "Dylan" (this was well before 90210). Thought I'd done a good job on the name -- no way anyone could ruin this one! Until the day on the playground when I heard an 8-year-old yell out "Hey, Dildo!" Hmmm. Sorry about that, Son. Totally missed that one. Luckily, The Boy has always been big, strong -- and funny. The nickname didn't stick.


By Blogger Pearl, at July 30, 2008 at 7:27 AM  

My first name is Anna and my middle initial is M, so I am regularly identified on official documents such as airline baggage tags as Annam. Pretty...

By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 11, 2008 at 8:52 PM  

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