« French Style in the South of France | Main | Everything You Wanted to Know About Living in France. »

21 September 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

One would think 'Amy' was pretty easy in any language, but my husbands family in Mexico always calls me 'Emmie'. But....I say you can call me anything as long as you don't call me late for dinner...LOL

My husband calls me Leenda (Linda) and now my whole American family does too. Apparantly I butcher his name too, Maurice.

I love the different ways you can pronounce "Chelsea"!

I have always been called by both my middle and my first name, Maria Anna, pronounced as if it were one. Seldom has somebody tried to call me Maryann, which makes me cringe. ;-)
All our four kids have names that can be pronounced well in all my three languages. Only mistake we made, one of the girls' can be mistaken for a boy in one of them.

I love your salt holder! I collect shells also. I once amazed my husband by dropping $80.oo on seashells in a little shop in Amagansett, Long Island, NY. And they weren't even made into anything as lovely as your salt cellar.
Names-- I am a Maria but people constantly call me Marie, my eldest child is Laura but she's always being made over into Lauren. Poor Francesca is butchered the most. And Nicholas is becoming more popular--except to my mother-in-law who thought only Santa Claus had that moniker!

Isn't that the truth!! :)

Ah the power of phonetics and translation!
I started reading your blog entry with a baby of a smile and by the time I reached "Madame Americaine" all my "smiling wrinkles" were in full use ;)
I was listening to all the musical translations of your daughter's name and thinking of my own kids. Being that all our family is Portuguese, I opted for solid Portuguese names such as "Catarina" and "Ricardo"(as grandparents and many other relatives on both sides of our family had a hard time with any English names we threw their way). But in the US, their names are now said with a musical accent that all it's missing is of pair castanets and a flamenco dancer ;)
And let us not start talking about my married name "Queijo", which in Portuguese means "Cheese". The Portuguese find it hilarious and the most common joke is "What kind of cheese are you?"; and in America we often get puzzled looks of eyebrows repeating it 2 or 3 different times as keiju", "kezu", "kay-zhoo" , or giving it up all together saying "I won't even try saying your last name". I usually smile at all the interpretations, but one thing I learned was never to tell what the portuguese translation means or else...my kids have been called "Little Cheese", I quickly transform myself in Mrs. Cheese...and some of my French friends even baptized me as Isabel "Camembert."

I have a wonderful collection of shells, some bought and some collected with precious memories in mind.

Love hearing more about the details of life in France :)

You can imagine what people say about my name. I've heard it all. But I love that Chelsea's name backwards is seashell. That is so cool. Does she collect them also?

Corey, a long time ago you promised to tell us the story of how Sacha's name came about and i have been waiting with bated breath ever since. Is now the time?

I have often been complimented about my sons names, Joel, Liam & Xavier which just adds to my pride in them. And they are very much their names. J is our contemplative prophet, L is our happy-go-lucky ginger irishman and X is an unknown quantity full of surprises.

How do the French pronounce "Yann" ?

I too love sea shells darling one
Big hugs
Love you

So, how do you pronoune "Yann". I have always wondered about that. I love your blog!

My oldest daughter is Kristen. Many people
try to pronounce her name "Christian". It
is very funny. When she was really little,
she would stand there and patiently correct
them. Often times, having the offender say
her name with her.

I collect shell too! My writing cottage is where I display them. I love your play on your daughters name, very clever. It is interesting to know the difference in pronunciations.

I have a name story for you. My formal name is Sandra but have never been called by it. I am called Sandy. In first grade every morning the teacher would call roll. We were to stand up and say "present". Weeks went by with me never standing up. I wondered why my name was never called and why "Sandra" never showed up for school. The teacher contacted my mother and had my hearing checked thinking I could not hear properly. I was once even punished for disobedience by being made to sit in the hallway outside the door in a metal trash can, my little arms and legs dangling over the sides for all the other students to see. I was dismayed and mortified not understanding what I had done wrong. Many notes home and a meeting finally revealed the problem. My mother questioned the teacher as to what she was calling me to which the teacher replied, "Sandra, I call her by her name, Sandra." My mother laughed and said this is the problem, "She does not know that this is her name. She has never been called by it." The next school day when the teacher called role I proudly stood up beside my desk and chirped out, "PRESENT!"

Corey, I struggled with the same decision when it was time to name my children... I wanted names that reflected my portuguese background but that were easy to say and sounded the same in english, so we we named our three girls Anna, Clara, Rita and our little boy Alex!!
Btw, I noticed a comment from another portuguese Isabel, I wonder where she lives...!!

Names seem to bring out many comments.... not always kind or polite. After giving birth to my first daughter, Hadley, the nurse, Mary Ellen, tsked and than added, well she can always go by her middle name....!!! And 8 months pregnant with my second daughter, my husbands co-worker Ilene, asked about names. We had chosen Maggie. She went on at length about how we could not name her Maggie, it had to be Margaret. And then she repeated the baby's full name over and over,and then shook her head and said....no, I don't like it. Well, let's just say she didn't like what I had to say after that either!! Both names seem to suit our girls. I couldn't imagine them being anything else.

While in the shower [!] I pondered why I chose the names I did. In the case of Hadley, it seems fitting to your blog. I fell in love with 'Hadley" while reading A Moveable Feast, Hemingway's story of creativity and love and Paris. Hadley was his wife's name. And it conjured for me romance, Paris, writing, and a bohemian lifestyle. My Hadley now seems to embody many of those ideas. She is a French student, editor of her school's creative writing publication, and a lover of art, literature, philosophy and vintage clothes. Her name just seems to suit her so well. What effect do you think our name has on us?

Hi Corey,
Love sea shells! I think Chelsea is a very pretty name. It's interesting how names differ in other countries. Thanks for another interesting post.

I was named after my Norwegian Grandma and was called Martine at French class. When I adopted a standard poodle, she was named Georgie. The French pronounciation is used when she is being good-the American when she misbehaves. Chelsea is a great name. Like the others I wonder-how is Yann's name pronounced in French and how did you come up with Sacha's name?

A delight to read! And how many readers, I wonder have been mouthing and quietly saying every name that you talked about! I worried about naming my daughter, that I would come up with something that could easily be made fun of by the other kids. We decided on Amanda Grace because Grace was my dear grandmother's name and Amanda Grace sounded like "Amazing Grace". Much to my delight, she has NEVER been called Mandy. No, she has been teased as "A"-"MAN"-"DUH"! It's so old news to her that she doesn't batt an eye anymore.

Hmmmm...if you have the time: how would Elizabeth be pronounced?

When I started French class, I decided that I would like to select the name Étienne instead of Suzanne. Once I found out it was a man's name, I did not care because it sounded so nice. But my teacher would not hear of me keeping that name. :)

So Corey... you're Madame Americaine back in your french town? That sounds so interesting and cute too. :)


Both my daughters have been tormented by their names. I never thought that Daria & Alzira could be targeted, but never underestimate the creativity of school children.

Just days ago, I repeatedly corrected personnel at the hospital that my daughter's name was pronounced "ALL-Zee-Rah"
not EL ZAI RRHAH.... Her nickname of Zira, brings even more ridicule...what kind of sauce do you take with your ziti?

With Daria's name...you can let you imagination run with you !

Both adult women now, they still ask, why did you name me that?

We were living in a small town in Ecuador when our eldest daughter was born. In an attempt to be linguistically sensitive, we named her Cristal, which is the same as Crystal in Spanish, or French for that matter. After we brought her home and told our neighbours her name, they laughed. We discovered later that Cristal is name of the local liqueur! Our other two children have names that are thoroughly Canadian English!


I find this all so fascinating! How beautiful that your daughter's name becomes "SeaShell" when pronounced in France!

Mais oui! I guess I'd be saved from my prenom being slaughtered however, I'm sure the French would have no problem telling me it's spelled incorrectly as one "L" would be the proper French spelling, non?
I love the name chelsea and that it is a soft Ch makes it all the more beautiful.

Please, Oh please dear Corey, DO tell us how the French pronounce Yann! And Sacha, as well.

No matter how you pronounce it; she's a beautiful young woman with a beautiful name! xx, JP/deb

I know just what you mean! With Arabic AND French our poor kids never hear their names said correctly. Our new little guy will be Landon and we have already heard everything from Aladdin to London. Oh well!

Corey I have a very similar seashell salt holder. I never realized that it was in fact a salt holder. thanks

Precious salt cellar. I love the stories of the names, yours and all the ones I found in the comments. I always read all your comments, doesn't everyone?


Chère Cor-ay -- yes, if we were speaking in French I would prounce it that way. If we were speaking English, it would be Hi Corey!! My biggest problem has always been the misspelling of my name. English speakers always want to add an extra L, and I always correct them. I don't misspell their names, so it's only right that they pay attention to mine. Pas vrai??

On the other hand, my maiden name gave me problems in France. I would be asked my name (and expected to answer with my family name first), and I would say: Gabriel.

No, no, what is your LAST name?

And I would say again GABRIEL, comme l'archange. (Because they thought I was saying Gabrielle.)

Ouf! I need a shot of coffee.

Love, Colette

I dislike my name which is why I use Alina. :-)

I too love your salt cellar and collect shells. I have some from my mother's childhood and mine. From a friend who worked estate sales in Santa Barbara, from my husband's many business trips to exotic locations and from the shell shop in Morro Bay.

Actually, I think I'm done collecting seashells, but now I'm thinking it would be fun to make a little salt cellar........
Of course, it wouldn't have that beautiful patina.

The comments to this entry are closed.

French la Vie Creative Journeys in France. Please join me in 2020 to learn more click here
French La Vie started in 2005, I have the "Brocante Bug" which means antiquing is my cure, France can do me no wrong when it comes to treatment ° 32 years living in France with my French Husband that I met while dancing in San Francisco ° Two children, now in their late-twenties, amour et joie ° Come join our journey either vicariously through my blog, or on a French La Vie Week Retreat in Provence °
Corey amaro  french muse  brocante
My Online Brocante Shop
How I Met My French Husband
Provencal Vacation Rental
The house next door
Provencal Vacation Rental
French la Vie Creative Journeys in France. Please join me in 2020 to learn more click here
Follow me on Facebook
Old books brocante
Follow me on Facebook
Our Apartment in Paris
Music cards
Want to see more Photos?
Corey amaro's home in Cassis
Our Home in Cassis
Cassis reflection