Nippin’ it in the Bud…

Apr 21, 2008 | On Motherhood | 9 comments

So here it is, and I don’t know how many will read this but I’ve got to spout off a little. And believe me, this is not a rant the likes of my pop culture and politics rants…this is just a mother’s frustration and hopefully word will spread and this post will make a little difference in the long run.

I am really tired a people pronouncing my daughters name incorrectly.

Some hym and haw because they are uncomfortable so they won’t even say it at all and then there are those that think they are saying it correctly when in fact they…SLAUGHTER it.
I really thought that my pronunciation guide in my Christmas post was very helpful. I thought the hundreds if times I have helped people by breaking down each syllable was very helpful. But bless their hearts they just aren’t picking up what I am layin’ down. (Even dear members of my own family.)
I struggled with doing so but I simply had to write this post. I have a lovely friend whose daughter’s name is Evian. Yes, like the water. She is almost two years old and people are still pronouncing her name wrong. They have close friends that call her “Avian”.
Yes, like the bird flu.
She (this lovely friend) asked me what she should do and I said she HAD to figure out how to correct people but she was concerned that too much time had gone by. Maybe she should become a blogger.
I simply can not have friends and family stumbling over her name two years from now.
A few days ago I was talking with a Catholic friend who exclaimed, “Her name is easy to remember because it rhymes with “Homily.” I almost said a Hail Mary myself. The little snit in me wanted to say, “It most certainly does not.” But how could I? This friend was so proud as to figure out a way to remember Améile’s name let alone pronounce it correctly.
Yes, I know I gave her a French name. Bla, bla, bla…and Quelle surprise. But it’s not as though I am asking everyone to say it LIKE THE FRENCH DO. I simply want people to say it and say it correctly. Yes, at first it is tricky (I even practiced saying it aloud when I was pregnant) but if Liza Doolittle can bring on the rain in Spain then I know you can say my daughters name! Here we go-
First pointer. It IS a French name and while I am not asking you to say it with a French accent you do need to give each syllable an equal amount of emphasis. You no longer have to wonder where to land.
Second, each syllable is very easy on it’s own:
AH – as in “_____ ha!”
MAY – as in the month of ________.
LEE – as in General _______.

See? You are used to saying all three of those syllables. Just not putting them together.

Remember, if you find yourself making a “mugh” sound instead of a “may” sound…THAT’S WRONG!!!!!! Oh, sorry. Did I yell?
Let’s try it a little faster this time.


And for sh&%@ and giggles let’s do the middle name while we are at it.
Yes, there are two dot’s over the first “e” – that is because while it is one of my favorite songs and the source of my inspiration for the name I did not name her after Dolly’s “Jolene” (pronouced Jo-leen). Nope, my little fat princess was named after her Daddy and in keeping with the French theme we added the two dots to encourage a slower pronunciation thus discouraging “jo-leen” and encourage Jo-el-leen.


So, there you have it.

Amélie Joëlene. A most beautiful name for a most beautiful baby girl.

Consider it a gentle rant if you find yourself offended…the last thing I want to do is hurt anyones feelings, especially a family member. But I just love that little LeeLeekins (as Aidan calls her!) so much, if I hear “Ah-mugh-lee” one more time I just might cry.


  1. Alison Gibbs

    Hopefully everyone will get it right now.
    It is such a pretty name.
    All my life I have had family members and others write my name with 2 L’s instead of ONE L
    (ALISON) and it is so annoying so I can’t imagine how aggravating it must be when people pronounce it incorrectly.
    Have a great week.

  2. Life in the 'Burbs

    Yippee!! I’ve been saying right this whole time :o) I’ll be sure to give Dean the run-down on the pronunciation before we SEE you on SAT!!! can’t wait, by the way.

    Also, I know how you feel. I HATE it when people spell Elle’s name ELLIE. Yuck. So everytime I introduce her, I say, it’s Elle, spelled E-L-L-E. Like the magazine. and then they still spell it wrong later. idiots.

  3. Faith

    I had it down after the Christmas post, but I guess some people are just a little slow :):) This reminds of when we became friends as young girls and I called you Angie and your mom took me aside and said “when Angela was born we decided that she would always be Angela and not Angie” She set me straight. You have to or it will drive you nuts, so don’t feel bad. It was nice talking with you today.Love ya!!!

  4. Farmgirl Cyn

    I guess if even you had to practice it a bit while pregnant, it should come as no surprise that others have a difficult time of it. Especially if they do not see the princess very often, or have a chance to say her name aloud. Our own Giselle has been called “Gizelle” more times than I can count, and many folks think Avery is a boys name…(I know it is both used as a girl and boy name) It is part and parcel with the choosing of an unusual name…kinda comes with the territory. Thank God she will not have teachers massacring it!

  5. Parisienne Farmgirl

    I love everyones stories here!

    Yes, it is ELLE…dugh!

    And Faith, I had no idea my mom said that to you! How funny!!! I am so not “Angie” in fact, when someone calls me that I don’t even look up – not to be rude its just that in my head “Angie” is not my name. Which will make things easier cause I am going to meet HomeMakerAng soon and I think she goes by “Angie”!

    Cindy, I love Giselle’s name and that thought of someone caller her Gizelle cracks me up – makes me think of a Gazelle or something.

  6. cityfarmer

    I know I am guilty…sometimes it slips out without premeditation…I can in fact correct others, but my gram tongue gets in a hurry sometimes.

    coming along, though.

    She is a b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l baby girl~~~~and I DO know how to say that.

    We all could use a lesson from Aidan

  7. Life in the 'Burbs

    While I don’t find it funny that Amelie’s name is being pronounced wrong, I find myself laughing when I read this blog. I can just hear your voice and inflection…it’s just so Ang :o)

  8. HomemakerAng

    cant wait!!!!!! more than you know!
    xoxox and to meet “Jo-el” ha!

  9. Rebecca Ramsey

    What a sweetie-pie! And her name is beautiful!
    I found you through paris parfait. It’s nice to meet you!


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