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Why You Kay Oh

Why You Kay Oh

Tue, 09/04/2012 - 17:57 by Ananth in response to why yew kay oh

Every visit to every coffee shop ever! At this point we've started keeping a log of ... uh ... unique name interpretations. Presented here are a few of the best. 

A while back we did a comic about Cricket, and I can't remember if we posted the video BigAdam2050 put together of the strip. Check it out:

Totally delighted us.

That's all for us! Catch you Thursday!



Comment by alex warhead (not verified) Tue, 09/04/2012 - 18:35


my wife's name is MAKI. easy enough (and super common; the japanese equivalent of sarah) but when we're in the usa everyone, EVERYONE, screws it up. even my folks sometimes mispronounce it (we've been together for 8 yrs and my dad still says makye from time to time). i once had to explain the pronunciation as something similar to saying "my key" with a thick southern accent (mah-key). wow, really, middle america?

she got sick of it about two years back during a trip to the states to visit my folks. at the coffee/donut shop she went to the counter and said her name was maggie.

totally happens to me as

Comment by Kei (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 05:59

totally happens to me as well, despite "Kei", which is pronounced as "K" being possibly the simplest Japanese name ever. It doesn't help that here in the UK Kay or Kaye is quite a common girls name and being in Scotland Ken is quite a common guys name, so I have to spend 5 minutes every time explaining "No. Kei. Pronounced like the letter. Not Ken. Yes, it's my real name. No, it's not short for anything..."

Sometimes I think they do it to screw with us.

Comment by jerr (not verified) Tue, 09/04/2012 - 19:22

Not even a story for an uncommon name, but couple years back my ex ordered a coffee and they wrote 'wizard' on his cup. His name is Richard.

If that was me, I'd take it

Comment by mintcricket (not verified) Tue, 09/04/2012 - 22:45

If that was me, I'd take it as a sign to start saying 'Wizard' at every coffee place after that.

Best. Mistake. Ever! Or

Comment by Leah (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 12:56

Best. Mistake. Ever! Or maybe it wasn't a mistake and he has a secret identity. . . hmmmm

Sword of truth? :D

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 18:52

Sword of truth? :D

it's 1:30 am here

Comment by Ven (not verified) Tue, 09/04/2012 - 19:28

and I really regret watching that video, because I was just about to go to sleep
:') not anymore.

I'm not sure how someone

Comment by Jay Aeh See Que You Ie El Why En (not verified) Tue, 09/04/2012 - 20:47

I'm not sure how someone could mess up Yuko. Especially with Nicole @_@ It sounds really obvious how to spell it to me.

I never knew just how many (horrific and ugly) ways their were to spell Jacquelyn until I started to go to coffee shops. Even when I spell it out people usually put a 'i' instead of a 'y' so I always put this really loud emphasis on the Y when I'm at some place that actually needs to get my name right. Obtaining health services has several times been extremely complicated due to people spelling my name wrong -_- I think my 'favorites' have been Jaklyn and Jaqulin. Everyone asks how to spell it but I just tell them I don't care anymore. Only one person has ever spelled the right incarnation without me having to tell them.

My mother's name is

Comment by theMarc (not verified) Sun, 09/09/2012 - 19:39

My mother's name is Penelope, and my father's name is Hollis. People are CONSTANTLY misspelling their names. I think my favorite was a piece of junk mail that spelled my mother's name "Pinapel".

I can only imagine

Comment by reinah (not verified) Tue, 09/04/2012 - 21:53

I can only imagine the variation on names that Ananth gets. Of course, he doesn't really drink coffee, so perhaps he gets this problem less often?

Can you spell "Satan?"

Comment by Alison (not verified) Tue, 09/04/2012 - 22:30

My sister-in-law used to give random names when ordering at Starbucks; she once gave her name as "Satan," and once embarrassed her son when she gave his name as "Samurai Jack."

I make up names instead.

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Tue, 09/04/2012 - 22:30

I usually just go with "Dee" (my first initial) since its easy.... enough. Even then sometimes it gets all messed up. I've basically given up on having anyone spell my name right. This includes friends, family, co-workers, etc.

I feel your pain, Yuko. :(

Comment by Magda (not verified) Tue, 09/04/2012 - 22:40

I feel your pain, Yuko. :( Whenever I need to give my name for a takeout order or drink, I just say "Maggie." Otherwise I end up with Marda, Martha, Merdan (???), etc. Life is hard!!

You guys gotta get Starbucks

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Tue, 09/04/2012 - 23:00

You guys gotta get Starbucks names!

Omg yes. I don't even try

Comment by Nilah (not verified) Tue, 09/04/2012 - 23:08

Omg yes. I don't even try anymore, I just use "Rachel." :[

Oh please oh please do part

Comment by Valerie (not verified) Tue, 09/04/2012 - 23:52

Oh please oh please do part two for Ananth's drink cups :) I've gotten my share of way-off spellings as well… haha :)

Tell them to pick the easiest.

Comment by Alain (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 00:20

I'd like to see what they write if you ask them to put Genevieve in there.

In the few years since I've been following the Topato gang and the Pants Press and related friends (which means you two) I've seen Yuko go through a lot of names and for me Y-u-k-o seems the easiest to write of all. But what do I know about the USA?

I have a pretty easy name,

Comment by Ariel (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 00:31

I have a pretty easy name, It's just Ariel, but I still get weird mispellings. .___.
I'm used to the occasional Arial, ro Ariael or whatever but once I got something like this...


I honestly didn't know what to make of it.

My name is Jamila

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 01:02

My name is Jamila (Jah-Mee-Lah) Every year my friends would laugh about how long it would take the new teacher to learn how to pronounce my name. I won't even start on substitute teachers awkward attempts while taking the roll.

I hate it when I have to wear a name tag at work. Every third customer or so likes to comment on it for some reason. A co-worker once borrowed my spare name tag because she forgot hers. The next day she promised to never borrow mine again, because people just wouldn't leave her alone with comments about the origin and meaning :P Welcome to my life!

Ananth's most common misspelling would be Allen is my guess.

Comment by ughjeez (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 01:50

As a Stu, after getting FAR too many Starbucks cups with Steve written on them, I started giving my name as Stuart. Too bad I waited to do so 'til after all the employees at the Starbucks near my work knew me. They just started writing my name as Stupid.

Oh no

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 02:40

I've been pronouncing it wrong this entire time.

You Koh.


Nicole. What? Nicole... W H

Comment by Ben Anderson (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 03:11

W H A T?

I'm glad my name is only three letters and very easy to spell. Although I wouldn't be surprised if they wrote my name as "Jerrold" or something...

Jimmy = far too difficult, apparently

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 04:30

Hehe, yeah; it's not just unusual names, either.

In all honesty...

Comment by BearHawkWriter (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 04:35

... if you spell it out for them, they have no excuses. I at least have dyslexia working in my favor (the most common one I see is "Brain" instead of Brian").

Although, I do have to give one dude props. I saw him lift the cup, quirk his eyebrow at it, and do a zombie voice until I came to grab my coffee. It was a special moment.

I get this too

Comment by Ladi (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 04:53

A bunch of my friends get this actually, we're a multi-cultural group :P. I've adopted Morgan as my Starbucks name.

My name is also Yuko and I

Comment by Vlyandra (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 07:27

My name is also Yuko and I have started using an pseudonym for these situations.

I also have people who misspell my name after I send them an email with my name in the signature. I'm not quite sure how one takes text, and then misspells it afterward, but I'm sure it's a special process.

I will also confirm that Yuko can magically turn into "Nicole." MAGIC.

remind me of the time ananth

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 07:28

remind me of the time ananth was called paranaxia or something.

Yup. I'm always amused by

Comment by Tillie (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 07:45

Yup. I'm always amused by how people think "Tillie" is spelled. Starbucks has named me "Tili", "Tiloy", "Chili", and somehow "Britney".

I tried once to have a little fun with it and told them to put me down as "Frankenstein" but it turned out that they only wrote "Frank". I got some weird looks picking up my order that day.

My name is Annabelle.

Comment by Abelle (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 08:06

My name is Annabelle. Usually they're surprisingly good at spelling it, but I did get "Anible" once.

I have a "normal" name, even!

Comment by Megan (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 08:41

The Starbucks at the student union had one worker who consistently wrote Becky on my cup. I would say "Megan" loudly and she would say back "Becky?". Sigh, yes, sure.

And BINGO was her name-o

Comment by Goofy Bob (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 08:48

Ever get a YUCKO?

My friend Seong always goes

Comment by Christopher (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 09:36

My friend Seong always goes by my name (Chris) when he orders from Starbucks. The closest they've ever gotten to spelling his name right was Sung.

I hear that.

Comment by Android 21 3/7 (not verified) Thu, 09/06/2012 - 15:37

Korean romanization is really confusing. It doesn't help that a lot of our vowels (and even our consonants) sound similar to each other. I have a cousin named Jieun (but she spells it Jiun to make it easier on her American friends) and later shared a class with someone named Jeeyoon. Imagine my surprise when I heard her name being called when we go to different colleges in different states.

All the fails...

Comment by Katsuya (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 10:07

As a former barista, I feel obligated to apologize on behalf of all baristas everywhere....epic fail, Starbucks.


Comment by elorg (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 10:14

LOL - I hate it when people misspell my name! Yuko - Nicole. I get it. In a loud coffee shop, it rhymes-ish.

People mess my name up all the time. Either just in the spelling ("normal" name, with slight difference in spelling) or just verbally. Can't tell you how often I've been called "Michelle", "Melissa", etc. And those don't even rhyme or sound like "Nichole" in any way, shape, or form. So now I just laugh.


Comment by Jo (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 11:04

Haha - I'm a fan of Yercy myself.

My name is Joanna, and after a certain number of misspellings and deer-in-the-headlights looks from baristas I started telling them "Jo" instead, but more often than not they get "Jill" out of that. You just can't win.

Maybe we should just write it ourselves.

Comment by Android 21 3/7 (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 15:18

I had the same problem. My name is uncommon and I'm paranoid (it rhymes with Jenna, that's all I'll tell you) but I've gotten things like "Amy" and "Gemma" over the years. At some point, I've noticed the coffee people only take names half the time and when they tell you your coffee is ready, they typically yell out what the coffee is rather than who owns it.

To true

Comment by Bigrig (not verified) Wed, 09/05/2012 - 20:29

I have a friend with the first name Nghi. I always kid him about it when we go to Panera and he gives his name as "Alex"!

Different conundrum, similarly irritating:

Comment by Galen (not verified) Thu, 09/06/2012 - 01:20

I eat in a lot of places where you write your name on an order card. I'm so tired of hearing "Gallon" that I've taken to just writing "G."

Not to mention the fact that

Comment by Galen (not verified) Thu, 09/06/2012 - 01:23

Not to mention the fact that in a loud environment, ANYONE saying "Galen" can be easily mistaken for saying anything from "Caleb" and "David" to "Caitlyn" and even "Haley"

My name confuses many a

Comment by Jaclyn (not verified) Thu, 09/06/2012 - 01:53

My name confuses many a barista because no one knows the Americanized spelling of Jacqueline. Also no one knows how to spell Jacqueline to begin with. I've seen Jackline, Jacklice, Jacline, Jacquelice, Jacklynne, Jacklane, Jackquelane. The list goes on. The smart ones just write Jackie and are done with it. Of course I have seen someone spell it "Jacky" so even that is not a good solution. I haven't seen anyone completely mishear my name yet.

I have never seen anyone

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Thu, 09/06/2012 - 23:01

I have never seen anyone spell Jacqueline the way you do, and I've lived in america all my life.


Comment by Coleman (not verified) Thu, 09/06/2012 - 02:18

My first name is a last name, my last name is a common Chinese surname and I have 2 middle names. So I often get people confusing and switching around my first name and last name and getting my last name screwed up with any Chinese name that starts with "Ch".
Then there's my middle names. One is a fairly common first name, but for females. So I sometimes get called that as my first name, but with a questioning look. And then my other middle name is the phonetic equivalent of my first name in Chinese, it's hyphenated and uses a Romanization of Chinese that is at least 2 decades out of date.


Comment by Bonnielass (not verified) Thu, 09/06/2012 - 03:26

Nicole... odd... o.o I think they were yankin' on yer chain Yuko dear


Comment by ShawnTheGirl (not verified) Thu, 09/06/2012 - 03:33

Not the same problem, but it's a name problem.

My name really is Shawn, and I really am a girl... People always don't believe me when I tell them my name. Heck, I started going by "Shawn 'the girl'" online so people would stop asking if I am a dude upon finding out my name- and they still do!

-_- can't win.

One time I worked with a man named Shelly. He shadowed me as I took on accounts and I covered for him a couple times- so people constantly called our direct lines looking for the other. My favorite was how they would always assume I was Shelly, and I'd say, "Oh, no. I'm Shawn, let me get him for you." and they'd always say, "... huh... him?"

Name changer-upper

Comment by Karine (not verified) Thu, 09/06/2012 - 04:52

My first name is Karine (it's French) and when I worked in a call center and got English calls, I would just say my name was Karen, because otherwise 98% of callers would ask me to repeat and spell it and that gets old fast when you take 50+ calls each day.

This one Asian sales rep from Vancouver would invariably call me Candle. "Hi, my name is Karen. How may I help you" - "oh, hi Candle!" ...

Yep. Hang in there Yuko! :)

I wonder why the cups are so

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Thu, 09/06/2012 - 12:27

I wonder why the cups are so small, they're the same size as Yuko's hand...

Misspellings of Ananth's

Comment by OrcishIncubus (not verified) Thu, 09/06/2012 - 15:40

Misspellings of Ananth's name default to the very first AG Lite comic. Oh Agatha.

For some reason, whenever

Comment by Gamma (not verified) Thu, 09/06/2012 - 15:45

For some reason, whenever people spell things out to me, my brain short-circuits when being told letters and I simply can't seem to get them down properly. Only if people go very slow or I already have a 85%+ idea of what they're spelling can I do it. Funnily enough, I'm a great speller on my own, I just can't wrap my head around dictation. If someone writes it down for me I'll get it in a flash. Having to write names on cups myself would either give me anxiety or I would have to start not caring and just writing my "gut feeling" as most baristas seem to do, judging by these comments.

So, don't think too harshly of the people who just can't seem to do it. Maybe hold up a slip of paper with your name already written!

My name is a pretty standard

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Thu, 09/06/2012 - 22:59

My name is a pretty standard name that I've seen EVERYWHERE and coffee places will always get it wrong or spell it weird. I think it has less to do with a name and more to do with the person writing your name hearing you properly/being literate.