workplace, name


Raise your hands if you have had your name scrambled up more than once! Check out some of the craziest names the HRO team has been called, and some research on the typical 'culprits' in the name game.

"Hi Piya, it's nice to meet you!"

Raise your hands if you have had your name misspelled or mispronounced by someone, more than once. If every botched name earned us a dollar, the HRO team would be flying private jets by now (well, in the post-pandemic era perhaps).

In fact, a recent NameCoach survey of employees in the US found that more than seven in 10 (74%) employees struggled with name pronunciation at work, while 44% have had their names mispronounced during an interview.

On overall mispronunciation and misspelling, the survey found that 44% of leadership was the cause of it. In particular, the most were department managers (20%), followed by HR managers/chief culture officers (15%), and CEOs (9%).

The survey further revealed:

  • 26% of respondents have had their name mispronounced at the water cooler.
  • Almost three-quarters (74%) said they faced struggles with name pronunciation at work, which may explain why:
    • 22% said they did not introduce someone because they did not know how to say their name;
    • 16% said they did not talk to a co-worker out of fear of not knowing how to say their name;
    • 13% did not call on someone in a meeting because they did not know how to pronounce their name.

We at HRO are no strangers to having our names botched — whether in an email, in a panel discussion, in a face-to-face conversation, or in a call — and all the while, we maintain a straight face and a big smile. Can you relate?

Here are some of the common ones we've faced (with our own commentary in brackets):

  • Aditi becomes: Adita, Adoto, Adithi, Aditya (Aditi's fake brother)
  • Lester becomes: Leslie, Kelly (our sweet new colleagues)
  • Arina becomes: Ariana (thank you, next)
  • Priya Sunil becomes: Piya, Proya, Prya, Praya Sun-il (oh no, the sun is ill!)
  • Carine Chang becomes: Karen, Karin, Carine Chen (moving to a new family)
  • Reggie becomes: Rajit, Rejerie (we have no words for this one)
  • Ashraf becomes: Astra, Asra (let's try shortening that to Ash)
  • Prassana Pillay becomes: Prasanna, Pillai, Pili, Prasan, Prasarana (why shorten to PP when we have so many options?)

Have you had any crazy name botches you'd like to highlight? Share them with us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can celebrate your name botch in the next edition!

Photo / 123RF

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