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to be annoyed at MIL pronouncing DD's name incorrectly

(89 Posts)
myhousewillneverbetidy Mon 29-Apr-13 13:29:25

We don't see in laws that often, maybe 2/3 times a month and haven't always had the best relationship with them (in fact they stopped speaking to us for several months and we still don't really know why )

Anyway the last time we saw them MIL kept pronouncing dd name incorrectly. DDs name does have 2 ways of pronunciation but she is 2 so would expect grandparents to be able to remember by now!!

I didn't say anything as we have such a fragile relationship with them and they would see it as me picking fault with them. I quietly seethed through the whole visit though


GrendelsMum Wed 08-May-13 14:41:38

Maybe Lottie is right and it's down to regional variation, then? Or could it be class variation, or something that's changed over the last century? I'm wondering if Evelyn is one of these names like Ralph / Rafe, where Ralph Vaughan-Williams pronounced it Rafe. Perhaps it's moving from 'Eeevelin' to 'Everlin'? As I'd put the OP's pronunciation down as 'wrong'.

b4bunnies Thu 02-May-13 22:48:05

evelyn is ev-lyn
esme is esmi or possibly esmay but never esmeee
faustine is fawsteen not fow-rhymes-with-cow-steen.
so sez me. so there.

lottiegarbanzo Thu 02-May-13 21:24:01

Interesting, sounds like there's some regional variation going on but you're certainly not wrong OP, or to my ears, unusual.

On radio etc. I've always heard 'Eve-e-lin Waugh and 'Ehv-a-lin Glennie'. No idea if the Eve / Ehv pr. is to do with gender, time, place, class, personal preference or none of the above.

Pity her name isn't Evelyn Waugh really, as then you could annoy them back with a 'mis'pronunciation of their surname, given the Wok / Woff / Waar variations.

Anyway, it is all about intent. Surely though, most people would have said 'oh, do you mean...' or, 'that's an unusual pronunciation, I'd have said...' some time before now, wouldn't they? (They do sound odd!).

Drquin Thu 02-May-13 16:14:31

I guess it boils back to whether you think there's any malice in the mispronunciation!

My given name is a reasonable one from the 1970s - I'd say my pronunciation is correct (well, I would - its my name!!) but the other pronunciation I'd say isn't so much "wrong" as just a different emphasis on one syllable over the other. As a sweeping generalisation, I'd say my Scottish friends pronounce it the way I would (emphasising the second syllable) - but my English friends would emphasis the first.

In exactly the same way as I would with "Evelyn" ...... Evelyn Glennie is from my neck of the woods originally and I'd say local pronunciation would be "Ev - Lynn". Second-most common in that area would be "Ev-Ih-Lynn", then "Eve Lynn". I put 99.9% of that down to a combination of local accents / emphasis (and previous exposure to the name) over malice.

So how much fuss to make with ILs I guess depends on whether you think they're "wrong" as opposed to just being "different".

mrsyattering Thu 02-May-13 15:14:23

Keep correcting them, SIL continually called DD by a shortened verison of her name, until DD shouted "MY NAME IS NOT XXXX! It's xxxx!!!!" She stopped after that wink

bassingtonffrench Thu 02-May-13 14:57:50

There are certain names I get confused about how to say

They are


I also have problems with major/mayor

I know people with these names and even though I know there is a 'correct' way for these specific individuals, I go into panic mode and just avoid using their names altogether.

I think it is some sort of naming dyslexia.

I'm not being passive agressive, its just if a word/name is filed in a particular way in your brain it is hard to relearn it.

I think if it was my own granddaughter I'd sort it out though

soontobeslendergirl Thu 02-May-13 14:55:17

...and for the record it should be pronounced "Ismay" grin

gillywillywoo Thu 02-May-13 14:42:28

I've known 2 Evelyn's in my life!

One pronounced eev-lyn

The other pronounced ev-lyn

Both 2 syllable names.

It's nice pronounced ev-ah-lyn as well... I like it... And can't believe your MIL continues to say it wrong! So rude.

Patchouli Thu 02-May-13 14:00:28

I know ladies with it both ways.
I guess that Eve / Evie is a popular name and if you'd wanted either as a nickname then you'd maybe pronounce it Eeeev - lin, so perhaps that's more common.

You're MIL will have known an Evelyn here and there and it has probably influenced the way she thinks it's said. And no matter how much you try and correct her, she'll probably think 'oh yes right' try and clock it, but then get it wrong again the next time.

It's just something your DD is going to have to live with, from lots of people.

cece Thu 02-May-13 13:50:17

FWIW I would say they same way as your MIL says it OP. My mum's cousin has this name and that is how she says it.

thebestnamesaregone Thu 02-May-13 13:35:29

I had an Auntie Ev-lynn spelled Evelynn. Two syllables.

GrendelsMum Thu 02-May-13 13:18:27

No, Evelyn Waugh was definitely Eve-linn, and I'm pretty sure that Evelyn Glennie is too.

Xmasbaby11 Thu 02-May-13 10:42:47

Sorry, scratch that last post. the two pronunciations are completely different! I was half asleep.

I imagine that will be a common error as she grows up. I wouldn't know which one was more popular.

YANBU. They should be corrected and they should want to say her name correctly.

Xmasbaby11 Thu 02-May-13 10:38:50

YANBU .. although there's not a huge difference between the two pronunciations as the middle syllable is not stressed and so very short. I would imagine a lot of people could not hear the difference, depending on your accent.

My name has always been mispronounced and misspelt. It doesn't bother me. I still like having a less common name.

lottiegarbanzo Thu 02-May-13 10:38:31

Evelyn always has three syllables, that is in no way unusual!

it can be Eee of Eh at the beginning (the first like Eva-lynn, second Ever-lynn or as OP writes) and I think OP's version is far more popular but I have NEVER heard of 'Eve-Lynn' with two syllables.

Have they never come across the name before? Do they, on some level, think you've got it wrong and are trying to correct you? Perhaps you could throw snippets about famous Evelyns into conversation - Waugh, Glennie um, research needed.

I'd definitely suggest DH asks them why they're doing it and raessures them you really do have it right (and other people will think they're really odd!). They need to explain themselves!

storynanny Thu 02-May-13 10:29:40

Ah the spelling thing! I've taught a girl called Dayzzeee and a boy called Louise, both as written on a birth certificate.

Wow I am really shocked and surprised at the amount of stories on here of people pronouncing/spelling names wrong!
I find that so rude! A mis-pronounciation or mis spelling one or twice would be excusable (though I would be embarrassed about that) but I think its a lack of common courtesy to not learn/continually forget/do it on purpose!

We had two Claires at our wedding - one was Claire and one was Clare - I was mortified when I realised I'd mixed up the place cards! blush
Also had a Fiona who is referred to as Fi. How was I to know she spells it Fee? But I've never made the same mistake again.

I can't understand how a child's grandparent would purposely call them something other than their name, that shows such a lack of respect to the parents and their choice of name.
I would have to be really firm and quite rude personally so they got the message. If that still didn't work, I would purposely start calling MIL something else.

Good luck, OP. (Love the name Evelyn by the way, but I prefer your pronunciation!)

Slavetothechild Thu 02-May-13 09:29:34

We have 5 children and my in laws seem to have problems with most of their names ! They decided they didn't like dd1s name so chose to call her something completely different ! It worked until she was about 2 1/2 or 3 when she told them that unless they used her real name she would ignore them !! I was so proud of her ds2 grins and bears te fact that they can say his name right or spell it correctly ( neither can my parents !) his name only has THREE letters . Finally ds3 is known to them by a completely different name ! But he's laid back and doesn't care smile . So only 2 children escaped having their names changed by my mad in laws

storynanny Thu 02-May-13 09:17:13

It's incredibly rude not to get a name right after you have been told how to say it. As a supply teacher I come across a wide range of... Interesting and unusual ......names. I always say "how would you like me to say your name?" It's basic good manners.

Booboostoo Thu 02-May-13 08:43:42

OP your MIL may be doing this on purpose in which case that is no excuse, but I could see me mispronouncing Evelyn as well, feeling really bad about it, then getting all stressed and forgetting which way was which! I have a good friend whose daughter is called Deanne - lovely name, I had no wish to rename her DD for her...but nonetheless I always called her Diane and even when I knew it was wrong, I knew I was going to get it wrong, the wrong thing popped out of my mouth! In the end I tried to avoid referring to her DD by name as I was totally stressed by getting it wrong and I could tell she was beginning to think I was an annoying idiot!

MummyPig24 we went for "Lily" as the easiest but I suppose there is Lilly, Lili, Lillie.

alcibiades Wed 01-May-13 19:11:40

Apparently, Evelyn Waugh insisted that the correct pronunciation of his name was "Eve-lyn". So, perhaps you could tell your MiL that she's using the boy's pronunciation rather than the girl's. (No idea whether that's true, but it might help.)

MummyPig24 Wed 01-May-13 18:35:02

Booboostoo my dd is also Lily, easy yes? No! No bloody person can spell it right. She is 3 so family have had plenty of time to learn the correct spelling but there are still some repeat offenders!

greenformica Wed 01-May-13 17:49:26

use her name in lots of sentences very clearly so they can hear?

PrincessScrumpy Wed 01-May-13 17:13:18

My dad never remembers dd1s name. I love him but do think he should be able to remember it. He only had 3gc(another on the way) and she was the first. Not unusual name either. Id let dc tell her when old enough and in the mean time, when she says the name make a point of using DC name straight after in conversation!

GrendelsMum Wed 01-May-13 17:00:32

It's quite an unusual pronunciation that you've chosen, isn't it? I think I can see why your DMiL is getting confused.

Yes, I think you'd better get your DH to come straight out and say that you're not pronouncing it as she might expect, and that it's like 'ever-lynn'.

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