Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Is it really THAT DIFFICULT?!

Names can sometimes be a bit of a problem, can't they? Some people don't like their names, some have random spellings of their names, etc. Sometimes people tell you their name and you instantly forget it, then you spend the next hour waiting for someone else to address that person by name so that you don't have to ask them a second time what their name is (yes, I did that. More than once. I am hanging my head in shame). When I was at university, I told someone that my name is Kirsty and she called me Tracy. I corrected her once but I was too much of a wimp to correct her again and for the next three years of my degree, I was known to her as Tracy.

I have always liked the name Caleb and so when we had our little baby boy, we obviously decided to name him Caleb. I have to say that the first time I heard it was through watching "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" and not from reading the Old Testament, but in my defence, I was also five or something, so reading the Old Testament wasn't exactly at the top of my five year old priority list! But I like the name for these reasons:

1. It means whole hearted and faithful. I also read somewhere that it means dog, but we'll ignore that meaning!
2. It's not a really popular name but it's not so unusual that people would think it was weird or anything.
3. It's biblical and I quite like biblical names.
4. It's a "say it as you see it" kind of a name. Or is it just me who thinks that? Because I'm not too sure.....

For the last 16 months, I have heard his name pronounced Challeb, Chayleb, Kaleeb, Celeb, Calleb. Kolob. Yep. It's usually at the doctors surgery or hospitals when the poor boy gets these mispronunciations of his name. In all fairness to them, I've no doubt that they see all manner of patients with weird and wonderful names, many of which are probably made up, but I really didn't think that the name Caleb would be too hard. I remember when we were sitting in the waiting room at the doctors surgery and the nurse came out and called, "Celeb?". Was she asking if there was a celebrity in the room?  I had a little chuckle to myself that one of these poor people sitting in the waiting room had been named Celeb by their parents and wondered who in the world would do that to their poor child. Didn't they realise the grief the child would get their whole life because their name was Celeb?! It was at around this point that I realised that no one else was standing up...... when I realised that she meant my son, I actually said, "oh.....Caleb!". I felt a bit bad because I probably sounded really rude in correcting her, but I was amazed that she would somehow think that his name was pronounced Celeb. I let it slide though because in all honesty, how easy is it to just not look properly at the name and mistake the A for an E? But then, in the appointment when she was asking me about him, I kept saying his name so she would realise that his name was Caleb. She still called him Celeb and looked at me like I was the one saying it incorrectly!

I spoke to a friend of mine about it recently and she said that even though it's not the most common name in the world, it's still not so unusual that people wouldn't have heard of it, which is pretty much what I thought. I'm wondering if when he goes to school, he will constantly have to correct people on how his name is pronounced. I'm no stranger to this, my maiden name is Samaroo and people often had difficulty in pronouncing it and spelling it (although ironically, since being married and changing my name, more people have asked me how "Manning" is spelt than have ever asked me how "Samaroo" was spelt!) but I didn't think that in naming my son Caleb, he would potentially be faced with this too. I suppose that time will tell!


  1. Caleb is a wonderful name for a wonderful boy. I can't believe that anybody could possibly get it wrong. Oh well that's life I suppose . xx

  2. In fairness, when you spell out Manning for people you do say "M for Mike, A for Alpha, N for November, N for November, I for India, N for November, G for Gnome" hahahaha!

  3. Like "S for sugar, a for apple, m for mother, a for apple, r for rose - double o"...
    YOU should worry. try being called Lindsay/Lindsey/ Linzi (dave at the garage)/ Lyndsey, Lyndsay, Lizzie.... and at school, one girl always calls me Lezzley - and I got a Christmas card to that effect today from her!

  4. Oh, I feel ya sista! My son's name is Case, we spelled it that exact way so it wouldn't be mispronounced. Yet everyone calls him Chase, as though we forgot to put the H in. Common people! It really shouldn't be that hard. haha. Great post!


  5. Really?? That surprises me! I wouldn't think people would mispronounce Caleb at all. It's like you said, say it as you see it! Mia will always be correcting her name, I'm sure! We pronounce it Mee-uh, where A LOT of people think it's My-uh. Which really surprises me! But then again, people spell it one way expecting people to know they want it pronounced a completely different way.

  6. That is so strange that people can't figure out how to say his name! I'm very much with you on the idea of choosing a name which isn't the most common name out there, but also isn't unheard of. I've known a couple Calebs in my life and I certainly don't think it's as unlikely a name as "Celeb". haha! Both my maiden name and my married last name are apparently very difficult to spell and pronounce, so I've come to expect that with last names!

  7. Caleb is an awesome name. And Caleb is a great person to be named after. He was a mover and shaker. Only Joshua and Caleb said that they could take the promised land. If the children of Israel would have listened to Joshua and Caleb they could have saved themselves 40 years of wandering. Hope you have a great day!

    Heidi’s Wanderings

    1. Exactly! I think we chose well. Caleb's middle name is Joshua, he was named after good people 😉