My name is Kimberly. Not Kimberley. Doesn’t matter, everybody spells it Kimberley. I don’t know what my parents were thinking.
My mum tells people she named me after the diamond mine because I am her diamond. I know, I know. This even makes me gag. The boys I went to school with would joke that I was named after “a big hole”. Oh how they laughed. They weren’t laughing when a couple of years later they were asking me out and I was saying no.
It gets better. Where in the world did my parents decide to move to with their daughter named after the capital of the Northern Cape, but spelt differently don’t forget… South Africa of course!
I was teased mercilessly, so much so I became Kim rather than Kimberly. One teacher could never resist taking the piss though. When reading through the register he’d call out another place instead… “Pretoria? Pretoria?” “Bloemfontein? Bloemfontein…anyone?”
When we moved to the UK, another teacher insisted on calling me “Camberley” (a nearby town). When I went out to work I was always having problems with my email. I’d spell out the address, letter by letter but inevitably they weren’t really listening and then they’d complain when I didn’t receive their message.
When I was expecting our daughter I was adamant we’d choose a name that she wouldn’t have to spend her life spelling out to people. We named her Claudia, my husband’s pick. Nobody to date has spelt her name incorrectly.
But… A LOT of people mispronounce it. Our daughter is CLAW-DEE-AH. But you wouldn’t believe the number of people that call her CLOUD-DEE-AH. One of her teachers can never remember and effectively calls her “Cloudier”. Which lead to the boys in her class nicknaming her “Cloudier With A Chance Of Meatballs”.
I’ve told her not to worry. In a couple of years they’ll be begging her forgiveness.