What’s in a name, misspelt on a coffee cup?

We have all been there, about to order a drink at Starbucks when they ask for your name to put on your cup. With pride you tell them who you are, ready to have your very own personalised disposable cup, only to find out when you pick your drink up that your name has been customised and now you are no longer Emmi. Your new identity Ellie.

These coffee shops take your name to make it easier for you to collect your order, but when they constantly get your name wrong what is the point?


If you have a name that always gets misinterpreted then you tend to expect this error when you pick up your order, so when you hear a version of your name you still recognise it as your order. But not all of us responded to the variety of names we could get called.

Some names are just asking to be spelt wrong.

Siobhan. If you know a Siobhan then you tend to be able to recognise the spelling and pronounce this name correctly. If you’re a good friend then you would have the spelling down to a T. But this is still a name we regularly miss spell.

Jeoffrey. You would think with the rise of Game of Thrones we would all know how to spell this name by now but although we may be fluent in the English language we are still mixing up our J’s and G’s.

Phoebe. Just like Siobhan, it helps if you know one. But these girls are in the special PH that sounds like an F group, and for some it is just easier to spell things phonetically. Sorry Feebe.

But sometimes you cannot blame the barista for getting your name wrong if you have a common name, but with a completely different spelling. Michael McIntyre puts this perfectly.


Taking the blame

Izaac or Issaz, Zoe or Zoey, Hannah or Hana. Who do you blame? The barista for not assuming it could be spelt in a different way to the norm, or your parents for making simple tasks harder for you due to them wanting you to have a more unique name.

Sometimes names can be like learning your ‘there’, ‘their’ and ‘they’re’. It takes practice to remember which is which. For example, Luis, Louis, Lewis. If you aren’t a One Direction fan then this is a lesson you may need to go over again.

These baristas do try, But sometimes their efforts can go horribly wrong. Hand writing can make Wayne look like ‘whore’. If your name is Clint then good luck to you sir, and Virginia, you are better off not even trying to order a coffee.

Bad handwriting turned Wayne into a whore

[Image: Wayne Moraghan]

I have gotten used to people spelling my name completely different. I go by Ellie, Emily, Emma, Amy, Emmy and Amelia. But that one time a coffee shop got my name right I felt overwhelmed and accepted by them. I was finally part of that group who got their name on their coffee cup spelt accurately. Although it did help I knew the barista personally.