Names that don't travel well

Like many here, I never tire of reading the outlandish baby name threads.

The other day when I was googling a name that **Bosda ** was asking about, I came across this article, which made a comment about the name Osnat sounding like a sneeze, and other Israeli names which do not travel at all well, like Moron or Moran (never heard of that one). I remembered another Israeli name, Rotem, which always makes me think ‘Rotten’.

This site has a lot more problematic Jewish and Israeli names, including surnames.

I live in a Spanish-speaking country and come across some extraordinary made-up names which don’t work in English, despite the parents’ obvious best intentions.

I know a man called Flady, which brings to mind ‘flaky’ and ‘lady’. I also know a woman called Gaudy, as I mentioned in another current thread. There’s also the name ‘Sully’ (male) which as a verb has a negative connotation in English, meaning to taint or to soil.

I came across an ‘Anal’ (m) in Haiti.

What about English names that sound silly or risque in other languages?

Any other names anyone can think of that don’t make it past customs and immigration without having the passport officers in stitches?

My brother, when he was working in the Bursar’s office at our university, once came face to face with Phat Phuk Ho.

Fanny, in the UK.

The name of a scientist where I work is…Bumsuk. I am not sure if it is his given or family name so I am unsure if I should address him as Dr. Bumsuk or not. I try to avoid addressing him at all because I am afraid I will bust out laughing.
[sub]I know it’s not his fault, but it’s damn funny none the less.[/sub]

At a former work place, some correspondence came in from a woman named “Lesbia”. I figured she was Hispanic, but even then, you’d think that since her English skills were good enough to write a letter, she’d know there was a bit of a problem with her name in the U.S.A.
Or maybe she changed her original name to Lesbia for reasons of her own.

I’ve had some college students with very memorable names.
One from Vietnam was named Bich. She pronounced it “Bake,” however.
I saw another roll sheet with a gal whose last name was “Tampon.” I assume it’s pronounced “Tahm-poh” ?
Here’s the kicker, though: several years ago, I had a student whose name was…Hung Wei Lo. People didn’t believe me! I had to make copies of the roll sheets to prove it.

A colleague of mine said he once had a student whose name was such that he didn’t want to say it forwards, so he said it backwards, hoping that he could get away with it: “Yu Phuoc.”
At which point she glared and corrected him thus: “No. Phuoc Yu!”

Ya gotta love it.

An acquaintance of mine is named Randy Dyck. Now in mennonite central, that is no big deal. But he decided to move to Europe and spent several years there trying to explain that that was not what his parents had in mind when they named him. Rather it was when they conceived him that his name seemed more apropos.

So, you think anybody with a potentially-problematic name should ‘simplify’ it?

The Latin poet Catullus addressed a number of love poems to one “Lesbia” – and quite a few hate poems too after they split up, so maybe she was Italian or just had classically educated parents.

laina_f, Lesbia is a name one sometimes comes across in Latin America, and as the Spanish word for lesbian also derives from the same source, it could also cause raised eyebrows on home ground. I’ve never met a lesbian, Latina or otherwise, who felt compelled to change her name to Lesbia, though, so I guess people treat it as no more than a name.

Greenback, Randy does sound strange to British ears, although we are used to it by now.

I forgot to mention in the OP that the primary inspiration for this was the recent Mr Penis thread.

A few years ago I worked with a Ngyuen Do. Pronounced just like the a piece of glass you look through, window. He would joke that in Vietnam you looked through a johnsmith to look outside.

Up to the individual to decide, but that’s what I did after coming to Japan since nobody here can pronounce my original name.

Anyway, some more names.

Mami (girl’s name, sounds like “Mommy”). I’ve never been able to take anyone with this name seriously.

What about poor Peter? If he goes to France (Or any French speaking country) the customs man stamping his passport will be laughing at someone named “to fart.”

I had a student who was named Dung.

Judging by this thread so far, a lot of Vietnamese names don’t travel too well. Hell, just look at their basic unit of currency!

Heh. There used to be a fellow who worked for KCTS (PBS) in Seattle, who was the primary subscription beggar during Red Dwarf marathons. Randy Broad. Transatlantic on so many levels.

Shithead (shuh-theed) is a not-too-terribly-obscure Indian female name.

From what I’ve heard from a guy I work with, “Nick” is close to Arabic for “fuck”. Can anyone confirm this?