What could this (Hispanic) first name have been?

Years ago, I worked for a couple of summers with some interns. One of them was a young lady with a VERY unusual first name. She was of Puerto Rican heritage from the Bronx, and her first name was pronounced “Sue-hades” (really!), but was spelled some completely inobvious way when compared to the pronunciation - something like Saugerties (but not quite).

Does anyone have any idea what this first name could have been? It could have been a unique name, which will make it unsolvable. It may even have been “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt”, but I would have remembered that, because that’s my name.

The surname Sujedes is easily searchable via Google. Could that have been it?

Doubtful. No results come up when paired with the last name. Also, I seem to remember it was at least 9 letters long.

Zuheily or something like that? Compound or invented names are not uncommon in Puerto Rico (mine is one, after all).

Which means that it may be hard to guess the exact spelling of the name, especially since you only heard it (and I’m guessing Spanish is not your first language) a few times.

Well, it probably was invented, since I’ve never heard anything even close as a name. It definitely started with an “S” and ended with “es”. As for the middle… it’s anybody’s guess.

That’s my name, too!

It could have started with Z, remember that it is pronounced like S for most people in Latin America. :wink: Check your PM.

Thinking of Z names, Zuhaira or Zuhayra is a possible hit. I also get it spelled with l instead of r, and then you get the h vs no-h versions. So, what, 8 possible spellings without even getting particularly creative? The common spelling in Spain for the same name would have been Soraya but I know a Zoraida…

As I said in the PM and before, it is very probable a compound/invented name, and thus, the spelling is unknown. Compound/invented names are common uncommon names in Puerto Rico, and the spelling vary. And since they want to be more original than some other mother, rational spelling may go out the window, or variants may be used. :wink: So the name you heard is likely NOT a well-known name, but a name that was invented by someone’s mother (or the close associates).

I know one person with a name that would fit your characteristics, but per your PM, it was not the one you heard. :wink:

Actually, that’s a good guess–that the “d” may be an “r”. English speakers tend to hear flapped "r"s as "d"s, hence transliterations of accents that yield something like “veddy veddy interesting,” where it’s really a flap “r” in “very” being pronounced.

Arabic names in Spanish.

Zuhayrah زهيرة means ‘little flower’.

< Thurayyā ثريا — the name of the Pleiades.

That one may be made up, as it isn’t recognizably Arabic.

But not totally uncommon, as the co-host of CNN’s “Early Start” is named Zoraida.

It may not even be “made up on purpose”, but “made up by a registrar who didn’t bother ask ‘how do you spell that?’”