Life and Other Funny Things


I have a weird name.

It’s hard to pronounce and I haven’t met a person who can spell it on the first try. As a kid just learning the alphabet and attempting to spell three letter words, it was haaaard. It’s an Indian name. All the other kids had easy names like Nick and Amy, mine felt more like Barbarian Jaggles. The good part is, having a difficult name taught me to respond to pretty much anything people call me that starts with a B.

My whole life, I’ve gotten all sorts of odd looks from people after I introduce myself.


I grew up in the US assuming that my name would be more common in India. I live in India now and not much has changed.


So I think it’s safe to say it’s weird everywhere.

But that’s okay. Over the years, it’s grown on me. It’s MY name and it’s the only one I’ve got. It has character, I like to tell myself. I know that every time I walk into a room, I’m the only one with this name. Isn’t that pretty great?
That’s always been something I could count on. It’s special to me.

BJ2Ha, yeah right. Like that would ever happen.

Yesterday, my whole world came crashing down. Everything I once believed in, turned out to be a lie. What’s real? What isn’t? I can’t tell the difference anymore! It was like finding out there isn’t a Santa, Easter bunny, or a tooth fairy all at the same time.

I found someone with my name. MY name.

Yes, I realize that it was bound to happen eventually. My name is not that unique. All I know is that there is no way to explain how I feel without sounding completely insane.


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176 thoughts on “Barbaric.

  1. I remember when I met someone with my name. All through elementary school I was an original. Then the 7th grade hit and the rug was pulled out from me. It’s a cruel world and I’m sorry you finally found out.

    • It is a cruel cruel world, TBM! We should register names, like bar-codes or number plates, no two people can have the same name.
      ……….I get it now! I get why celebrities’ kids’ names are Blue and Apple. Ok, THAT’s why we don’t want registered names.

  2. Oh my gosh, those images are making me laugh to myself on the train. There are lots of Katherines and Katies out there, so ice just gotten used to it. People still sometimes have trouble though, and I’ve gotten everything from Kaitlyn to Kathy. People get lazy with names, I think.

  3. Miss Four Eyes,
    You found your groove, Barbarian Jaggles the First. When I was in grade four, we were four Erics in my classroom. I felt special.
    Le Clown

  4. I, too, have an uncommon name. There are four of us on Facebook but it doesn’t matter because the other three are douchebag impostors, obviously.


  5. I felt “robbed” when I discovered that there where people out there who had my name, too. I felt violated. I am no longer unique. It’s not fair. It’s not a common name. But people have it. And it’s TWO names and a family name. How does that happen? They are on FB. I’ve seen them. Sad, really. I feel your pain, Barbarian Jangles.

        • Kinda hard to think the other way around when you spent your childhood being constantly remembered by literally everyone that you bear the names of not one, but two famous conquerors – namely, king William I and no other than Alexander the Great. Try living up to that!

  6. In high school there was this girl who was a couple grades ahead of me. Her name was Tiffany Mansker instead of Tiffany Metzger…but can you imagine the fiasco that caused? I had tons of people wish me happy birthday on her birthday, every year. It was rather annoying.

    P.S. Is it wrong that I enjoyed reading the comments just as much as the article? :p

  7. As some one with a weird name — not necessarily weird but definitely spelled weird — I understand what you’re saying. I’ve never met anyone who spells it the way I do, but I don’t think I’d like it!

  8. I can partially relate: I have a foreign name which contains sounds and sound combinations that just don’t exist in English, so it’s just cannot be possibly pronounced correctly by an English speaker. So to say that I’m used to having my name butchered is an understatement.
    But at least I think I’m the only person in the US with that name – which is also a problem, because if something bad is ever attached to my name online, I wouldn’t be able to use “that’s just another guy with the same name” excuse. But you, you have that excuse now!

    • Yikes! I never thought about that. Hey but on the bright side, you can give people a “fear me now” look all the time.
      And you are so right. She takes all the blame!…….unless she’s the one doing the bad things and blaming them on me. Let’s just stick with what you said.

      • I have a “fear me now” appearance regardless of my name. Add the strange name and my accent, and I can easily scare children and some impressionable adults without even trying.

  9. Ey, I have four eyes, too. Are you gonna beat me up. I make sure, I won’t use your name. I did find someone in FB exactly the same first and last name as mine. I wonder if this is my doppelgänger.

  10. I liked this post, liked the images
    you made me smile and that is AWESOME

    Happy Canada Day to all you Americans and Indians and everyone !
    soon happy july 4th to you all as well

  11. Strange, Miss Four Eyes doesn’t seem that hard to pronounce…oh.
    Actually, I think it would be interesting to have a unique name. David is about as common as you can get, which is great if you want a key chain with your name on it at a tourist site, but not great if you want to feel nominally special. 🙂

  12. I can relate a little. My name is easy enough, but the spelling always throws people for a loop, and NO ONE can remember that it’s spelled that way, no matter how many times I spell it for them, or how many times they see it on Facebook.

  13. Not too many people have my name, as evidenced by every souvenir shop I went to as a kid. The people with my name tend to misspell it (silly people) but I know some of us are out there so I have hope.

    When I got married and I also got a long, needs to be spelled out last name. My email address would take five minutes to go through over the phone at work. When I got divorced, the last name went too. Not because of ill will; I just didn’t want to have spell both of my names for the rest of my life.

    • I completely understand the long phone calls for emails. After it’s done they keep wanting to know if that is in fact the real address or that I’ve given them a fake.

  14. Haha! Man, you are getting good with those pictures! I’ve yet to meet someone with my name spelled with an H, I’ve met a couple of Rowans (lol, stupid name), but no Rohans so far!

    I also love how every program thinks I’ve spelled my name wrong by putting a red line under it every time grr.

    I’ll bet your name is awesome and rare, just like our super blogger Miss Four Eyes 🙂

    *Nudie rare name hugs!”


    ps. I hope you punched that name stealer!

  15. LOL. That made me laugh SO Hard!
    I can totally relate to that!

    I love how you made her wear a Saree! Hahahaha

    &&- I must say you are getting SOOO good at your artwork Girl. Honest. Someone’s gotten another secret talent I see ;;)
    I mean the kind of imagination you need to think of that & then ACTUALLY create it- I am Impressed!
    Good Work MissFourEyes!

  16. WOW, I am Indian and I have an unusual name as well. It is actually pretty easy to pronounce and for some reason fellow Indians have a harder time saying it. I’ve been called Riya, Surya, Sweety, Seeya by Indian aunties since for some reason they cannot pronounce my name. It is not that hard. I was devastated as well when I went on facebook and found someone with my name. There are not many of us. Just four people on facebook with the same first name but we all have different last names so we can retain some of our originality.

  17. Ohhhh, yes, I would have loved to have a unique name. My real name was one of the top baby names of my birth year. Everyone had that name. There were four in my class, I’m pretty sure. So we had to have initials after our names. I hated that. So when we got to choose a Spanish name for Spanish class, I chose Selena, because it was so different from my other name. Which was fine until I got to Spanish II where, guess what, there was another Selena and once again I had a freakin’ initial only this time it was a Spanish initial. Crap in a hat.

    I’ve been at my current workplace about 3.5 years. About a year ago, we got a new employee. With my name. She’s not even my generation, but like 12 years younger. So people expect me to add an initial now. I refuse. She can write the initial, she’s the new one. They can’t make me do it. I like being a rebel without a point.

    • I’m with you, she should get the initial! But hey, when it’s her birthday you can tell people that they’ve gotten it mixed up and that it’s actually your birthday. Cake, cake, cake! 😀

  18. I have an impossible to spell/pronounce last name, too. Hell, even my own parents mispronounce it. I always wanted a normal name like Sally Jones growing up, but now, I’m pretty happy with it.

    I’ve never met anyone else with the same name. The same first name, yes. Same last name, yes, but never both together. That would be freaky.

  19. I have similar experiences with my name. People want to pronounce it funny because the ‘i’ throws them off. Then when they realise it’s pronounced the same as ‘Dale’ I get the inevitable – “that’s a boy’s name!” I’ve even been asked if it’s short for something (what? Dailina?) And when I introduce myself as Daile I always get a strange look “Gail?” “Darryl?” and even “Sarah?” WTF.

  20. You have a rare name, I had a rare disease growing up — I’m sorry, killjoy, right? It’s called acha-la-sia. A RARE disease. I have that distinction. It’s when your esophagus closes up for some unknown Godforsaken reason. They were able to get it open. So that’s good. Goodnight, Barbarian Jaggles!

  21. I always feel about the same way when I find someone with my same birthday… “Rude, it’s mine! And I don’t share well…” “Also, I’m well armed, so… just saying…”

  22. This reminds me of when I first saw a rock float… I still haven’t recovered and it has been years! Also, your illustrations are getting epic. I love it.

  23. I never got to feel this fancy! There are so many “Lauren’s” about the world that I am practically in an 80s baby name club.
    But few can contend with the fact my middle name is Stacey. “Lauren Stacey” is the most 80s girl name of them all. I imagine that all I should say is “this is rad” or “psych” and dress like Cher from “Clueless” at all times.
    Also totally hilarious drawings 🙂

  24. I LOVE the name Barbarian Jaggles. I wish I had something equally as awesome…I run into Amy’s everywhere…and then I get confused about my own identity…hahaha 😉

  25. I feel your pain. And it’s a deep gnawing ache. I was the only Cymbria in the world, in the galaxy, in the universe… before facebook and google were invented and stripped me of my exquisite exclusivity.

    But even so, I still won’t let anyone short form Cymbria. I make them savour each sweet syllable. And heck, if I have to spell it everywhere I go, people can at least take the time to say it! Although, and I don’t know if you’ve had to do this (because u look like such a good little girl lol), I’ve always used an alias name whenever I’ve gone out and gotten up something naughty. Wouldn’t want any inopportune googling to sneak up on me and rat me out~wink. (ps. love the sari wtf!!)

  26. I remember thinking as a child that i DID NOT sound like a Ritika. I keep bumping into people called Ritika (high school, college. I know, right? You’d think it’s unique and stuff) and I’m all ‘Whoa, dude. That is NOT Ritika-like at all.’
    My name and I are the best of chums right now. Fist bumps and all.

  27. My name is easy enough to pronounce, but really hard for an American to spell. It’s also Indian.

    When I got married to a mexican guy and came up with a first name / last name hybrid, I was pretty sure I was the only in the world… and then facebook got really popular, and *poof* illusions dispelled. There’s another me. In Portugal. And, to make matters worse, she’s prettier than I am! That’s just rude.

  28. My name’s Coy, and I’ve had problems with it since I started school.
    “What’s your name?”
    “No. Coy.”
    “No. Coy.”
    “No, Coy.”
    “Sure…why not?”

    I spent years being called the wrong name. There was an office I worked in at one point, and when I had my going away party, a lady who had worked with me for over a year said, “Well, Cory, I hope you do well in your future endeavors.”
    My boss said, “Why’d you call him Cory? His name’s Coy.”
    “Well, that’s not right,” she said, “His name’s Cory.”
    “No,” my boss said, “You’ve just been calling him the wrong name for the past year.”

    And six months later, after I had finally given up on people getting my name right, I was in K Mart and someone yelled, “Hey, Coy!” I turned around, as did the guy standing next to me. I looked to his name tag, saw he shared the same name and thought, “Shit, apparently there is someone else out there with the same name…”

    That was the only time I met someone with the same name, but I have to admit, the effect was sobering. I thought I was one of a kind. Apparently there’s more Coys out there than I had thought….

  29. My name is quite common here, yet I don’t know why people come up with so different names distorting mine- my name is Shreya. Some write Sreya, others write Shrea, while some write Sheya. I once received an email, starting with ‘Dear Sheraya…’ It is embittering.
    And yes, I live in India too! 🙂

    • Hey there! Another Indian sistah 😉
      Sheraya? Oh no. No, no, no! That’s just wrong.
      Over the years I’ve gotten used to the many many variations. My name starts with a B, somehow people manage to misspell it with an M. *faceplam*

    • Seems to be one of those names with seemingly endless variations. I mean, I’m no etymologist but it sounds awfully similar to Sorayah, Surya and so on, to the point that all these names probably share the same ancient origin. It must be why people have a hard time getting yours properly.

      • Yes, you are right to an extent, but Surya and Shreya have entirely different meanings, but you are correct that people may make mistakes unintentionally, but when a real close friend of yours misspells your name and writes ‘Sheraya’ instead of ‘Shreya’, would you feel that friend is really a friend? Sometimes it gets on my nerves, but yes, there’s no denying that people do get names spelt wrong absent-mindedly. =)

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