Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How to Pronounce My Name


Over a year ago I posted about where my name came from, but because I've either read or heard people discussing how to pronounce it, I figured revisiting the subject would be appropriate, since I have several new friends. Yippee! I'm so happy y'all are here! I will try my best not to use exclamation points in all my sentences!

Let me start by saying that I have lived around Memphis, Tennessee all of my life. That would be smack in the middle of the South. I love living in the South. I love the hot summers, I love the mild winters, I love the food, I love the kudzu...wait, no, I don't love the kudzu. Anyway, I love almost everything about living in the South. Including the drawl. Especially the drawl.

Now, I'm not talking about sounding like a country hick. There's a part in Gettysburg where two captured Confederate soldiers are talking to C. Thomas Howell and one says, "We're fightin' for are rats!" Translation: "We're fighting for our rights!" No, not that drawl. That's not even a drawl. That's just wrong.

No, the drawl I'm talking about is that Old South, genteel drawl that Hollywood can never get right. Well, not many around here have that. I don't. Now, I do have a Southern Accent. Ask Kimba or Sarah Mae or anyone from up North who has actually spoken to me. Personally, I don't think it's as pronounced as it evidently is. When I spent two months in Australia, however, every new place I went I was asked to just say, "Hi" and have people just ooh and ah over my silly accent.

Sorry, I got off track. My point is, my Daddy and his siblings all have that lovely Southern drawl. Here's a quick lesson in how to speak Suthuhn: Never say your "R's"

Butter = buttuh
Tower = towah
Junior = juniah

"Ah" and "uh" can be used most of the time interchangeably, as long as it doesn't sound like you're trying to speak New Jersy-ese.

My cousins used to have a sentence they'd say that summed up my daddy's accent: Heathah, throw the buttuh out the winduh with the Whoppah Juniah." And then we'd all crack up.

That's the way he says my name. Instead of "Heather", it's "Heathah". And when I was little and got in trouble (you know in the South - maybe in the North, too, for that matter - when our kids get in trouble we have to say both their first and middle names), and since my middle name is Lee, it came out, "HeathahLee!" I put both names together because that's the way he said them. All one word.

I was explaining this to some friends from church one day (I have no idea how we got started on the subject), when one of them said, "You are SO gonna be Heathahlee from now on!" And it stuck.

So, there you have it. How to pronounce my name. I wanted to be something more than just "Heather" on here. I figured this was a pretty good use of my name with my own little twist on it.

Got any stories about your Blogger name?

12 comments:

Kat said...

You know, if you put a "v" in for the "th", take the "er", add your Daddy's "ah", then you have...Heavah ;)

Darlene said...

Yippee...I was pronouncing it just right....but I am from the South so it is like I knew!!!

Conny said...

no stories about me - but about my mom: Her name is Heidi & she's from Germany. When she first moved to East Tennessee with my dad, she went to church & came home & said "EVERYONE knows my name!" "Everyone" would come over & say, "Hi-dee." to her....Hi-dee, Heidi. :)

TeriLynneU said...

Oh, I SO knew what it sounded like ... my grandmother was raised in Memphis and my sweet husband is from north Alabama. I'm a midwest girl transplanted by God's grace to the south and have the drawl down pat. I bet you have a ton of those colloqulialisms too ... like "I don't have a dog in that race." Am I right?

Love it!

Jen - Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

Yes, being from the North originally, I was pronouncing wrong....until I met you IRL and you corrected me. :)

Susie from Bienvenue said...

Hehe...you sweet thang you!

Miss(ing) Shakespeare said...

Wow! I'm from RI and grew up in NH, and I was saying it right! (Surprised, though.) First time over here, too... I like! =)

Susie Q said...

Bad southern accents drive me nuts...but you know, Kyra Sedgwick does a pretty good on in The Closer...not bad at all...my accent is a hybrid...Deep South and Texas...go figure.

its so very cheri said...

Love it Heathahlee.
I just found your blog and added it to my favs. I wanted to let you know I have a GIVE AWAY that ends to day.

Cheri
www.itssoverycheri.blogspot.com

Southern Fried Gal said...

Oh - being a true southern (fried) gal I knew EXACTLY how to pronounce your lovely name! Love your story! For my blog name I wanted something memorable that reflected me. I'm living out my dreams bigger than I ever expected (PTL). I'm proud of my southern heritage. And the fried part is what really gets us there - I'm a little silly (fried - you could say). Grew up on everything southern fried. And had I hyphenated my maiden and married names I would have been a self-fryar - ha ha ha! Thanks for asking!

Windy said...

I knew how to pronounce it, dahlin'! Love the story behind it:) I despise the way movie stars butcher our sweet talk, too!

Mandi said...

THis is hilarious! I live in SC outside Charleston and you completely summed up the accent. I have a friend that calls everyone "Sugar" but of course pronounces it "Shugah". I came over from Susie's blog, nice to meet you Heathahlee!