Thursday, July 12, 2012

Spelling out the Name : A - as in "Apple", F - as in Pilipino

Filipino names can be kind of complicated.

Bellario. Filomina. Jaupner. Charlie-ann. Pilita. 


When I still had my maiden name "Amplayo", I found myself constantly having to correct people on how it was said and constantly having to spell it out as - phonetically - it's not spoken as it is written

My name is Amplayo. It's prounounced, Uhm-ply-yo. It's Filipino. 


A as in Apple
M as in Mary
P as in Paul
L as in .... Lavatory. 


..... etc etc....

Sometime I would play around with the words that represented the letter.

A as in .... Antelope
Y as in .... Yellow.. 
O as in.... as in.... Oreos!!!


Whenever my dad would spell out things for people, he would say words that were an accurate  phonetic representative of the letter, but his accent would throw it all off.

V as in... Bictor
S as in .... Eh-stupid.
F as in.... Prank..(excuse me ? what was that again?)... as in, you know.. I'll be berry prank wit you... 


(sir I'm sorry, I didn't understand what you just said)


Getting others to understand how to spell our surname always took a while when he was spelling it out.

What's funny is when other Filipinos learn of my last name, they always give the same joke.

Oh, your name is Am-pa-la-yo! ? like.. Am-pa-la-ya?? Huh? Mebe your name should be Am-pa-la-ya!!


Me: It's nothing like that at all.


And then they would laugh.


Ampalaya is the Filipino word for Bitter Melon in English.



 It's the nastiest vegetable I've ever eaten and I don't know why anyone would classify it as a 'melon'. Bitter? Yes. Melon? no. From what I have observed, Filipinos love ampalaya. Like, really really love it. They put it in their soup dishes, their stir fried dishes, eat it with rice. I have not had acquired a taste for it. Just thinking about it makes my face do a sour look.


Acutally, this is my post - tequila shot face, but ... it's pretty much the same look as my "sour" face.

So... when my husband asked me to marry him, I was glad he had a 'plain Jane', 'John Doe', last name. Nothing out of the ordinary, just a simple name anyone who passed the 3rd grade would be able to spell. No explanations needed.

Roberts. I like to pronounce it Robert-sus... kind of like Hobbits-sus.

It's a good name, although... whenever I sign off on emails, people who've never spoken to me on the phone or met me in person, think I'm a boy.  They reply to my emails with "Dear sir" or reference me in their emails to someone else as "He". "He referred me to you"

When I read those emails I'm like , but I'm not a boy!!  and I want so badly reply to their email and explain this to them.


Dear X


Please see attached for your documentation 


WInter Roberts
PS... I'm not a boy. I am a girl. 


....  but I don't know if that's professional. So I usually let it slide even though it kind of bugs me.


I had no idea "Winter" was a unisex name...I thought it was a no-name that no one would ever name their kid... except for my mom. 

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