That’s not my name!

By , April 16, 2014 6:47 am

Growing up, did your parents ever call you someone else’s name (probably a sibling’s) by accident? What was that name? Do you do it now to your kids, or pets (as that is the discussion that actually inspired this post), or anyone else?

This probably doesn’t happen to only children? You guys tell me! But growing up (and now), my mom and other family members sure did call us by the wrong names quite often from time to time. Our names are Nicholas, Kimberly, Anthony and Christina. But sometimes you were called by another sibling’s name. Sometimes names were combined – Ant Kim, Ant Nick, Ant Chris (not sure why Anthony always came to mind first). Ha ha, even this weekend, my mom was looking right at me, and called me Christina! I ignored her of course, just to be a brat. 


This came up at work, after I asked my coworkers if people ever call their pets by the wrong sex (Data is not a “she” or “her,” dammit!). They said no, but one person said they do get their own pets’ names mixed up, the same way their parents used to mix up their sibling’s name with theirs. Ha ha. Maybe that trait is hereditary!

I sometimes get people’s names mixed up and call them by a different student’s name when I am teaching class. Hey, lack of oxygen to the brain, give me a break! And, very oddly, when Steven and Nick (my brother) are together, I sometimes swap their names by accident. Weiiiiiiiiiird. 

39 Responses to “That’s not my name!”

  1. Dawn says:

    Why Yes, of course!! With names of Dawn, Donna, Denise & Dianna, it would be crazy for my Mom to NOT call me by one of my sister’s names. I often wondered why she did that. But fast forward, and although my boys’ names are Alex and Noah, I do it to them as well, even when I’m looking right at one of them! And I still wonder why this happens.

    • kilax says:

      I guess it’s faulty wiring in our brains?! Let’s blame it on that!

      LOL, you and your sister’s names made me think about Christina’s fiance’s family. He comes from a family of 9 or 10 and they all have J names (he changed his a few years ago) and it was funny listening to the boys in my family come back from the bachelor party this weekend and try to remember everyone’s names!

      • Kandi says:

        Joey’s dad is one of 8 or so and all the girls have Ann in their name – Suzanne, Dorothy Ann, Marianne, Julie Ann, etc. and the 3 boys are all some variation of Michael, John, and Christopher (John Christopher, Michael John, Christopher Michael I think).

  2. My grandma will often call me Linda or Pat (aunt and mom’s names respectively) when I’m visiting. She had seven kids so I don’t blame her – I’m just glad she’s calling me a female name. Growing up, it was always a blend of names KJim or Jkim as my brother’s name is Jim. Kim and Jim was too much for my parents, I guess.

    • kilax says:

      Oh yes! That reminds me that I got called “Ant Linda” (Linda is my mom’s sister), by my Grandma. Ha ha ha.

      LOL, wouldn’t that be awful if someone had a whole family of rhyming names? Ahh, I probably shouldn’t say that – I am sure someone does 😉

  3. Heather says:

    I do this with both my kids and my pets, usually when I’m flustered, haha! I’ve also called my husband my daughter’s name, my cat my daughter’s name, my daughter one of my cat’s name, my son the cat’s name….et cetera, et cetera! I am bad about it. I can’t seem to help it though!

    I think the funniest though is when my husband called me Mom. He was on the phone with his mom so it was understandable but it was SO funny. It was also funny when he called her Mommy a few minutes later, and boy did he blush there…it had probably been 25+ years since she’d heard that name directed at her!

  4. Runninglaur says:

    When our cats would knock something over or another similarly destructive thing, my mom would instinctively yell my brother’s name instead of yelling at the cats. I loved it!

  5. With Pepper and Patsy at home, I sometimes call Patsy Pepper and vice versa. Mother of the year right here folks!

  6. I find myself sometimes mixing up my son’s name with our dog’s name (they are the two who get in the most trouble in our house, so it’s fitting, ha!). My uncle used to confuse my aunt, me and a family friend (because our names are all unusual and somewhat similar). My grandmother used to yell at their dog by using the dog’s first name and my aunt’s middle name (it was her mode of operation to use first and middle names – and I guess my aunt got in trouble the most, ha). I don’t really care when people mix up my name – life isn’t so dire that I need to be called by my exact name every time, all the time. =D

  7. Anne says:

    People swap Jude and Meko’s genders a lot. For whatever reason, people have ALWAYS thought Jude was a girl. One of my bro’s dogs is named Jade, so my mom mixes up Jude and Jade a lot in conversation.

    My Grandma has always gotten all of our names mixed up. She calls me (Annie) and my cousin Ally by each other’s names all the time, which is understandable since they’re pretty similar. But often she’ll cycle through like 5 names before landing on the right one. Which obviously we all make fun of.

    • kilax says:

      I know I am guilty of swapping their genders at first! Then I remembered what a bitchy lady Meko is 😉 And Jade and Jude are super close to one another!

      Ha ha ha, name roulette! What will it land on today?!

    • Erin says:

      My step-brother calls my mom “Jude” for short (her name is Judy/Judith) so I always think Jude = female. Except, you know, for Jude Law. He’s totally not female.

  8. Rachel says:

    Sounds like Anthony is the first name that comes to mind. 🙂 I’m sure there’s a good reason for it.

    My parents are terrible. If they don’t call us each other’s name then it’s a combo of: Ash-Rach, Rashley, or my favorite: Rash. They’ve also called us the cat’s names before and my mom always mixes us up with her sister whenever we are all visiting. Then it’s something like: Rashley-Ivysue 🙂

    I hate when people call my cats girls. I’ll give ’em a pass the first time, but after that I get ragey. My dad ALWAYS calls them ‘she’ and ‘her’. His excuse is because his cats were girls. Uhhh he doesn’t call his friend’s male children ‘she’ and ‘her’ just because he only had daughters, does he? RAGE!!!!

    • kilax says:

      Rashley! HA HA HA!!!! That is really funny. Can I start calling you that? No? 😉

      Yeah, dad logic FAIL. And! They obviously have boy names!!!!! DUH!

  9. Pam says:

    My sister’s name is Kim too, so I’ve answered to Kim (or K’Pam) half the time since I was six years old. haha

  10. Joanna says:

    As I am an only child, it didn’t happen often. Sometimes my dad called me by my moms name, but my whole family (of three) all have names that start with J-O. John, joyce, joanna. So its slightly understandable. My mom never called me by my dads name.

    My MIL calls my husband by his fathers name, brothers name even his sisters name sometimes too. She is a mess 🙂

  11. Marcia says:

    My mom seemed to yell out each of our names working down from oldest to youngest so me, being second, didn’t have it too bad. My youngest sister (no. 6) did. Caveman’s granny always called him Mike (his dad’s name). I suspect this is quite common.

  12. Diane says:

    Only child here, so growing up it wasn’t an issue. 😉
    However, I work with two Denises and am ALWAYS being called Denise at work.
    I never mix up my cats, but because so few people actually see Beatrice she usually just gets called Bastet or “other cat.” LOL.

  13. Kandi says:

    My parents never really had trouble with our names but maybe because it was only one boy and one girl? My grandmother had a horrible time sometimes coming up with names. I gave her the benefit of the doubt since she had 3 kids and a good number of grandkids.
    I sometimes get my dogs’ names mixed up but they are very understanding when it happens. 😉 I often say DeNova or NoLilah instead of Delilah and Nova. As for the sex of my pets, my dad will often call them boys despite knowing that they are girls. He grew up only owning male dogs so at first it was just a mistake when he’d say it but now he does it on purpose (kind of like when you asked about calling places by their old name instead of their current name. He does that and most of the time it’s on purpose).

    • Kandi says:

      One of the other comments reminded me of something. When I first started hanging out with Joey, he did something that annoyed me and I called him ‘Andrew’ instead of ‘Joey’. He got really mad (I’m guessing not really mad but joking mad) about it but I explained that I was so used to yelling at Andrew (my old college roomie) and not him that it was just a reflex!

  14. kapgar says:

    My parents called my brother and I by the cats’ names.

  15. Losing Lindy says:

    in school my Algebra teacher called Matilda and I hated it. Of course my mom has called me the wrong thing numerous times. Sometimes I call V brothers’ names..and he is an only child

  16. Michelle says:

    I was supposed to be a boy…My Dad called me Mike for more years than I care to admit. LOL

  17. Nina Beana says:

    My stepmom (of 21 years) still to this day calls me “Natalie” sometimes. Natalie is my slightly older cousin. She never calls Natalie “Nina” though…

  18. Irina says:

    My mom ALWAYS mixes up my name with my sister’s (Sasha) and my cat’s (Dasha)!! Haha I find it hilarious when my mom accidentally calls me by my cat’s name. Typically, she goes through one or two names before finally correctly landing on mine. It’s one of my favorite quirks that my mom has and I love it 🙂

  19. Erin says:

    I don’t recall my my parents ever calling me by my step-siblings’ names. However, now that all the male “kids” in the family have names that start with J (Jeff, Jason and Jake) my mom mixes them up all the time. And occasionally she’ll call Jeff’s son Jeff instead of his actual name (Ayden). It’s pretty funny because she’ll correct herself and then add, “You know, whoever you are.”

  20. Stephany says:

    I can’t remember my parents ever doing this, but my grandparents would! There were a lot of us, so they always got our names mixed up. It’s a running joke now. 😉

    My brother will sometimes call me by his wife’s name. Ha. And I have called my nephew by my dog’s name. Yes. I have done that. Ha.

    Oh, and my grandma can NEVER remember the sex of our animals. She calls Dutch a “she” all the time and I don’t even know if she calls her own dogs the right sex! Haha.

  21. There are 6 girls in my family and I am the second youngest one. My mom sometimes starts at the time and calls off everyone’s name till she gets to mine. Ha, I just look at her and laugh.

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