Coffee Name

I feel your pain, Mad-Ah-Lynn

I feel your pain, Mad-Ah-Lynn

I have a challenging name. I am aware of that fact. At high school graduation, I had to write “(pronunciation: Ill-ee-ah-na)” on the index card that some random teacher would read to announce me and I was still worried he would get it wrong. The first day of class is always an interesting day of me learning how incapable most teachers/professors are at pronouncing my name. I have gotten everything from Eileen to Elena, Leanne to Aileena, and those are only the ones that I can come up with spellings for. Usually, when I order food or coffee or something, I tell the server that my name is Ileana, and they should just spell it however they think it’ll be easiest for the other person to pronounce. If I don’t give them permission to spell my name wrong, I have to listen on the other end of the counter for every possible variation of my name.

You’ve all seen (or been the victim of) this kind of ignorance: Just imagine what people with names like mine get written on coffee cups. It’s rough.

THUS, I have taken to using a coffee name. NPR did a piece a few years ago on coffee names (which can be found here:

So “Hi, Starbucks barista, I would like a tall caramel frappuccino, you can put it under Lilly.”


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