Posted by: The Saffa Mom | December 9, 2010

i need a name for this post….?

Do you remember your FIRST boyfriend? The first boy that made you feel all giddy?

Well, I honestly don’t remember if that is how he made me feel- but I do remember that he was my first Boy. We met in Grade 1. We went through the whole of Primary School, and High School together- however not actually TOGETHER (If you know what I am saying). I don’t know how long our romance lasted (my long term memory seems to have issues filing correctly), it was probably a couple of months later, but throughout our school career we were friends. I doubt we would have had “the talk” about seeing other people, or “it’s not you, it’s me”. We probably just avoided each other for a while, and hoped we would all get the hint.

Anyway this is not really a story about relationships, it is actually a story about names. It has merely been sparked on by this person, so I thought that a background might be nice.

Back to foundation of story, he moved to New Zealand (and I only know this because of Facebook) (Yah for Facebook!!). He got married, the normal trend…. decided on starting a family and kept us up to date via his status messages on how the pregnancy was going. (All from his perspective….which I am a 100 and 20% positive was not the same way his wife was feeling!)

And here we get to the “just” of my story……….

He introduces the world to his baby boy through facebook, with a status that tells everyone ALL the information that they generally ask. (I love Face book, cuts everything down).

“Welcome to the world Javier Logan D….! Our beautiful baby boy arrived at 7pm, weighing 2.87kgs……… etc”.

Obviously I wrote a beautiful comment, because I do know how awesome that feeling is! You could never possibly find the words. (And as they get older, you find that there are more and more occasions that you can’t find words- other than the dirty ones, so I inevitably start the counting technique. Remember, I have a 4 year old who believes that because she is now 4, she can do anything!!!) I also mentioned that I loved the name Logan…it’s my princess’s name.

I then found myself paused. How do you actually say that? J-a-v-i-e-r.

Try it.

At no point does it sound good. Keep in mind that we are all English Speaking South Africans.

I don’t ask. I mean how could you possibly ask someone that- you may have them going into panic mode after Birth Certificate on its way (a little too late. Could you actually imagine- next status comment- ah folks, we have decided to change his name! HAHA!) 

There is probably a very miniscule chance that I may be holidaying in New Zealand, so see it as a silver lining to this cloud of never knowing how to pronounce their little boy’s name.

A few days later, I realised via the status message that he had now posted, that I was NOT the only one actually wondering any of the above. His Status was:

“Thanks again for the well wishes guys. Some have asked for the meaning of Javier….”

I somehow think that was a cunning way of getting some more information (the askers)- perhaps the pronunciation, without being obviously critical. What do you think?

So “my first boy” continues with the meaning and the origin…. being Portuguese and Spanish. Here comes the important part:

“the Spanish Pronunciation is HUV-EE-AIR. Because his mom has some Portuguese Blood , the Pronunciation will be ZHUV-EE-AIR.

Okay- I think that it is awesome that they put so much thought into their baby’s name, and the fact that they found something so sentimental  (His name means “of the new house”), HOWEVER has anyone actually thought “what about our poor child?”

Let me just paint the picture….. here is my real life example.

I have a 4 year old who is learning to write her own name. With that she is learning the “sounds” of each letter. L-O-G-A-N. When I read to her at night, she wants me to point to the letters as I read…… the sound and letter are partners!!! She clearly has it easy.

  1. No one will ever say…”ummmm…..sorry… do you say your name?”
  2. No one will spell it “horribly” incorrectly (I say that because people have replaced the A for an E).
  3. She won’t battle to say her own name. Keeping in mind the fact that most toddlers battle to say their own names clearly.

Courtesy of

Forget toddler stage……..every class that this baba will start will be a “blushing experience”, as every child (and probably the teacher) try to work out how and why the sound of “ZHUV” is spelt “JAV”.  And that will be after JAVIER has worked that out himself.

He won’t have a choice BUT to be an extrovert!

Does it not make sense to just SPELL the name as it SOUNDS! (For the sake of all parties!!!)

Yes, it is nice to be different- but shoo wee, why complicate things! Do you have any idea how much explaining he will need to do…… in fact, do you have any idea how much explaining YOU will need to do (as the people who chose it)?

I have another friend, and when I first met her while in a gap year bumming in London, I spelt her name just like I said it.


Well, it turned out that was not spelt like that at all…………… was NIAMH. (Atthe time I didn’t realise it was the same person). I read that is “nymph”. Every single person I know that has read her name, has never pronounced it correctly the first time round, or for that matter if they have heard her name- have never spelt it correctly.

Poor child!! She is now 32 years old, and I am sure she still needs to explain- WTF! (She is a darling, you would remember her if you met her again, so you shouldn’t battle the second time round.)  

I am sure you can all think of one or two?



  1. Awesome…..hahahaha and congrats (I think)

    • Glad you like it my friend. What is the “congrats about?”

  2. I used to think sinead o’connor’s name was Sinbad when I saw it in print. I get what you’re saying. I say, call them all “Neeve” and be done with it.

    Nice post! 😉

  3. my niece is currently learning phonics and we have to undergo similar drills as well.
    well done!

    • There it is- my title- PHONICS!!! Thanks for that. x

  4. I am a teacher and I have to agree with everything you say! Javier here is French so here it would be Jav- yeah I’ve had Niamhs Siobhans Saims and Aishas, none of those are pronounced as they look. Then there are those names that come from other cultures that mean something different in English then they do in Urdu and the poor child grows up in western culture with a name like Assvee – the family calls her Ass WTF? I could rant on this topic forever, but I need to get to work.

    • I just read those names, and SKIP, SKIP, SKIP- not even going to try! Although i forgot- did work with a Siobhan (for all those who need some help- it is NOT pronunced SEA-O-BAN, but more like SHIV- AWN). Then there are also the few people i have met, which i had to actually write their names down, and look at my diary every time i had to chat to them….Zerika, Charnessa. I think writing them down (like they were pronounced) helped.

      Work hard bokkie. xx

  5. Funny story, thanks for the giggles!

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