14 Jan
How Do You Spell ‘Idiot’? With no ‘e’

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I have always spelled my name without an “e” at the end…as in, always. My husband’s family (we have been married for more than twenty years) still spells it with an “e” on every birthday and Christmas card. It drives me crazy! In the 2008 Christmas cards, I actually signed my name and put in brackets after (with no “e”). Guess what, for my birthday and for Christmas 2009, ALL the cards had my name WITH an “e”!

How can I deal with this?


Irritated by In-laws


Dear Erritated,

This has a simple solution: Begin misspelling all of their names too. Let’s say your father-in-law’s name is John. On his next birthday, write in the card, “Happy Birthday, Jerke!”

See how that works? You could even say, “Happy Birthday, Jerk (with no ‘e’)” since that seems to be a sort of calling card for you.

Or you could say “Happy Birthday, Jon,” if you would rather take a more tone-downed, sissy approach. But be warned! You’ll lose face with the Mouthy Housewives if you do.


Haehter, TMH

16 Responses to “How Do You Spell ‘Idiot’? With no ‘e’”


Comment by tt.

coming from someone whose name has an “i” instead of a “y”, i totally get how you feel. my family does pretty much have it right though after 40 years. but there was this one time in college when my own mother wrote me a letter and she spelled it wrong! i still give her a hard time for that one!

mom, again Reply:

my kid changed the end of her nickname from the i that I used to to y. I’m always getting it wrong, but I’m entitled.


Comment by Wendi.

Seems like the family’s being a little passive-aggressive, no? Maybe that’s their little way of holding onto their son.

They’re probably not going to change after 20 years, so my advice is to just accept it and see the humor in it.

Marinka Reply:

Great advice, Wendy!


Comment by Maggie.

My name is somewhat non-traditional, ‘Magen’. I always get ‘well, that’s weird, you spell it backwards’ from EVERYONE. NO, I spell MY name the correct way, the way my momma spelled it. It’s not weird and it’s rude to say it is.

Now that I’m in my 30s, I just go ahead and tell people to their face that they aren’t spelling it correctly and ask them to please try make an attempt at accepting me. Megan is NOT Magen. It’s not even pronounced the same.


Comment by Susan Mallery.

Some people just can’t spell, no matter what. They may be thoughtless but not necessarily passive aggressive. Passive aggressive would be if they were still calling you by the ex-wife or ex-girlfriend’s name 20 years later. Can you imagine?! Might have to put that in a book someday.

Susan Mallery
New York Times bestselling author

Sarahgat Reply:

Susan, this has happened to me.

I’ve been with my husband 20 years, his ex-fiance was called Gail my name is Sarah and he still has a friend who calls me Gail. And he was only with Gail a couple of years!! I ignore it but to cheer me up whenever this friend says it I imagine smacking her in the face 🙂


Comment by Sophie, Inzaburbs.

Let’s look at this in a glass-half-full kind of way. It’s a positive thing that they do remember your name! (Sorta).


Comment by miswiggie.

My name – Victoria – was shortened to Vicki when I was 3. Well, Vicki-Sticky because I got into a situation with a lollipop but anyway…

All of my relatives spelled my name “Vickie” for forever. Annoying. My brother, Robert, Junior, got stuck with “BJ” from Bob Junior, a nickname he hates to this day (and is the button I choose to push when in the mood). We begged our family to drop the “e” and to drop the “BJ” especially when we were of age to laugh, giggle or blush at any mention of “BJ.” Never worked.

So aside from flat-out saying “Is there a REASON you choose to spell my name incorrectly!? I’m wondering cause it’s annoying the hell out of me!” maybe letting it go is your best bet. But if you don’t want to let it go then I’d take the passive-aggressive way right back at them, and:
1) at the next family gathering pass out paper and a pen. Stand in front of a white-board and ask them to copy what you write down (your name, slowly, letter by letter) and at the end, in your best “speaking to a 4-year old voice” say “See? There’s noooo eeeee at the end? Got it? Nooooo EEEeeeee.”
2) Send back all of their correspondence with a note written on the envelope: “No such person at this address.”

=)Goode Lucke!

daynovel Reply:

Good idea. I’ll send back everything (except the tokens!) LOL!


Comment by Crisanna.

If you’ve brought it up and they sitll can’t seem to get it right, I like the idea of just adding an “e” to the end of their names to get the point across. Having no idea what their names actually are, it’d be fun if it was something like Jan and Tim (Jane and Time).


Comment by Miss Yvonne.

haahaa!!! Jerke. Classic.


Comment by kelcey.

My name is always always misspelled. It never stops being irritating. Great advice!


Comment by daynovel.

Thanks for all the great advice. I particularly like the one about adding “e” to all their names…especially as some of them already end with an “e”. That double-e just might make the point!


Comment by tornshoelace.

Passive agressive Cristina (with no “h”), here
I do the misspelling trick, not for them to get the point, only to make myself feel better.

After a while, it works and I feel fine just letting it slide.
I can’t tell you how many ways mine is spelled wrong
Chrissy (no kidding)
Butt Munch (oh, that’s just family)
Krystina(yes, somehow that’s easier than the right way)

You know, if I tell them all my nickname, they seem to get it right – I just say Stina


Comment by Ace.

My mom has always chosen “Debby” instead of “Debbie,” but her step-mother (my grandmother) always spelled it with an “ie.” I always knew how much it hurt her feelings to think that my grandma didn’t care to spell it properly, so I have made sure to do whatever I can – stalk people on facebook if I have to – to make sure I spell their names right. I save birth announcements and e-mails from in-laws just to make sure I spell names the way they want them spelled. I noticed last week that my older brother (almost 40) spelled my mom’s name with an “ie” and misspelled our niece’s name completely… It DOES reflect that some people just aren’t aware and don’t try to be :(.

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