Monday, December 04, 2006


A couple of years ago I had a client named Jorge. I'm usually excellent with names and words from all different cultures, but for some reason I'd never encountered a Jorge. So, when I called him, I asked to speak with "George".

After a moment of pained silence, I was informed that his name was pronounced "Hore-gay." I truly almost said "You're kidding!" but restrained myself just in time. It took me a little while to refer to him as "Hore-gay" without snickering just a little. Call me culturally insensitive if you will, but there are some things that don't translate well (and this goes both ways, too!)

A year or so later I met a Jorge that pronounced his name as "Hore-hay." I added it to my arsenal.

Then recently I got another client with the name Jorge. Ha! I knew how to pronounce this one! I would wow the client with my knowlege! So, I called the number and asked to speak to "Hore-gay."

After a moment of pained silence, I was informed that his name was George.

Go figure.


Ted said...

I luv eengeesh

Ed Abbey said...

Before the "Do Not Call" list, I always hung up when someone mispronounced my name. All my friends and family knew how to pronounce it. Now, I usually listen to see what they want and still it seems like it is always a politician or other unsavory types.

Miss Cellania said...

Jorge. Thats one instance where you just can't win!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Ted, si, si!

Ed, me too! I have an unusual name and they often mispronounce it or get it entirely wrong. It's a great way to weed out the undesirables!

Miss C, you "said" it! ;o)

Anonymous said...

En espanol, la letra J es pronunciado como la letra H en ingles.

In the engligh alphabet J is spoken as "jay" but in spanish you would say it like "hota". G is spoken as "hey" in english. So like in english, the two letters have a similar sound (the soft G sounds like a J).

Therefore, Jorge sounds like "whore-hey" in engligh. Of course the W is silent, but that is because english is a very $#%%$#%$# up language. I do not think there is such a thing as a "silent letter" in spanish.

I have never heard of "Jorge" spoken like "whore-gay". I am not an expert in the language, but I thought to get a "guh" sound you had to write GU as in "gusto" or "Guantanamo" But not as in Jorge. In that case, the G would sound similar to the H.

But maybe it is a Spain thing. Spain spanish is not exactly the same as Cuban spanish, which is not like Mexican spanish, which is not like Colombian spanish, which is not like Argentina spanish and so on.

Kind of like how England engligh is not like American english. And New York city english is not like Alabama engligh. And Fresno Valley english is not like...well it's like not like anything at all! Cause like Fresno Valley is gnarly to the max! OHMYGOD!

Just ask Moon Unit Zappa.

Ed Abbey said...

I knew a German named Jorge who pronounced his name 'yorg' in one syllable.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Yorg kidding right Ed?

Sorry. Could not resist that one.

exMI said...

The first was probably Portuguese. (Or Barzilian)
The second a Sapnish speaker.
The third, Americanized.

R2K said...

Its "hor hay" not hor gay. Not sure who this guy was but he had his own name wrong. I am shocked there are not more hor hays in florida, maybe not your part of the state? I dont mind saying horhay, or jesus (hey zuess) personally. Just like they have to call us our names the way they are supposed to be. They call us Angel (not aaanghell) or george when we want.

QUASAR9 said...

lol! Saur Kraut
the first Jorge was having you on

The second Jorge quite incensed probably thought George is better than hore gay any day
though I hear Georgie or Giorgio is ok - if they are into fashion

In Spanish it would be WHORE HE!
as in he! of he-y or hell,
and not he! of hee or hip
but I'm guessing you knew, and
if you didn't hell now you did

green said...

I used to work with a Brazillian guy named Jorge, and the first time I pronounced his name I said "Hore-hay" and he said his name was pronounced "George".

Go figure.

AQ said...

LOL to Lazy.

Fred said...

Good one, Saur. I deal with so many names that I'm not familiar with these's confusing at times.

Anonymous said...

*L*...NO sympathy from me on that one! I have relatives that spell it Jorge and pronounce it both ways...try "Haime" on for variety *L*

Anonymous said...

It's all foreign to me...

Anonymous said...

You can't win.

I hate it when Spanish speakers get pissed off at you for not speaking Spanish--sorry! The nicest person I ever spoke with on the phone once asked me whether she should spell her last name: Martinez.

I was like, is it the traditional spelling of Martinez? Okay, I can handle that one!

Lazy Iguana: "whore-hey" is for studs.