My name is pronounced SHAW - EN - TELL. It's French.

To preface this story, I ought to mention that my full name is Chauntel. In case that title didn't make sense.

In 2nd grade, my teacher Mrs. Atkins announced we were going to have a show and tell. On the anointed day of "Show and Tell", I arrived at school only to be approached by two unnamed boys from my class who exclaimed "I'm going to bring CHAUNTEL for Show And Tell!"

The punchline of their joke evaded me. I figured it was probably something really naughty, so I told Mrs. Atkins that I was being bullied by classroom male dominance on something as irrelevant as the name my parents picked out for me.

Once that dispute was settled, I approached one of the new kids - Christoper - in our class, and immediately dubbed him "Christopher Columbus HAHAHA SO FUNNY" for the remainder of the year, despite his repeated requests to stop. I can't imagine that he ever wanted to be my friend after that, but I insisted that he and his brother Ben be one of my favorite peoples for the remainder of our school careers and beyond.

July 24th, 2016
I'm an embarrassment to myself, but these guys are some of the best people I know

Anyway, Ben, Chris, and those two 2nd grade bully pals of mine were some of the few who knew how to pronounce my name. Here's the creative pronunciation record to date. Note: the use of "CH" is like "Chunk"
Michelle! (For reals.)
I once mailed a letter to my husband at work. The secretary there brought the envelope to him and said: "You just got a letter. I think it's from your wife?... Um, how does she say her name?"

I'd known her for about six months at that time, and realized now why she always addressed me as "Hey girl!"

It's fair to assume that once I dropped the "tel" from my name, people stopped addressing me by name altogether. :)

I actually did meet another "Chaun" once. (To his credit, his name was more authentic than mine.) I met him through the drive through as his bank teller. When he passed his license up to me, this very exciting conversation happen.

Chaun (me): Oh my gosh! Is your name Chaun?!

Chaun (the other): Yeah.

Young 18 yo Chaun: Oh my gosh we haVE THE SAME NAAAAAME

OLD 26 yo Man Chaun: Okay.

Her: I haven't met anyone else with my name. Seriously! Have you? Is your full name Chauntel? Wait, no, sorry, it's just Chaun right?

Him: *no response*

Lady Chaun: This is seriously the coolest thing. I've never had this experience with another person before. I actually did meet another Chauntel once but she spelled it with two N's. Like Chaunnnnnnnnntel. Isn't that a strange way to spell it? By strange I mean that extra 'n' really seems useless there. Did that sound mean? I didn't mean it to be. It's just hard enough for people to spell our name right as is! I'm not judging her. Her parents, though, for sure.

Chaun (the now unwanted twin): Honestly, are you going to give me my money or not?


Is your name hard to pronounce for some people? Or have you had mishaps with people of the same name? Drop your stories, I want to hear them!


  1. Hahaha! I love reading your blogs!! People have always been able to pronounce my name, however I was named after a man who is not my dad who thought he was. His name is "Michael Lee and he insisted I was named after him, hence my name "Michelle Lee." �� It wasn't till a few years later he found out he wasn't my dad. By then it was too late.... I've sometimes wondered what my mother would name me if it wasn't after him. I've talked with her about it and she said at the time she loved Rachel.. So I could've been a Rachel. It's all good though. How many women can say they were named after a man? Let alone one who thought he was their dad but turned out not to be. Must be destined to be special. ��

    1. This is Chaun, just google is being weird...

      Anyway, Michelle, you win most original backstory! Holy cow that is crazy!

      You're our favorite. Love you!


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