Thursday, May 24, 2012

Say My Name, Say My Name

Okay, so our last name is Veitengruber pronounced: V-eye-ten-groo-ber --not that hard, right? WRONG! Here are some of the comments/questions/remarks we frequently hear when people see it or hear it for the first time:

  1. (Silence...nervous laugh)'re going to have to spell that for me. This is pretty tricky when several of the letters sound the same: v, e, t, g, b
  2. Oh, is that German? Or, that's very German! Yes, it is German.
  3. Do you speak German?? No, I don't speak German, I just married into it! 
  4. Wow, that's a long name.Yes, it is very long. (Usually I just smile and nod)
  5. Wow! That's a mouthful! Yes, it is a mouthful. (Just smile and nod, don't make a smart-ass comment)
  6. You married into that? What was your maiden name? Oh man, what a difference/change! Yes, it's double the length and difficulty of my maiden name, thanks for noticing because I didn't...
  7. Is that hyphenated? No, let's not make it more difficult.
  8. Teacher: Go see Mrs. V. Student: Who? Teacher: Mrs. (makes V sound).... and that's when I jump in and say Veitengruber. I love that every student knows my full name. :-)
  9. You're going to have to give your kids an easy first name since they have such a difficult last name. Several people have also asked my husband: Did you have a hard time learning how to spell that when you were little? He replies, "No, I wasn't stupid." 
  10. EVERYONE mispronounces it and spells it wrong, especially telemarketers or anyone over the phone
  11. G-R-U-B-E-R does not spell/say 'burger'
  12. I've noticed that children are much better at saying my name that teachers/adults, although I've got several different versions I'd love to share with you:
        • Veetengruber (the most common mistake because people pronounce the "e" instead of the "i". 
        • Veeten-burger
        • Vertaminburger
        • Vei-da-dooder - this is what one of my students started out as
        • Vei-da-gooder - this is what he now calls me
        • Vei-ta-mover - this is what my other student calls me everyday
        • Vei-ta-gruder
        • Vintengrober (written)
        • Vintergruber (written)
        • Most recently: Vipen-grouper
        • And definitely my favorite: Ahhhhhh-burger!
There are many more I'm sure, but that's all I can think of right now. :-) I've had people make up their own versions at work too, to mock it such as: Viagra-burger. 
Yes, my last name is difficult and people freak out when they see the 'ei' combination. I'd be lying if I didn't do a triple take at it when I first saw it as Tim's last name (and I probably made some of the dumb comments above, too!), but I wouldn't trade it for anything. You don't marry a person for their name, you marry them because you love them. And I so happen to LOVE being a Veitengruber. 


  1. Haha! Too funny! People struggled with my maiden name, Carmody. It's pronounced "car-muddy". Really simple, but people always tried to make it more difficult by often adding extra syllables or letters. Carmooody, Carmendy, etc.

    My brother dated a girl whose last name was Dobvrowolski (which is Dutch, apparently). She always joked that taking the name Carmody would make life so much easier.

  2. Nice post Mrs. Fight-n-grab-her!

    From Kirk far digger.

  3. Ha ha! My married name also seems to be difficult for people - Manarik. Like you said, people on the phone or grocery store check out people that are supposed to say, "Thank you for your business, Mrs. _____" always get it wrong. I think it's funny, so I play around by NOT completing my name for them....I just keep the silence gap there as long as possible until they spit out their version of my name and then I say, "Ya, that's fine". LOL! For the record, it's MAAAN-are-ick. Most people just pause, think for a second while humming "Mmmmmmmm" and say "Men-ARRRE-ick" =) Oh, German!