How Does Your Coffee Shop Spell Your Name?

I went by the name Emilio this morning courtesy of a permanent marker scribble on my white paper coffee cup. Despite the general Monday lag in my brain I’m quite certain that I spoke audibly and clearly and broke my not-unusual name down into four exaggerated syllables: AH – MEE – LEE – AH.

But nope. The barista with a nose ring decided I looked much more like an Emilio.

It’s actually quite appropriate and fitting, considering that I’ve spent much of my life nodding like a good-natured dad at the receiving end of the same, stupid joke that almost every guy performs upon learning my name:


“The Mighty Duck man,” I always respond, but no one else seems to remember that part of the Night at the Roxbury quote.

But this is not the first time someone has misspelled my name on a cup. Often times I’m Amanda, which, despite sounding nothing like Amelia does technically begin and end with an “A” so I’ll give them that.

I’ve been Emily plenty of times before. I have a few friends named Emily, don’t mind that one so much.

“Amalya” — that ones more creative. “Amlah” — sure, why not.

Charlotte just told me she recently was re-christened “Sharmelotta” by her local Starbucks, which makes me think that her server watches either a lot of Game of Thrones, a lot of Pokémon, or perhaps both.

And then, as we fell deep into a conversation of the strangest names we’ve been called by our coffees, we were reminded of an old Thrillist post wherein photos of botched names were displayed.


Here we have “Chad,” to our left, and “Paul” to our right.

Now look, I’m not here to point blame at the kind souls who brew the very nectar that wakes me up in the morning. I need them a lot more than they need me. I’ve been told I mumble before, so 9 times out of 10 it’s probably my fault, and as long as the coffee doesn’t taste like a bucket of ass or you know, so long as they actually have coffee, I suppose they can call me whatever they want.

But I do want to know what they call you, because isn’t listing all of the strange names we could have had — if only our parents consulted with a cold brew machine rather than a baby book — a whole lot more fun that whatever it is any of us are supposed to be doing this Monday afternoon?


Your turn!

— Emilio “The Night at the Roxbury Ruined my Name” Diamond

  • Aly

    A friend once tried to go by his last name: “Mr. Yee” . . . The cup they gave him said “Mystery”.

    • Anika Zebron


  • Chelsea Leigh

    Hahaha too funny! I’ve definitely gotten a few ridiculous names before, usually its “Jessie” which isnt that bad…but come on..

  • Hannah

    My name is Hannah, never have I had Hannah but I have had: Henna, Emma, Anna, Hemma, Henneh and Anno.

    It does make my morning though!! xxx

  • itsGABBS

    best one by far: my name’s gabby–they loudly shouted “BAGGY” across the coffee shop. the worst part; I responded.

    • Curvily NYC

      Literal LOLs

    • Hannah

      That cracks me llllloollllll

  • Rebeka Osborne

    The worst thing I’ve ever got was “Micah” but a few weeks ago someone actually spelled my name correctly (Rebeka) on my coffee cup and it was the happiest day ever.

    • Farah

      LOL! I am sure that sales person was NEW-NEW in this bussiness.

  • Alex Poirier

    I’ve always had the feeling that this was just a brilliant marketing scheme whereby they purposely spell names wrong so people will post pictures of their botched names (and therefore also their Starbucks coffee cup!) all over their instagram/facebook/twitter. Brilliant free advertising, really!

    • Amelia Diamond

      You, Alex, have just blown my mind.

    • Modupe Oloruntoba


  • I can’t count the number of times I’ve said “Sarah with an h” and I get Shara. Really?! Haha!

    • Amelia Diamond

      Have youu seen the Jimmy Fallon skit “Sara — no H. Ew.” It’ so funny. My fake ID was named Sarah with an H though!

      • No! I’ll have to check it out…anything by Jimmy Fallon is hilarious!! 🙂

      • Natalie


  • Courtney

    The most ridiculous I’ve gotten is Chorty for Courtney….

  • Jocelyn

    Love this post. My name is Jocelyn and I’ve learned through my starbucks orders that there are countless ways this name can be spelled. Joshlynn, Joselin, Jossilen, it’s always a something new!

  • Guest

    here it is Montse in Chile (in London I would get Monster for sure)

  • Guest

    This is Montse in Chile (in London I would get Monster for sure)

  • When I was in New York, I was giving a new name each time I was ordering a coffee, they would have never been able to spell “Carole” right. So I was either Penelope, Carrie or Joy!

    Mafalda ❤

  • Quinn Halman

    I know Quinn isn’t the most common name but when you do recognize that it is my name, don’t forget that a U will always come after Q. So no, my name is not Qin

  • I have never had a coffee in my life but I love the smell!

    • Amelia Diamond

      I don’t want to tell you that you should join the dark side, buttt….

      • Grace Cottrell

        Haha I might have to give one a try then !

  • Joey

    This is sooo funny..I have the same problem.. I’m a girl called Joey and tons of times I Joe..seriously?! 😀

  • Emily

    My name is Emily and they ALWAYS write Amelia. Every time, without fail.

    • Amelia Diamond

      what? let’s switch starbucks.

  • Charlotte Fassler

    “Sharlet” is a common one as well…

  • Esther & Grace

    Funny post. Usually people spelled my name “Ester” although it’s spelled “Esther.”

  • ilean for Eileen.

    • Amelia Diamond

      no!! hhahah

  • Sadhbh

    My name is Sadhbh… I don’t even bother!

  • ienard118

    My friend Emory always gets back the weirdest spellings! Emary, Amory, Amery, Emarie, etc.

  • Stephanie

    My dad’s name is Phil, and it’s terribly disappointing/sad how frequently people write his name as “Fill.” C’mon.

  • JAZZ. Every time.

  • leonorjr

    my name is Leonor. I just tell them Leo, unless I want to have fun and see what they write. sometimes, when I am feeling extra sassy, I say “Princess”

    • Amelia Diamond


  • I’ve done Elle, spelled it out. I got L…I get Mitchell a lot when I say Michelle. My friend is Jillian…they pretty much put anything. Today my friend who’s name is Wilson…got Jose on his cup. It’s hilarious at this point.

  • Melissa Gagliardi

    My favorite was when they spelt my name “me52” instead of Melissa…

  • Melody

    melody will forever be “melanie” :((((

    • Melanie

      I’m Melanie and I always get Melody or Melony. Not just at the coffee shop; everywhere!

  • Soledad A. Race

    Just imagine their faces ( and the results on the coffee cup) when I tell them my name is Soledad… Endless possibilities… I gave up and from now on at Starbucks I am Trish

  • Jen

    Obviously they do not like my complex orders.

  • Míriam

    My name is Míriam. I have spelled it on many occasions. I still get MEDIUM. At first it was funny, now it really pisses me off (oh really? Medium? like in Small-Medium-Large? Yeah, sure)

  • Kori G

    Hahahaha the accuracy of this post is incredible. It’s safe to say that my name has never been spelled correctly by a Barista.

  • my name is Tannya. but usually I order with “Anya” just to quick things up. most baristas got it right. some even draw heart <3

  • Angie K

    Prabal Gurung posted a 3×3 Instagram of his experience!

  • Vanessa

    Once when I was asked for ‘my name for the cup’ I made direct eye contact with the nice cashier and said “Vanessa”. I didn’t expect her to look what I thought was disgusted by my name, until I was waiting for my drink and the barista started calling out “V.. Vilas?” and I realized that I was now Vilas. Long live Vilas.

  • Celina

    I was Celine, Selina, Selena before

  • Ella, Emmaline, Emily, Emmalee, Ema….but rarely, uh, Emma.

  • #TBT on a Monday…..

    Phonics, man.

  • Bryanna Bean

    My name is Bryanna, which, for my name, is an unusual spelling; I’ve gotten my fair share of ‘Brianna’s and ‘Breanna’s. After being sick of having my name misspelled and mispronounced (short a sound, not short o sound), I decided to tell the barista my name was Anna… Easy, right? Four letters, basic name, no fuss. HA. I’ve gotten Anna twice in the two years I’ve been using my latte alias, and have gotten Hannah, Anne, Annie, and best of all, Bran. I’ve given up and started taking life as it comes (as long as it has an extra shot).

    -Bryanna (or Anna or Bran or whatever the fuck else you can think of)

  • Tegan

    Tigan, Teaghean, Teegan. Tican. It’s not that hard, I swear!

  • Oh, I’m jealous! I’ve been to the famous name-spelling coffee shop only once so far, in Versailles of all places, and the moment it became obvious I had never done Starrbocks before, that nice French girl developed a strong dislike for me and got all nervous and she spelled my name … correctly. And my husband’s too.

  • Tinkerbell Jayne

    I genuinely believe its a secret game that Starbucks staff are contracted to play, just screwing up everyones name on purpose to the delight of the corporate head quarters. Maybe they have a poll every week, and the best ‘Worst Name Screw Up’ wins a prize, like a fancy pen or something
    x Tink x

  • Hahaha! I love this. I am an expat living in Taiwan and my name- Jackie- is a male’s name in Asia. I am a female. Therefore the first time I told the Starbucks barista “Jackie,” she looked perplexed and declared me to be “Jessy.” So for the past two years, every time I go into my neighborhood Starbucks I get a chorus of “HELLO JESSY!” And I kinda like it.

  • Amalia

    Ok, for me it’s the opposite, my name is Amalia and 90 per cent I got Amelia….once even Natalia………¬¬

  • Well I’m called Cajsa, which nobody ever spells right, think I got “Cassie” last time I was NYC. Not too bad 🙂

  • Ellie Clinch

    I always love finding out what name I’m given that day, Ellie seems to turn unto Ally, Alley, Aley, Emely, Emily, Ellis, LA (I think that one was my fault though because I tried to sound out my name…) and ever so occasionally Ellee.

  • fantastic bobo woman

    I have a name that most people have never come across before, so I usually pick a completely fictional people-friendly name. Sometimes I’m a Mary, and other times I’m Kelly.

  • My name is Ardena, but I have NEVER received a paper cup with my true name written on it. Instead I’ve had Adrianna, Sabrina or even Sardina… :/

  • Cecilia

    With your spelling I’d write not Emilio, but AMILIA, the correct spelling in Italian is A-Ancona M-Milano E-Empoli L-Livorno, I-Imola A-Ancona!!!

  • ilianavillafan

    i almost don’t understand why people make such a big deal about it anyway. you get the drink in the end. it was a bit funny at first but now its like ooooh how funny will my name be botched today maybe i can post it on my instagram hashtag complicatednameproblems

  • Erika

    I tend to get America. Yes, really.

  • A

    “Anus”. The name is Anoosh. I have photo proof of this somewhere but couldn’t locate, been a while.

  • Several baristas, better at coffee making than spelling and/or listening, think Barbara is spelled M-A-R-G-A-R-E-T.

    Bonus points for when they ask your name, then shout out your coffee order when the drink is ready, not your name.

  • Sabine

    My ex-boyfriend Norman got a “Lorma” on his Domino’s Pizza.

  • Hahahahahaha this happens to our assistant all the time! They always write “Brat”….. real name “Brett”.

  • My Scottish accent totally throws them… I stick to bob. They just roll their eyes at me! lol!

  • Octavia Burgel

    My name is Octavia (pronounced Oc-tah-vee-ah) which I’ll admit is difficult. Though I’ve never had it misspelled it always takes a good ten minutes for any barista to understand me.

  • Marta

    I’m Martha and what I’ve got was Norta and Margot. The second one was fine, but the first WTF?

  • Andy

    Yesterday Andrea = Audriya but the coffee was amazing!

  • adelene

    my name is Adelene, so I get ‘alene, adeline, ardienne… then I tell them ‘Addy’ and get ali, abby, annie, and the worst ‘aday’. Thanks Starbucks.

  • Modupe Oloruntoba

    This is hilarious… not many (if any) coffee shops in Cape Town bother with putting people’s names on their cups; commercial coffee culture is young here so we don’t have queuing-around-the-block vibes for a morning fix at Rosetta, Truth, or Vida e Caffé. But reading all the mistakes in the comments is super fun 😀

  • Julie Meowmeows

    Without fail, I get Judy instead of Julie. Do I look like a 76 year old woman?

  • Cristina

    My friend’s name is June, she always gets Yun

  • check out my blog post on this same thing !! beat ya to it tho !! last wednesday :p !!!

  • oyoy

    my name is OYA

    • Amelia Diamond


  • LexoRexo

    Alexis once became Lester. Lestaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

  • Erica

    My name is Erica and I’ve gotten “Airicka” and “Erykah”

  • Verena

    My name is Verena & so far I got: Rowino, Ruby, Ferino and – my favorite: eVaniva (yes, including the small e)

  • Boy Elvis

    That’s almost as sad as this:

  • Bettina

    PATINA, which is a bit of a problem…once you are over 40ty
    I thought this was due to “lost in translation”, I am german and the starbucks where it occured was in Ca… well I am gaining back my confidence, concerning my english and my age – thanks

  • PS

    So true I saw a woman of a certain age named Pat got a cup that said Bat.

  • Rosaly

    You should just start saying your name is Beyonce!

  • Hannah Cox

    Hahaha. I am sure the people in Starbucks make their decision on what they are going to call you before they even ask most the time 🙂

    Hannah x | lovelettersandsnippets

  • Andrea

    The best I had was Angria…my name is Andrea. Became a HUGE joke around the office and now if I ever I disagree with anything, they tell me “Uh oh, Angria has emerged!”

  • Anika Zebron

    Granted my name is a bit unconventional, but I was still surprised by “Anilla,” which when I thought about it, just might have to end up as part of new kid’s book project, “The Adventures of Anilla the Gila Monster.” So that should be fun.

  • Madelyn Rosario

    I tell them it’s Maddie and they give me Patty. Something is wrong with that.

  • Ladysupermarket

    Once a friend called Lucy got his breakfast as Loosie. It was awesome

  • My name is Demelza, which basically means I am asking for trouble… Most of the time I get Esmeralda, once had a Damsel, and often am greeted with an eye roll or a sigh and a “I’m just gonna call you ‘D'”

  • Teaghán

    My name is Teaghán (tea-gen). I get some of the strangest misspellings. The most common one is Tegen or Tegan which is the “common spelling” for my name. But one time I had a barista spell my name Teagain which I found odd