how do you spell your last name

On those rare occasions I have to talk to a live customer service representative, with almost everything going self-serve or going online, I’ve rarely ever had someone who knew how to spell my name. Here’s the script I have been using as of late:

My name is DJ Chuang — first name is DJ as in “disk jockey”, and last name Chuang, spelled as “Charlie Help Uncle Apple Nickel Google”.

I don’t have the phonetic alphabet down cold, nor the script. So I’m open to suggestions — add a comment.

Reminds me of a story of a real person whose last name was Fu. And when he spelled it out by just pronouncing each letter, some CSRs got offended!

What do you do to spell out your name?

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14 Responses

  1. I use the NATO phonetic alphabet to spell my surname… otherwise I get MASSEY or MATTIE.



  2. i can just imagine what it must have been like for the person whose last name is Fu. he or she must have smiled each time someone asked them to spell their last name. what about Charlie Hid Uncle Andrew’s Nail Gun? just a thought. i like your script especially the dj part. my last name is grant so i just say “as in grant you a favor”. i constantly have to repeat my first name which is kingsley. i need to work on “sumn’ myself.

  3. tom says:

    yep…i have that issue too…all the time. the first part is a sinch… t o m. its the last that i use a modified NATO phonetic… Robert Ocean Edward Paul King Edward.

  4. dj, you have hit upon a sore spot… you have no idea..

    the horror!

  5. Jenn says:

    My maiden name was verbally spelled: “R A N, as in Nancy, W E Z, as in zebra” It’s a little easier now: “H A M, as in Mary, E L.” 🙂

  6. betsy says:

    both my last names are pretty common/straightforward (though we still get Hemmings a lot), but at least once a day for the past 17 years I’ve uttered the phrase “two word last name, space no hyphen”. I can’t tell you how many people said to me, “Oh, you’ll give it up – in a year, you’ll be so sick of correcting people that you’ll just use Henning.” They underestimated my stubbornness, apparently.

    Recently my two-and-a-half-year-old has begun proudly announcing to anyone who will listen “I’m IanMitchellHenning!” and slapping his chest. No hyphen indeed.

  7. daniel so says:

    DJ — I love this post! You wouldn’t believe the trouble I’ve had with my two-letter last name. The most confused CSR I spoke to asked if my last name was “Soesso” because I first said it (“So”) and then spelled it (“S-O”). Once I received some junk mail addressed to “Daniel Sieuw” — I guess two letters felt a bit short?

  8. purpose says:

    how does this topic represent your faith?

  9. MaxT says:

    MAX – like the Roach Spray
    T – O – double-R – E – S

  10. the basketball arena (where the 76ers play) used to be called the First Union Center. It became a running joke on sports radio.

    I say “Eng- like in England.” Yes, I have my own nation. Or theme park.

  11. ray says:

    i am trying to spell a name, its grousendorf, i don,t think this is the right spelling. its a last persons last name, and i believe it is german, if anyone who knows please e-mail me,thank you

  12. mell says:

    thats gay. i wanna know how to spell england in german

  13. Samson Fu says:

    Haha my last name is Fu. And yes, I've gotten lots of weird looks when I spell it. Now I've learned to spell it “F as in Frank, U as in Uncle” (even when I give out my email address at work), so it isn't so overt.

  14. free says:

    my name is mahdi. my last name is mahdiei. i’m electronic engineer of iran.i’m 27 years old. i have 1 brother and 1 sisters. now i wearing gray pajamas. i go english institute every day. i can speak english very bad but i can write english very well.
    see you later……….