Tide and Christ and Shamilla, Oh My: What Is Your Starbucks Name?

Image by Cristina Costantini/Fusion, Edits by Alex Alvarez/Fusion

Working at Starbucks is a constant dance: from ringing up orders, to preparing hundreds of drink combinations made more complicated by strange requests like “Can you make that half-soy, half-skim? Also, I don’t really like my coffee to be too wet, so please keep that in mind.” And all while being nice to customers who can range from distracted to downright hostile in a store that’s often crowded and noisy. So I fully understand why it is that Starbucks baristas often get names wrong. But it doesn’t make it any less funny (or, depending on your name, endlessly frustrating) when it happens. It’s particularly disconcerting to deal with people constantly getting your name wrong because it’s in a different language (even if “a different language” means “in English”) and no one cares to, like, just ask how it’s spelled.

So, I asked some of my Fusion co-workers and our readers 1) whether they come up with special, easy-to-pronounce-and-spell “Starbucks names” when ordering, and for 2) examples of how their names have been hilariously botched. Here’s what they shared (I edited some of their responses for length and clarity):

Starbucks Names

Jordan Fabian, Digital Editor:

Cleo Fuller, Producer: “I go by the name ‘Kate’ or ‘Lauren’ every time because no one can handle C-L-E-O.”

Fidel Martinez, Digital Editor: “I’ve told a couple of Starbucks baristas that my name is Paco because it might be easier to pronounce. Even then, they’ve butchered it by saying PACK-o.”

Maritza Puello, NewsCore Managing Editor: “At Starbucks I’m Gigi. Simple and easy, that is until one barista spelled it GeeGeé!”

Margarita Noriega, Social Media Director: “I always say Margarita. The baristas love it. Sometimes they misspell it, but it’s a ‘teachable moment’ for them (and me).”

Diana Oliva Cave, Video Editor: “Even as a kid, my dad, Raul Francisco Oliva, used to tell the hostess at TGI Friday’s or wherever he was taking us kids that our last name was Rogers, just to avoid the butchered call out. (Olivia, Oliver, Olivera, etc.) So even as a kid, I was conditioned to do that. Now that I live in Mexico, we actually always use my maiden name at restaurants or doctor’s appointments, anywhere they will call out a name, since Oliva is much easier for the Chilangos than Cave (Is it ‘kah-vey’ or ‘kay-b’, never mind having to spell it out with a ‘v’ and not a ‘b’. Cave is so torturous here.)”

Clara Lucio, Digital: “Same as my porn name: Middle name and street on the name where you grew up: Alejandra (Ashford). Haven’t had any problems with spelling in Miami.”

Alfred Ryan Nerz, Chief Cannabis Correspondent: “I often go by ‘Roscoe.’ It’s become my alter ego – I even have an email for Roscoe Manning, to haze people with it when appropriate…”

That’s Not My Name. (clap, clap) That’s Not My Name.

Jose Cedeño: “Not sure if this helps, even though it was not at a Starbucks (I don’t drink coffee), I placed my order at a sub place in Ohio in 2002, and they asked for my name: ‘Jose,’ I said. how did they spell it? HOSEA!”

Jorge Rivas, Digital Editor: “I don’t make up names for Starbucks baristas. Instead, what I do to help them out is spell out my name. ‘My name is Jorge, J-O-R-G-E.’ But 50% of the time, when I get my cup they’ve written ‘George.’ And 90% of the time when they call my name they call out for ‘George.'”

Bianca Perez, Producer: “I don’t drink coffee, but I always get a good laugh when my friend Tye is renamed at Starbucks. She was tired of them misspelling her name so she tried the name Cher (because who can’t spell Cher) and they successfully misspelled that one too.”

Daniel Rivero, Digital: “I usually get ‘Dani,’ and I am actually considering changing how I spell my ‘Danny’ as a result. Maybe it does make sense, after all. Maybe it is me embracing my Cuban heritage. I don’t know. But at Starbucks I am Dani.”

Geneva Sands, Video Editor: “I always use Geneva, but I almost always get some variation on ‘Jineva’. It’s usually pronounced correctly though. My friend Roxy, is always Instagraming her Starbucks misspellings, my favorite was when the barista wrote ‘Rocky’ crossed it off on the cup, and re-wrote ‘Roxie’.”

Miranda Grossman, Homepage Editor: “I’m more a dunkin person, buuut if I have to go to Starbucks, they usually call me Amanda or Melissa. My boyfriend’s name–Jesus, well, that just seems to be hopeless. So he goes by Jay.”

Jared Goyette, Homepage Editor: “I have given up and accepted that my name is Gerry or Jerry in Starbucks.”

Ted Hesson, Digital Editor: “Tedd.”

Nicholas Dudich, YouTube Manager: “In Miami I tell them Nick and I get Neek on my cup.”

Emily DeRuy, Digital Editor: “Amelia, Ameli, Emeli etc. The best was, on a week-long business trip in Miami, I stopped for coffee at Dunkin’ every day. The same, sweet elderly lady took my order every day. She spelled my name differently every single day. I’ve never taken a photo (major fail on my part).”

Cristina Costantini, Investigative Unit: “Lord and Savior.”

Jessica Roy, Digital: “Last week I got coffee at Starbucks with producer Camille and she got ‘Shamilla’ on her cup.”

Fidel Martinez, Digital Editor (Yes, again. He drinks a lot of coffee): Now, mind you, this is a name that’s fairly well-known ’round Miami…

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