Thursday, July 1, 2010

Luedeke (LEED-uh-key)

As you may or may not remember, depending on whether you’ve been a follower of this blog from the near-beginning, the whole post-marriage name change thing was very difficult for me. Very, very difficult.

It could have been because I was going through some sort of identity crisis.

It could also have been a fear of life-long commitment.

Or maybe it stemmed from the stress that comes when transitioning from one weird-looking and impossible-to-pronounce last name to an even more weird-looking and impossible-to-pronounce last name.

My vote is on the latter.

I had spent my whole life coming to terms with “Heinsch” as a last name. I knew all of its trouble-spots, and was armed with the right word equivalents should I have to spell it over the phone (s as in sam, c as in church). I knew what to expect should someone attempt to say it without help. I also knew it was 100% without a shadow of a doubt German and if you could pronounce Heineken or Heinz, you could pronounce Heinsch.

Luedeke, on the other hand … let’s just say the best pronunciation guide I was ever given went like:

“Luedeke. Like you LEAD A KEY TO THE DOOR.”

Lead a key to the door? It definitely wasn't the kind of must-have information I'd envisioned sharing with clients, co-workers and, sometime down the road, fame permitting, Wikipedia.

So, after over a year of living with Luedeke, I think I finally have a solution.

“Whoa!” the person will say, looking at my business card or driver’s license or debit card. “How do you pronounce that?”

And then, calling upon my European heritage and knack for languages, I’ll spit it back to them in a thick Russian-German-Norwegian accent, slightly altered, of course, for believability.

And suddenly, instead of being hard to pronounce and weird-looking, it’ll be very European and cool. And I’ll be exotic and possibly even a spy who has spent ten years encoding super-secrets within websites!

And people will not feel sorry for me or apologize. They’ll be envious.


  1. AWESOME amanda Still love your blog Long time follower lol. WOW im an idiot since i met tad i pronounced it Lay de Kay. (not lead a key)

    I am moron and i will forever have this held over my head forever

  2. i'll never forget my mom..."do you girls know this ted lou-deck-y that commented on johnny's status?"

  3. Aha! That's how it's pronounced. I did wonder...

    Heinsch is a pretty hard one too. German ones are usually hard. My last name is Kolmorgen, which you wouldn't think is that hard to pronounce or spell, but people have a LOT of trouble with it.

    I understand the want to sound like a Russian-German-Norwegian spy. :)

  4. Someone once told me they thought I spell my name wrong. Meuser--pronounced Moi-zer. I feel your pain.

  5. Ahh, thanks for sharing this. I thought it *might* be Luud-e-kee, but wasn't sure. LOL Guess I was WAY off!
    My maiden name was Schwirtz. It always looked pronouncable to me but people still mangled it. I feel you!

  6. Am I the only one who went from one normal (in my opinion) name to the next and still has to spell it every-single-time? Clemons. "Lemons with a C," I would say - only to see Lemonsc written on the paper. New name = Morrow. "Tomorrow without the to." Which is when you discover how many people misspell tomorrow.