ddhr.org | 2007 | 09 | 21 (1) about | archives | comments | rss

Hosier (4) Fri, Sep 21, 2007
My last name is Hosier.  It's pronounced hoe-zher, with a long "o" and a soft "zh" like the "g" in "judge" or "age".  It's probably French.  Or Scottish.  Or German.  Or Ethiopian.  Or any of the other nationalities my parents have claimed to be descendents of.  It's obviously related to the word hosiery, which is a fancy word for leggings or pantyhose.  A person who fabricates hosiery for a living would likely be called a hosier, though that's not personally what I do. 

The problem with my last name is that it's impossible for people to pronounce.  Especially telemarketers.  I've heard hose-y-er, hoz-ler (obviously a misread), hose-er, hoy-zer, and even hose-y-ay.  I've heard all the stupid jokes and comments about being from Canada ("You're a hoser, eh?") or Indiana (the Hoosier state), and even that I might be related to the founder of a company that makes performance car tires.  I've had this last name for long enough that I just accept mispronunciations as part of life, especially if the person is unimportant like a telemarketer.  Even with people who say my last name on a regular basis, like a boss or a professor, I rarely correct them.  It's just not worth it.  People are stupid; they won't remember. 

A wrench was thrown into the mix when Wendy graciously accepted my last name in marriage.  She's only had the name for the past three years, but she's already fed up with the mispronunciations.  We're casually thinking about a legal name change, either to something un-mispronounce-able like Smith, Jones, or Wilson, or a more phonetic spelling of Hosier.  Here are some ideas: 
  1. Hozure - Has the soft "z" sound, but might be mispronounced hoe-zyoor.
  2. Hozher - Seems phonetic to me, but people might be confused by the "zh" letter combination.
  3. Hosher - Has the sh/zh combo, but will probably be pronounced to rhyme with kosher.
  4. Hojier/Hogier - Again, people might be confused by the "j" or the "g".  I can hear it now:  "I'm calling on behalf of the Police Benevolence Association for Mr. Hoe-dgi-er?"  I'm sorry, I don't know anyone by that name.  *click*
  5. Hodgjshzhier - If people insist on mispronouncing my last name, might as well make it a challenge.
#language