Reading Boone’s post about the pronunciation of his name made me think about how people say my name….
I was raised as Jana with a hard J. When I got to high school my friends played a joke on our chem teacher and told him that I was a foreign exchange student from Czechoslovakia and that my name was pronounced “Yawna” (apparently I did not then know enough English to speak for myself). That nickname stuck and I was Yawna or “Yawna Banana” to my high school friends. I loved that name and how playful and foreign it sounded to my ears.
When I went to college I became Jana, hard J, again. Though I was rarely Jana to my ex (only in the most serious of conversations), I was not Yawna again until a few years ago, when my social circle expanded to include many European friends and colleagues.
I love being Yawna. Again.