febseck [feb-sek], n – a distinct name that sounds a lot like yours, which people often confuse for your actual name upon meeting you for the first time
“Matt. Pleased to meet you,” says Matt, after being asked his name. “Ben?” she replies, to which Matt quickly responds, “No… Matt.” She thinks she’s got it and matter-of-factly confirms, “Ben.” Matt sighs in quiet exasperation before finally just giving up, “Yes… Ben.” I guess my name is Ben now. Sorry, mom and dad. I know you put a lot of thought into the birth name you chose for me, but it’s loud as hell in here, so the person I’m meeting has no choice but to read my lips, which apparently appear to be saying “Ben.” She has firmly decided on Ben and doesn’t seem to be moving on the issue. The mouth movements required to say “Matt” and “Ben” must be very similar. I wonder if this happens to other Matts too. It’s gotta happen to Brians and Ryans a lot. Shawns and Johns likely experience the same drama, in both directions. In my experience, the only name that people confuse for mine is Ben, and women make this booboo significantly more often than men do… although that might just be because I consciously introduce myself to many more female strangers than male strangers in loud places, which skews the statistics. So at the end of the day, it’s the public who suffers, really.
In the 1940s, Kevin’s grandmother, Mary Katherine, had a six-hour conversation on an airplane with a handsome, young actor, who she, due to her impaired hearing, knew only by his febseck, Gary Grant.