W is for What’d you call me? Yeah, Vucker’s not right either.

Note:  I’m running a bit behind on the A to Z Challenge – I’ll catch up!!  Also, there’s more than the usual amount of salty language in this one, y’all.  It was all a misunderstanding, maybe.

My husband has a very German name, Volker.  The V sounds like an F and the O, more like a U.  Like Fulker.  I know.

He was bound to get a German name, him being German and all.  His parents obviously didn’t consider when naming him that one day he would fall in love, move to the US, and be surrounded by a bunch of phonetically challenged people from Oklahoma and Arkansas who can’t make their mouths do “German sounds”.    The vast majority of the tongue-twisted are now his extended family.


He signed up for this voluntarily.

My family loves Volker (Did you read the Ode to Volker post?  He’s awesome).   They just struggle a bit with pronouncing his name.   A few examples…

Explaining his name to my sisters before they met him

Paula:  Vulkar like vulgar?

Me:  No, it’s pronounced like ful-ker

Sherli:  Fucker?

Me:  No.  Ful-ker.  Ful-ker.

Sherli:  You fulker, you brought her.  Bahahahahahaha…

Paula:  I’ll just call him F-100.

Sheli:  Oh my god, like Gaylord Focker?

Me:  Toss an ‘L’ in there and you’re getting warmer.

Sheli:  I’m gonna call him Folgers.  Is that ok?

Me:  No.

Sheli:  It’s better than Fucker.

Me:  None of you get to meet him.

Introducing himself to my father

Volker: (extending his hand) I’m ful-kar-hi-miss-hoff.

My dad:  Fuck her ass off?

Me:  Oh my god, what is wrong with you?

My dad:  (still laughing)  What?  That’s funny.  Sorry, fu…er…umm…Vulcan.

Me:  {facepalm}

I’m not sure why he didn’t run for the hills.  Somehow, he kept a sense of humor about it.   In all fairness to my crazy family, while butchering his name, Mom was making him afghans, Dad was taking him fishing, the sisters were telling him all of my secrets, the brothers were telling him secrets to survive the sisters –entry into the club was immediate.

Even so, at some point in the past 13 years, every niece and nephew has called my husband Uncle Fucker.  Until one magical day when I was video taping Hunter (he was two at the time) doing something cute and I asked him to say hello to his uncle…

Me:  Hunter, say hi to Uncle Volker.

Hunter:  Hi…Pickle.

Me:  You call him Pickle?

Hunter:  Yes.  That’s his name.

It stuck.  Now, most everyone in the family calls my husband Pickle.  He doesn’t seem to mind it.  I have to admit, it’s better than Fucker.

I could've just as easily been "Shrek", so there's that.

I could’ve just as easily been Shrek, so… there’s that.

Any crazy, bizarre names or nicknames in your family?


American German – language lesson #51

Wagen (va-gen) Wagon.  W is pronounced like V.  Van (fan) Van.  V is pronounced like F.  I don’t know if this applies to Voldemort.  That made me think of wormtail.  The German word for wormtail is Wurmschwanz (vurm-shvanz).  New favorite.


  1. Too funny and I can relate. The pronunciations I get sound like Tome (as in Mel), “Toe-meal,” “Tamale,” “Tortilla.” Don’t get it.
    Tommia recently posted…Saturday Snapshot – “X” editionMy Profile

    • julieyoujest says:

      Thanks Tommia! Tamale and toe-meal – wow. People rarely get Julie wrong. I get an occasional Julia or Judy but nothing too far fetched.

  2. My grandmother’s name was Lieselotte, so when she came to Australia she always had a hard time with people pronouncing it and spelling it. In the end, she just ended up going by Lil.
    Kellie @ Delightfully Ludicrous recently posted…X is for Xerophyte: or, the popularity contest between me and a cactus that I have no hope in hell of winning…My Profile

  3. It’s adorable that he has a special nickname dubbed by your nephew- so sweet!
    Kate recently posted…Xenodocheionology… say what?!?!My Profile

  4. Oh my god, the response from your dad had me crying with laughter…oh and I may have peed myself a little. 🙂
    Lily recently posted…A-Z Challenge – Y is for You gin soaked harpy! Wake up!My Profile

    • julieyoujest says:

      That kind of response sums up my dad perfectly! I pee myself a little more often than I’d like to admit these days.

  5. hahaha this was brilliant, I feel his pain! I am glad you made a whole post out of how your family pronounces his name…sadly my last name is so close to fockers…sigh 🙁
    Poke The Rock recently posted…Post I have!My Profile

  6. Oh, I love your dad! That response is priceless!!

    And “Pickle” is so stinkin’ adorable, I can’t stand it!

    I mean, the nickname “Pickle”. Not that your husband isn’t stinkin’ adorable, of course. 😉
    Kelly @ Dysfunctionally Functional recently posted…Z is for . . .My Profile

    • julieyoujest says:

      My dad really gets a kick out of himself!

      I’ll take Pickle over all of the alternatives – both the name and my husband.

  7. This is hilarious. Sorry I am so late getting to it, but I sure am glad I didn’t miss it. Glad your hubby has such a good sense of humor, and your dad too. Family reunions must be a blast.

    Rhonda @Laugh-Quotes.com

    • julieyoujest says:

      I have so much blog reading to catch up on! BlogLovin’ keeps shaming me. Thank God he has a sense of humor! He would of high tailed it out of here by now if he didn’t. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

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