Steimle. How would you say it?
All my life I’ve had to deal with people mispronouncing my name when they read it, or spelling my name wrong when I tell it to them and they have to write it down. I probably wasn’t more than four years old when I realized I should always spell my name out for people when I said it to them since they were either going to ask or spell it wrong. I can always tell if someone knows my family if I meet them and they say or spell my name correctly.
“Yep, you must know someone in my family.”
“Yeah, I knew the Steimles in Glendora…”
That’s how the conversation usually goes (my dad’s cousin Doug Steimle lives in Glendora and was the long-time owner/operator of the swimming pool design/construction company California Pools after his father Wayne Steimle, the founder, retired).
As far as helping people to spell my last name goes, I’m not sure there’s any way to help people out with that other than spelling it out for them. But pronunciation is a different matter. Most Americans will say “steemul”, “steemlee”, or some variant. Occasionally I’ll get a “stymul” or “stimel” which is pretty close. But probably less than 10 people in my life have pronounced it correctly (excepting those who already knew the name).
Most commonly I’ll tell people it rhymes with “timely”. I figure that’s a decent way to explain it. Timely Steimle. The only problem is that then people expect me to always be on time to things or to mysteriously show up whenever I’m needed, invited or not, and this creates its own set of problems.
So if you’ve got any ideas as to how best to explain how to say my last name, I’d love to hear it, or read it, rather.