Oops! I didn't mean to post the "Top Ten Cat Calls" quite yet, as I was still working on it.
But so it makes more sense, I guess I'll start explaining the #10 spot now...
#10 (reverse order - meaning the most hated, and the one in most need of 'splainin'): Rosita/Rosa/Rose
Let's start with my real name: Heather. It's an easy name to remember, right. And to pronounce - as long as your native language actually puts the letters 't' and 'h' next to each other. But what if you don't speak English (yes, English appears to be the only language that uses "th" as far as I can tell), then the name Heather comes out as "Heder" or "Heater" or worse by far someone trying really hard to get it right "He - an exaggerated tongue stuck out with some unflattering sound accompanying it and at times spittle -er".
I did a little web search on the issue: Here's a Q&A from one of those man on the street assistance websites. Someone took the word "say" very literally - and in my case it is the whole problem, but I don't think it is what "Q" was asking. (http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/113457/como-traduzca-el-nomhreheather)
"Q: Como se dice "Heather" en Espanol? (How do you say Heather in Spanish?)
A: To spell Héather in Spanish would be almost the same, except for the added accent. However, to pronounce it would be a little different. Since Spanish does not pronounce the "H" sound, and given the accent above the e (creating a stressed dipthong with the "e" sound) it would be "Eh-Tehr". Hope that helps!"
Uhhh, that would be "heater" - not what I want people to call me...
When I lived in Mexico City one summer during college, my name was "mofles.” Mofles is the Spanish word for "header.” I thought it was a very pretty sounding name - it brought to mind a gently floating butterfly. Until I started seeing the word "HEADER" in huge block letters on the sides of car repair shops. This image is common in Mexico and South Phoenix. It turns out people were calling me "muffler.” Which reminds me, just yesterday I was wondering, "How much could a muffler really cost? Why don't Dominicans find this to be a valuable investment?" I think they actually remove mufflers from cars and motorcycles here for fun. Dominicans like all things LOUD.
Back to names. When I visited Puerto Rico with my cousin many years ago, her Puerto Rican friends gave up the 'th' attempt quite quickly and resorted to calling me "Prima": Cousin.
In 7th grade, my first year of Spanish in school, the teacher called everyone by the Spanish versions of their names. James = Jaime. Mary = Maria. etc... Heather = uhh, well, there is no word for Heather (or so my teacher from Argentina said) so we will call you Esperanza. (Hope.) And I believed her until about a year ago when I decided to Google it. There is a direct translation. Heather = Brezo. Uhh, sounds like brazo = arm. And the 'o' on the end makes it sound like a boy's name. I tried it out on a few people here anyway...unmemorable. No one has ever heard of it before.
Back to "Heather." Dominicans, though Spanish speaking, for some odd reason are the only Latinos I know who actually can pronounce my name quite convincingly. But the majority can't remember it. Because kindness seems to be a natural trait in Dominicans, they absolutely try. I should say most try.
Since I wasn't too keen on Mofles or Prima (other than as cute stories to tell) for decades I have gone by "Florecita" with many of my Spanish speaking friends. Why? Heather is a small purple wild flower on the hills of Scotland. Florecita literally means "little flower.”
Three months ago, getting ready to sign the contract for my room here in Santo Domingo, the manager had a hard time remembering my name, and asked if there was a Spanish version. I told her "Florecita.” She liked it and told it to others that worked there - all of whom remembered Florecita...except for the manager, who began to call me Rosita. I tried correcting her a few times, but she said "same thing.” Technically yes and technically no. I asked a girl whose name actually IS Rosita if she would feel that Florecita was "lo mismo" and she said absolutely not.
Ultimately, I decided not to bother correcting her, because it's not my name anyway! Now, the manager says "Rosita" and then apologizes without my intervening, corrects herself and call me "Rosa.”
Most people on the fifth floor of Buen Pastor know me as Florecita, and I even wrote that on business cards for awhile. But I've now decided that if I want to work here professionally, "little flower" is not exactly adult-like or respectable. Anything with -ita on the end is for a child or for teasing or for tenderness. Not for a professional business woman. Additionally, if they can't remember "Heather" or don't even know that is my name, there is very little hope of getting them to my websites http://www.heatherjkirk.com/ or http://www.heather-kirk.artsitwebsites.com/.
That's enough about Florecita/Rosita.
I promise - the explanations for numbers 9 through 0 will not be anywhere near as long! Heather
Now that I've shown you my own pictures of roses, here is a link to someone else's closeup of a purple Heather flower. http://www.fotosearch.com/bu/CSP102/k1028893/