The Story Behind the LisaLise Name


It came to my attention recently that I have never written down the story of why I chose to name my company LisaLise.

And I wouldn't blame you if seeing an almost identical name spelled 2 different ways back to back brought forth thoughts of a split personality. There are times I have felt awfully split about my name.

But let's start at the beginning.

Foreign Born

A zillion years ago (last century) my recently married Scandinavian parents packed up and moved from Denmark to the USA. It wasn't long before their first American born child arrived (that would be me).

My dad, proud Norwegian that he was, wanted me to have a proper Norwegian name and suggested Gun-Britt.

(for real)

My Danish mom, fearful of schoolyard teasing (a girl named 'Gun'?!), insisted on a softer, more easily pronounceable (Danish) name: Lise.

She won.

(whew)

Little did she know that Americans would not pronounce the name Lise as every Dane pronounces it.

Little did she know this relatively common name – ending in 'e' instead of 'a' – would throw everyone for a loop and a half and cause all sorts of creative and highly imaginative pronunciations.

Forever.

Throughout my life I have heard
'Leez'
'Lee-sah'
'Leese'
'Lez'
'Lis'
'Liz'
or just 'huh?'

For years, I tried to explain and teach the Danish pronunciation (it's Lee-seh), but it got awfully tedious. To add a bit of insult to the injury, we moved around a lot in my youth, and more often than not, I was the 'new kid in school' having a brand new crowd of people to explain my name to.

I eventually gave up and just answered to any pronunciation and spelling.

My name became Lisa.

Nonetheless, my Danish roots were there - visible - every time my correctly spelled name was on paper.

Return to DK

In my late teens, I moved to Denmark. Once again, I became the 'new kid on the block'. But this time, there was something to be thrilled about. At long last, everyone would know how to pronounce my name!

Except.

I had just arrived from America.

And as luck would have it, the language of my childhood years had long since disappeared into the depths of my memory. It had to be re-learned.

And while I was re-learning, I spoke American English.

Naturally, everyone assumed my name was the American Lisa. And because they wanted to make me feel welcome, they all went to great trouble to pronounce my name as  'American' sounding as possible: Lee-saahhh.

Sigh.

It wasn't long before I decided to embrace both versions of the name and any old pronunciation of either version – it just made life so much easier for everyone.



Naming the Company

When my cosmetics-making started years ago, I created products solely for myself. As time passed, family and friends showed interest and started placing orders. The company evolved quite slowly over a rather lengthy period of time.

At one point though, it became necessary to find an official name.

But I didn't choose the name LisaLise.

In truth, it chose me.

'Lisa' got to go first, because 'A' comes before 'E'.


How to Pronounce LisaLise

Click the orange arrow for an audio of how LisaLise is pronounced



Thanks for reading (and listening).


Comments

Melinda Coss said…
Love this story whatever your name is :-). I was named after my paternal grandmother who died a week before I was born. She was a legendary battle axe who threw eggs at my father if he did anything wrong. Her name was Milly. My cousin, born a few days after me was also named after Milly but she got 'Mildred' - what a lucky escape I had. Taught to always arrive early for everything :-)
Lise M Andersen said…
Thank you Melinda! I think I would have liked your paternal grandmother. I might just consider taking up egg throwing as my next hobby :)
Jeri Kay Darling said…
I always wondered about your name. Now I know (maybe in a few years I will understand lol) I love a name that have a story to go with it! My dad's name was Jerry and my mom's name was Kay...here comes Jeri Kay. Was all good till the boy's starting calling the house and would ask for "Jeri"....most hung up after my dad answered. So I tried to go by Jeri Kay but....you know how that goes! :)
Denice said…
I feel your pain!
I'm DeniCe NOT DeniSe - it's pronounced much more softly.
Not sure where it originated, but I do know that mum and dad had lots of conversations about it and whether it was actually a name - so for 3 days I was Catriona! They decided they liked Denice much better as that's what I'd been for the first day or 2, so Denice is my name. I think they like that it worked with my sisters names JaNICE and EuNICE but also much preferred the softer pronunciation.
It was pronounced correctly by all my teachers and friends - though there was always the initial corrections to be made.
When I moved to England I pretty much gave up on getting it pronounce properly - I think most people thought it was something to do with my Scottish accent and so didn't bother trying. In Holland it was pronounced properly :)
Now I'm back in Scotland I get a mix - people who've known me all my life get it right and a few 'new friends' make the effort too. It's nice to be called my proper name again!
I do sometimes think people are just lazy and can't be bothered trying which irritates a bit and I hate when someone looks at a form and decides it's spelt wrong and 'helpfully' corrects it!

Lise M Andersen said…
@Jeri Kay - Oh I love your story about your name! that is so cool! Thanks for sharing!

@Denice - OOOh yes! You definitely DO know what it's like to have to explain your name! It amazes me how little it takes to throw people in regards to pronunciating.

@Rebecca - Bang! :D
Rebekah Osorio said…
Gun-Britt. That had me laughing out loud. X-D Oh those well meaning men.

Your company name is like a melding of your life experiences and heritage. I love the name Lise <3 It's subtle and gentle with class.
Lise M Andersen said…
Rebekah - When I am not shuddering at the fact that my dad ALMOST won the name battle, I can chuckle at it a bit too. Thanks for your kind words! :)