Snappy comebacks for when people joke about my name
June 22, 2016 6:45 PM   Subscribe

My name is Joy. People often say things like "Happy happy joy joy" and "joy to the world" and "joyous Joy" to me. I find this practice insanely irritating (I know, I know, very first world problem). It's not just colleagues who do this, it's receptionists and delivery people, radiologists, baristas, people I meet in a social setting. It's like an automatic response when someone sees this particular name. Give me something to say that isn't serious or rude but may discourage them.

Joy doesn't shorten well. I tried getting everyone to call me Jo a few years back and this backfired because some of the people I work with couldn't make the change after knowing me for years, so half my colleagues called me Joy and the other half called me Jo. Now I have to repeatedly tell people I don't mind what they call me, or explain that I tried the name change because of that one guy who kept singing "Joy to the world" to me every time he saw me, even though I asked him politely to stop.

I have chronic depression (and/or resting bitch-face), and a lot of people tell me to smile (yes, I know women get that anyway) or that I should be happy because my name is Joy. I'm also on the spectrum so when I try to be serious about something like this (for example: "please don't sing that song to me, I find it irritating"), it comes across as overly pedantic and unnecessarily stodgy, which impacts on my relationships with the jokers, so my comebacks need to be lighthearted.

Finally, I'm thinking about collecting all the Joy jokes/quotes/songs/advertising material (there's a printed ice cream advertisement in Australia that screams "Taste Joy") and making a huge poster of them all. So please come up with more Joy jokes. If you include a comeback with your Joy joke, so much the better.

No need to tell me I'm overthinking this. I overthink for a living.
posted by b33j to Society & Culture (72 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Dryly... "Yes, it's an exercise in contrast." smize
posted by fritillary at 6:50 PM on June 22, 2016 [23 favorites]

Best answer: Smile politely and say, "Nope, just Joy. Thanks."
posted by HeyAllie at 6:52 PM on June 22, 2016 [7 favorites]

Best answer: You could correct people and say something like "actually, it's pronounced anhedonia"
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 6:52 PM on June 22, 2016 [72 favorites]

Best answer: "Actually, the 'J' is silent."
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 6:57 PM on June 22, 2016 [49 favorites]

Best answer: "Fourteen." Small smile. When they ask you what you meant, smile bigger, raise eyebrow: "You're the fourteenth person who's made a joke about my name this week." Then change the topic.

In all honesty, trying to successfully shame people enough to get them to stop without coming off rude...Cary Grant probably couldn't pull it off, nor Judith Martin. People say these things because people are rather thoughtless, on the whole, and apt to say the first mildly amusing thing they can think of when greeting someone for the first time. You can make the best poster in the world, won't cure a single idiot. You have far greater control over whether to let the idiocy of the average person bring you down.
posted by Diablevert at 7:01 PM on June 22, 2016 [15 favorites]

Best answer: "Wow, I never hear that one..."
posted by quince at 7:02 PM on June 22, 2016 [7 favorites]

Best answer: "Uh huh. [rapid subject change]" can be devastating.
posted by bleep at 7:02 PM on June 22, 2016 [12 favorites]

WHY do your comebacks need to be lighthearted? I mean, sure, the first couple if times you ask someone to quit it I could see smiling and saying 'please'; but by the third time I think the resting bitch-face and a cold "I've asked you before to stop that" (without pleases!) would be fine. People like that guy who's always singing 'joy to the world' are, yes, bullies, and there's no excuse for his behavior, nor is there any requirement you reward his bad behavior with your own good manners.

Or there's always a blunt, unsmiling "gee, how original (yawn)", then walking away.
posted by easily confused at 7:08 PM on June 22, 2016 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Actually, I prefer joy in peace and quiet.
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:10 PM on June 22, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I usually go with you know, you're the first person who has ever said that to me. And then when they ask, incredulous, really?, I reply no. The whole lot played completely straight.

My heart goes out to you. Mine is my surname so I imagine I need to call upon this comeback less frequently than you do.
posted by Erinaceus europaeus at 7:10 PM on June 22, 2016 [17 favorites]

Best answer: I think the "omg, you're the first person to ever say/sing that" is probably the route to go.

But also, it's okay to come off as pedantic and stodgy here. You're falling into the trap where you are trying to worry about the feelings of the people who are being rude to you. *cough* emotional labor *cough* Let them squirm.

FWIW, I'd never dream of saying any of those things to someone named Joy.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 7:13 PM on June 22, 2016 [5 favorites]

You're not overthinking this. It sounds incredibly obnoxious. I would probably just tell people to go fuck themselves. That, or I would laugh as loudly, insanely and maniacally as possible.

Also, if it were me I would give serious thought to changing my name.
posted by a strong female character at 7:18 PM on June 22, 2016 [4 favorites]

Best answer: "People make that joke a lot, but I'm actually named after the dishwashing liquid."
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:25 PM on June 22, 2016 [110 favorites]

Though this is everybody else's problem and not yours, how much work are you really willing to put into rebuttals or comebacks, and how successful do you honestly think this education will be? Yeah it's annoying when people make annoying jokes or "observations" about your name, but my research has shown me that people are, more often than not, stupid pieces of shit. You don't have time in your life to explain your position on your own name to everybody you have to give it to, so perhaps you could pretend you are e.g. Joyce?
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:33 PM on June 22, 2016 [6 favorites]

Best answer: "yeah, it's my middle name; my first name is 'Kell' -- you'd probably like my sister 'Enn' better, though. Everybody does."
posted by jamjam at 7:44 PM on June 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I really dislike the name Joyce for me. No particular reason. In any case, it'd double down on the confusion of Jo/Joy.

I know I really can't educate people. I do. I know this is an unwinnable battle. Yeah, I shouldn't have do the emotional labour, but my continued employment (I'm freelance) relies on goodwill. So I'm going to be nice. Having a few lighthearted comebacks at least lets me feel like I'm pushing back.

I'm loving the comebacks - they're awesome.
posted by b33j at 7:45 PM on June 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: It's spelled "Joy," but it's pronounced "Raymond Luxury Yacht."

Remember: if you have RBF you get to say funnier stuff.
posted by rhizome at 7:47 PM on June 22, 2016 [10 favorites]

I have a name that elicits similar issues. I just raise my eyebrow at the person with a mildly annoyed look. It doesn't happen a second time, and I don't have to say anything. But I am clearly a no nonsense kind of lady.
posted by Kalmya at 7:49 PM on June 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

As someone who also has a remarkable name IRL I sure feel your pain, but have no surefire come-back. I will say I no longer want to change my name, as I did when I was younger; I eventually made peace with it. And people remember me because of this name, which can be a good thing.
posted by Rash at 7:49 PM on June 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Learn to beat box (and/or memorize some lyrics) and hit them with some Rob Base.

Sunshine...and rain.
posted by sparklemotion at 7:57 PM on June 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My favorite comeback for this sort of this is, "You know, that was REALLY funny! *long beat* The first time I heard it."
posted by Night_owl at 7:59 PM on June 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have a foreign name that also makes for easy jokes. If whatever people say bugs me, I usually say something like "Oh, wasn't that clever!" with a smile and a condescending tone - usually that shuts it down. Since I spent time in the South, I also use "Oh, bless your heart! So original!"

These days I've kind of resigned to it, so I don't do it often, but it can be very satisfying.
posted by gemmy at 8:00 PM on June 22, 2016 [4 favorites]

Best answer: You've been given some nice polite responses. So here are the ones you say in fantasy land or when you really don't give a shit anymore.
"Joy? its funny, you make me feel just the opposite EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU DO THIS. But please, don't let me stop you." Or...
"I should be happy, as my name is Joy? Thank goodness we don't have to match our name to our demeanour, because you'd be called Annoying Asshole." I know it's not polite. But I'm pretty sure you'll only have to say this once... I feel for you.
posted by Jubey at 8:02 PM on June 22, 2016 [5 favorites]

"When you have something original please let me know."
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:16 PM on June 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

Your joke has been deleted: Double.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:18 PM on June 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: My last name can cause people to titter. When I sense someone is thinking of making some sort of pun/joke I say in a deadly serious tone, "I've been alive for more than 40 years. If you think you've got a joke I haven't heard yet, go for it." And then I wait, an expectant look on my face. No one has yet to take me up on my offer.
posted by haqspan at 8:22 PM on June 22, 2016 [18 favorites]

It's not a first world problem, it's representative of an obnoxious social problem. Perhaps you could perfect the blank stare to make people who say this shit sufficiently uncomfortable? Please don't ever feel that magling your name is something you should just have to get used to.
posted by _Mona_ at 8:26 PM on June 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: "Just you wait, I'll be "down in your heart" in no time!"
posted by yesster at 8:29 PM on June 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

"Also, if it were me I would give serious thought to changing my name"

Not even for a millisecond. No.
posted by _Mona_ at 8:30 PM on June 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I like the anhedonia response, but the kinds of morons who make such jokes wouldn't know anhedonia if it came up to them and urinated on their shoes.

Try just smiling and pretending you don't understand or didn't hear correctly. They won't find their little "witticism" worth repeating.

(You have all my sympathy. I have a name with a well-known diminutive that I loathe, and I really resent people who address me by it, which I find incredibly presumptuous.)
posted by tully_monster at 8:36 PM on June 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'd be in the 'just ignore it' camp. Why waste energy on people you'll never see again, especially if they don't mean any offense?
When I made a resolution, "Don't take offense where none is meant," I found it a lot easier to get through the day. I'm not very social (I don't even like random people to KNOW my name-- like the waitress who takes my credit card and calls me by my name? I don't go back to that restaurant :), but ignoring or pleasantly nodding makes it easier to be anti-social without any consequences.
posted by my-sharona at 8:49 PM on June 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: "I bet you wish you played the piccolo," though probably only to people likely to be Douglas Adams fans.
posted by lazuli at 8:52 PM on June 22, 2016

Best answer: "It's short for Joy Division"
posted by escabeche at 8:57 PM on June 22, 2016 [18 favorites]

Best answer: "Actually, it's short for [adopt demonic growl] JOIN US!"

"I will also accept:
Helen of Joy
Joys R Us
Joy Jogers
Joy Vey
Siegfried and Joy
The Joynt Chiefs of Staff
[and so on...]"

"My parents really wanted to name me Despair, but that's a boy's name."

"My middle name is Les, after my grandfather."
posted by Mister Moofoo at 8:59 PM on June 22, 2016 [26 favorites]

Best answer: Oh, and this is for when you don't feel like being "nice" about it. Peter Dinklage's Game of Thrones character laid and epic smack down on people who think that their "dwarf jokes" are so funny and original this past episode. (link has potential spoilers for events of seasons 5 and 6 but it's mainly on the level of who is still alive and where they are)

Could be good fodder if you ever want to go on a rant.
Everyone who has ever made a joke about a dwarf's height thinks that he is the only person to ever make a joke about a dwarf's height... you're all making the same 5 or 6 jokes.
posted by sparklemotion at 9:00 PM on June 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: From an anon commenter:
I really dislike the name Joyce for me.

Hello, I'm a Joyce, and I totally get it! People always want to call me Joy and I'm like, No! It's a totally different name! It drives me up the wall. (I also get called Dr. Joyce Brothers and Joyce DeWitt, but at least they're not invoking awful people. Oh, and there's Let Us Rejoice.)

When someone says something dumb and I want/have to be nice I just say, "Yeah, my parents thought I'd be a joy. Hoo-boy were they wrong!"
posted by restless_nomad at 9:08 PM on June 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Could you preempt them? "My name is Joy. Like Joy to the World." My name is a word from a common phrase, so that's what I do, and it works; nobody finds another approach for using that word.

If they are so annoying as to add one, I might even follow with yet another. For me, having the last word would be a small comfort.

"My parents really wanted to name me Despair, but that's a boy's name."

This is hilarious.
posted by salvia at 9:21 PM on June 22, 2016 [23 favorites]

Best answer: So, in college, there was a fellow Resident Assistant (RA) named Roland. Every time he would walk into the room, we would all break into, "Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'" (as if to start the ... Rawhide song.) Everyone thought this was great...except Roland. He'd smile politely, as I'm sure he'd done his entire life.

One day, at a staff meeting, Roland said, "Listen, I appreciate the spark my name creates in all of your minds, but I've lived with it my whole live. Everywhere I go, I hear the same thing, 'Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'. I don't mean to sound rude, but I'd appreciate it if you didn't do that anymore. I just want to me known by my actual name, which is Roland."

That was all it took. I remember the next time he walked into the room. I started to say, "Ro...," and then caught myself. My intent was never malicious, and Roland knew that. However, it wasn't until he bluntly told us all what he wanted and expected that we all gave due deference to his wishes. I suggest you try something similarly direct with your peers. It is not confrontational. It's simply stating your preference in a way that puts the burden of continued violations on the perpetrator, not you.
posted by metazen at 9:25 PM on June 22, 2016 [12 favorites]

Best answer: About the smiling bit:
"You know, you just made my day, seriously" Or:
"Why don't you act as an example? I could consider it."

About the Joy lah-di-lah bit, I like preemting them, but make it personal:
"My name is Joy and I've heard all the jokes, too."

Other than that, "My first name is Joy, and you really don't want to know about my middle name."

More generally, one could always meticulously fake indifference. People get very quickly bored by indifference of this kind (which is why I never got a nickname).
posted by Namlit at 9:27 PM on June 22, 2016 [3 favorites]

A withering look is worth a thousand words.
posted by yellowcandy at 9:29 PM on June 22, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: "It's short for 'Joy-in-the-brutal-murder-of-my-enemies'".
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:36 PM on June 22, 2016 [8 favorites]

Best answer: "Short for 'joint,' as in 'the.' You ever smoke a KJ?"
posted by rhizome at 9:45 PM on June 22, 2016

Best answer: "Happy happy joy joy"

From Ren and Stimpy? I can't remember any other lines from that show, I bet most people are the same. You could deliver a quote with some conviction and then look at them like they're supposed to know what to say next. Fight annoying with annoying. (I might go with "YOU SICK LITTLE MONKEY!")

I have a long-ish slightly ethnicky name that's not really that hard, but also not easy for everyone - the response used to drive me nuts enough that I'd mumble it, but now I try to say it slowly and properly. You could do that ("Yes - Joooooy. Good, yes, you've got it!")
posted by cotton dress sock at 9:47 PM on June 22, 2016

Best answer: "My name is Joy, and you only get one chance to sing the song, so if you're gonna do it, it needs to be full karaoke lipsync battle style, with some choreography, and make it count! It's your ONE CHANCE!"

Then they ham up their "joy to the world" rendition and everyone laughs and, it having been done and done big, it gets dropped. And lives on only as an inside joke.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:20 PM on June 22, 2016 [3 favorites]

I'm definitely not going to try to change your mind on this, as we feel what we feel, and I know that your question was about dissuading people from doing this. However, I wanted to share that my first, middle, and last name go along very well with my profession, to the point that it almost seemed destined to turn out this way. It's impossible to go very long without someone saying something. One thing that I noted awhile ago is that if people made note of it, it was more often than not a good sign that we were on our way to being on positive terms, as I realized that people wanted to share something of an inside joke with me. At least in my case, people are trying to genuinely do two things: 1) connect over a point of common reference, and 2) try to be a bit witty in the process. I realized that I could turn this into a bonus by allowing people this connection that they wanted. So while you are looking for a good response (and I totally get how this can be irritating), it might be helpful to figure out (since it's impossible to change the entire world) what direction you might be able to spin it in that could be a benefit to you, rather than a continual thorn in the side to contend with, so to speak.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:30 PM on June 22, 2016 [14 favorites]

Person: [sings opening bar of "Joy to the World"]
You: [sardonically, pointing to yourself] The bitch has come.
posted by naju at 11:33 PM on June 22, 2016 [4 favorites]

Best answer: with a slight smile: "you know everyone says that, right?"

or, very deadpan: "yea, I'm thinking of changing my name to Misery. Considering how wretched Joy makes me feel, I might actually end up being a really happy person"
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:53 AM on June 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: "Joy is just a name I use so people will try to cheer me up. Thanks."
posted by rhizome at 3:13 AM on June 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

My name also gets everyones punny juices flowing, and while it was annoying for a loong time i somehow just stopped caring? i find myself just going ha! yup! and change the subject. Some days when I'm feeling extra frisky i'll do some rob-bo-bob-banana-fana-bo-knob-shit back to them (with their name) and feel satisfied in me bones! And tell 'em straight up! see this is how it feels! but its daily!
posted by speakeasy at 3:37 AM on June 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Something like THIS, maybe - my parents' names actually are "Dick and Jane", and for years whenever I mentioned that I would get to hear a lot of "See Dick. See Dick run. See Dick run after Jane..." Kinds of quips. Finally I just started adding, when I mentioned that those were their names, "my parents' names are Dick and Jane, and you now have five minutes in which to make all necessary jokes." People would laugh - but they would rarely actually do it.

So maybe "my name is Joy, and you now have two minutes to sing." Would work.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:49 AM on June 23, 2016 [5 favorites]

I agree with SpacemanStix that if it's in connection with your job, it's potentially a very good thing. The person is trying to make a connection, however ineptly. However, having someone play around with your name can feel like a micro-aggression. Or even not so micro, if it emphasizes your social status in some way, which I think it definitely does when you are a woman with a cute/pretty name.

If it's in a social contest, and the person is really obnoxious about it, I say all kinds of weird shit in response. "Yeah I wish my mother named me [insert very dignified or even scary sounding name." "Heh, that's not my real name; my real name is..."
posted by BibiRose at 5:41 AM on June 23, 2016

You could be super mean: "It's after my mother. She died in the labour room giving birth to me, so I never knew her. I'm told she enjoyed jokes about her name though."
posted by prentiz at 5:41 AM on June 23, 2016 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Smile and say, Yeah I get that a lot! Friendly but let's them know they're being completely unoriginal.
posted by exquisite_deluxe at 6:17 AM on June 23, 2016 [5 favorites]

"Yes, I'm named after my grandmother." BEAT. "God rest her soul." SERIOUS FACE.
posted by whitewall at 6:24 AM on June 23, 2016

I have another conceptual name that is fun to make jokes out of EVERY SINGLE DAY OF MY LIFE. I wish I had changed my name back in high school or college, but it's too late for that now. Generally, I use the "ha ha, never heard that one!" and move on. It's always going to happen. I've been doing it for 45 years now. If you can change your name permanently to something else completely, do it.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:37 AM on June 23, 2016

I have a 'hilarious' last name like some of the other commenters here. It's simple enough that the dumb jokes started in kindergarten. So after more than 30 years I can't be bothered letting it pass any more. I will usually say "Please don't", "No thank you", or if I have no reason to be nice, "I've heard that one". Mocking someone's name is rude, and I personally don't care if you're trying to connect with me. To the folks saying that in a job context it's a good thing...

I've heard that one.
posted by prismatic7 at 7:39 AM on June 23, 2016

If you really want to torment people, you can try the old "I don't get it" route.

"Hi, I'm Joy."
"Joy to the world!"
"You know, Joy to the world?"
"Sorry, I don't know what you're talking about."
"Like the Christmas carol?"
"Never heard of it."

They'll think you're probably screwing with them, but politeness will prevent them from calling you on it, and they'll just start feeling more and more awkward until they're forced to drop the subject themselves.

People used to sing about my name, but I haven't heard it in a while, probably because the musical it's from has fallen out of popular consciousness. But if "Guys and Dolls" ever gets a new hit movie adaptation, Lordy I'll be in trouble.

I've never even been to Detroit.

posted by Faint of Butt at 7:49 AM on June 23, 2016 [9 favorites]

I worked in a place where new clients were generally under enormous stress and were really worried about how things would go. A solid 25% would make a joke or comment about my name just to try to connect or lighten things up or just because they felt awkward. So I would never try to make them feel uncomfortable about it but would instead tell them some other joke that I have heard about it. That worked for me. It helped to put them at ease and then we could talk about their needs more easily.
posted by SLC Mom at 8:55 AM on June 23, 2016

Best answer: I just want to say I endorse your plan to do this in a pleasant, friendly way and don't think you are somehow selling yourself short by going this route. Are these people being mindlessly inconsiderate while attempting to make small talk? Possibly. Is it good to aggressively shame your customers for minor social transgressions? No. Friendly-but-encourages-preferred-behavior is a totally appropriate response for a professional context.

"...oh, no, I'm actually more of the KILLjoy variety, but you know, it takes all types."

"...yes, my parents were really hoping it would stick, but I turned out to be just as cranky as anyone else."
posted by Ausamor at 9:46 AM on June 23, 2016 [5 favorites]

My last name is Birch, so when I give it people usually say "oh like the tree?" and I say "like the birchbark canoe!" I really like it for some reason, I think because it kind of makes it my thing now too? Maybe you could just agree that "The Lord Hath Come!" when people do joy to the world, or "I'll teach your grandmother to suck eggs!" when they do the happy happy joy joy thing? then it just becomes rote, like "hi, how are you" "fine, and you?"

I had a boyfriend named Adrian, and people would always do the Rocky ADDDDRIIIAAAN thing when they met him for the first time. He used to do this thing I really liked occasionally where he would give them a really blank stare and a little confused and concerned and say

"what was that?"

and they'd be like "oh you know, it's from rocky"

"no... what's rocky. what's it about?"

and then just a minute or two of trying to make them explain rocky and why this would possibly be funny, and then he'd just be like "huh, weird."

it was VERY awkward. Could you pretend you've never heard "joy to the world" before?
posted by euphoria066 at 9:50 AM on June 23, 2016 [5 favorites]

"I'll teach your grandmother to suck eggs!" when they do the happy happy joy joy thing?

I had to look that one up. Another Ren and Stimpy call-and-response could be to reply "it's better than bad -- it's good!"
posted by salvia at 11:13 AM on June 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have a similar name. Age 49, people still do this. Even people who turn out to be really nice. It used to bother me but I now just let them have their childish fun with it. It just tells you something about their moral hygiene. I gave my daughter a good solid name. Best of luck!
posted by hz37 at 12:32 PM on June 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have one of those southern two-part names, you know the ones (like Billy Bob, Ronnie Jo, etc.) that people outside of the south just love to titter about. I also have a profound twang that couples with the name to make people think I dropped out of school after third grade. And so what? Let 'em joke. One thing's for sure, acerbic slap backs won't win you any favors. There are some great, goodwilled, jokey comebacks above... and there are also needlessly harsh ones that I can't imagine anyone saying unless they want to be seen as an asshole. Judge wisely based on your own expectations.

My favorite, even when people say (unintentionally? intentionally?) awful things like "hurrr durrr how'd you get out of the trailer park?" (yep that's a real one that I've received), I just say, "Well, after I got muh PhD, my paw got me these here nice dress shoes and platinum cufflinks to go with my Nieman Marcus suit so I figgered I had to go out an' make sumthin of m'self." Either makes people laugh or shuts them up.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 12:55 PM on June 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

It's a fine line. If you are too lighthearted and jokey, they will think it was a fun interaction for you, and may try to top it next time. For this reason, I love the ones that call attention to their unoriginality.
posted by kapers at 2:25 PM on June 23, 2016

I like the non-sequitors that imply that either you weren't listening, aren't amused and have heard it all before.
"And my friend, Jeremiah, is a bullfrog" if they are singing the Christmas carol.
"The Lord is come" or Let heaven and nature sing!" if they are singing the Three Dog Night song.

It goes along with faux cluelessness, which is my go-to reaction. What's great about that is that my friends and work colleagues support me now by also feigning cluelessness. If you can turn to your colleagues and say "I don't know this song. Do you? " and have them reliably respond, "Not ringing a bell" or whatever, it's awesome. You may bring former offenders over to the right side of the situation.

My name is Elaine, and years went by when I'd introduce myself and jerks would respond by shoving me while saying "Get. Out!" thanks to Seinfeld. Previously they would bellow my name a la Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate. Now and then somebody references Lady Elaine Fairchild from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood when they find out I work with museums. Sigh...
posted by carmicha at 3:11 PM on June 23, 2016

Best answer: Those of us with names like this need a special gang sign or secret club.

Searching for "joy vs. happiness" gives this droll explanation: "Joy is a stronger, less common feeling than happiness." Served up dry that's a good response for all of those "smile more/be happy" comments.

A variation on the "heard it" reaction could be something like, "you know, that's the second result on google if you search for joy puns!" Nice and perky. Then back to rbf.
posted by mrcrow at 3:26 PM on June 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I'm a bit lucky in that most of the things people do with my name, I can just reply "Nope, just Roger" to.

I'm extra-careful not to do name jokes with anyone else just because of this.
posted by atholbrose at 3:33 PM on June 23, 2016

I think I read about this one here. It's now my go to for everything.

"Well, bless your heart." /murderous smile
posted by obiwanwasabi at 7:10 PM on June 23, 2016

"Makin' cop-ies!"
posted by rhizome at 7:18 PM on June 23, 2016

'Oh honey, you made a little joke. Good for you'. Say it with a strong American accent. (It's a direct quote from the 'Sex and the City' movie but I just love it.) Condescension is a vastly underrated thing.
posted by h00py at 8:21 AM on June 24, 2016

"People make that joke a lot, but I'm actually named after the dishwashing liquid."

My college friend, Joy, was assigned a roommate named Dawn their freshman year. You know that had to have been on purpose.
posted by MsMolly at 8:42 PM on June 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

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