On a recent trip to Starbucks with my daughter, I learned she has a Starbucks pseudonym.

She tells them her name is Mary.

It makes sense. She has an uncommon name. One that is typically difficult to pronounce, especially when you factor in the coffee shop chatter and the hiss of steam from the machines.

So, she says Mary to avoid playing several rounds of WHAT?? with the barista.

I totally get her predicament. You probably do too. Saturday Night Live recently did a Starbucks skit that had a Marsha getting a latte that read, Shar Shar.

Seeing what ends up on my own Starbucks cup has turned out to be kind of entertaining.

I kind of get a tiny zing of anticipation as the barista poises the Sharpie marker over the cup. What will they write?

coffee funny quote_opt


starbucks coffee fail 3_opt

starbucks coffee fail_opt




starbucks coffee fail 2_opt

starbucks coffee name_opt

This barista started with COLEOO. Then, second guessing himself, he showed me the cup.

I corrected him. This is what he came up with.

Close. πŸ™‚


Do you use a different name when you order? Does your name ever getΒ misspelled?

I love lattes–what’s your favorite coffee shop drink?

Have a great week!






69 thoughts on “What’s Your Starbucks Name?

  1. Marcy Kennedy

    I’m really surprised that they don’t get your name right.

    I’ve never actually been to a Starbucks where they write your name on the cup though. You either just wait while they make it or they call out your order (venti non-fat mocha latte no whip for example). Maybe that means I’ve never been to a Starbucks that was busy enough for them to need to write names on the cups?

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      It’s funny. Some stores seem to do the name thing regardless of the traffic. And I’m surprised that they mess up my name too. I just figured I’d get 2 Ls and that’s it. πŸ™‚

  2. Tameri Etherton

    I might start using Shar Shar! That’s an awesome Starbucks name and, come to think of it, Club name. Hmm…

    Oh, I get all kinds of names. Jameria, Terri, Terry, Tammy, Tamara, Skip. The list goes on. My fave drink used to be non-fat caramel macciatto no foam, but since coffee and I broke up, now it’s non-fat chai latte no foam. Although, I haven’t been to a Starbucks since the holidays (they use a syrup for their chai). I usually go to Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. They have real tea chai and it’s delish. I think I’ll go today and see what name they come up with. But I’ll have to try a new once since they know me at the local shop. πŸ™‚

  3. Ginger Calem

    Why, they really have some interesting ways to spell your name. So funny. When I write your name I have to remind myself you only have the one ‘L’. πŸ™‚ Starbucks mostly gets mine right. Sometimes they do want to start it with a J. *shrug* Your daughter is very smart. I think it would be fun to try on a new name, like a starbucks persona. You could be a whole new person, only in Starbucks! In fact, that would be a great component to a novel. πŸ™‚

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      The two L thing I’m used to, but I rarely get it. I just get all these other weird spellings! It’s funny they would mess up ginger too. And you’re right, would be a good story starter!

  4. Clay

    No, I don’t have a Starbucks name – but it is not a bad idea! I usually use a personal cup so they don’t ask. I favor a ‘black eye’ coffee with 2 shots or a caramel frap – when I want something sweet.

  5. Melinda VanLone

    I’m so disappointed! My local Starbucks hardly ever asks me my name. They just write the drink on there, and when it’s done they call out the drink name. “Grande Mocha Light”…that’s me lol.

  6. Bill Parker

    I love this, and having the most understandable and pronounceable name in the world, I think I’m going to start giving them a pseudonym that’s HARDER to spell, just for fun. Claudio, perhaps, or Thelonious.

    Or I could move to Mexico. A guy I Internet-know who is British but lives in Mexico City has done something very similar to this, having found that Mexican Starbucks employees don’t come across “Craig” very often: http://flipflopflyin.com/wreck/

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      Yes, Bill,Mary, Joe…all perfect pseudonyms. Thanks for sharing the link. I love the one with the drawing of him instead of a name. It’s like the barista just gave up!! πŸ™‚
      And Thelonius would be awesome.

  7. Julie Glover

    How funny! I’ve never thought about it. They manage to get my name right, although some try to spell it like the month–July. And I don’t drink coffee; it’s tea or hot chocolate for me.

  8. Debra Kristi

    First, WOW! Thanks for the awesome plug at the end of your post. Way cool of you. Your link is broken, though. Second, the name club is totally fun. My daughter is at the age where she likes to order for herself. They always double check her name and verify how to spell it because you don’t hear it that often. It’s making a comeback, but she is at the forefront of the trend. Trend setter that one. πŸ˜‰ Is it horrible to tell you I have a collection of four Starbucks cups beside me right now? I let them accumulate through the week with a thought in mind. After reading this post I had to check. Two have my name, two don’t. Of the two that do, neither are spelled the same. One is spelled like my pen name and the other is spelled like my legal name, only dropping the “o.” Guess they were in a hurry. So funny.

  9. Debra Kristi

    Never mind my comment about the post link. I got the ping as soon as I hit send on the comment button. We must have crossed paths in cyber space.

  10. Jennette Marie Powell

    I get this at Panera. Janet, Janine, Janell, you name it. Even if they get it, it’s spelled wrong. My last name is just as bad (my married name) – to the point that we just say “Floyd” at restaurants!

  11. Tracy


    I just recently added your page to my reading list and I am really enjoying it so far. I must admit that I haven’t seen SNL in years, so I missed the Starbucks name skit. I have a very common name, but as you pointed out above, it is one that can be easily mistaken for another. My cups usually come up with nothing more exciting than Stacey or Casey though. Most of the time they just spell my name wrong, adding an “e” where it doesn’t belong. I love the idea of have a Starbucks name though. I might steal your daughter’s idea, but in reverse. I think it would be fun to come up with crazy names, just to see how close the barista comes to getting right.

    By the way, I’m a half-calf caramel latte.


  12. Elena Dillon

    Well my lovely sister in law works at the local Starbucks so they always get it right. I have heard some funny stories about pranks I’ve always wanted to do. One is to tell them your name is Bueller and then leave so they call out “Bueller, Bueller….” or tell them your name is Primrose Everdeen and stand up and shout “I volunteer as Tribute!” I’ve never had the nerve but Tameri or Debra, my RWA buddies might? Lol.

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      Ok I’m cracking up over these prank ideas. Love the, I volunteer as a tribute for Primrose. So funny! Thanks for sharing, Elena. πŸ™‚

  13. Susanna Leonard Hill

    I love this post! I don’t go to Starbuck much (I’m intimidated by all those tall-that-actually-means-small etc – I don’t get the jargon!), but in other places where they ask for a name I always give one of my kids’ names because the chances of the waitperson getting it right is so much higher. If I give my name, there’s a lot of Susan? Suzanne? Suzie? talk and I always have to repeat it several times and they still get it wrong. So much easier to go the John and Mary route, don’t you think, Coleon? πŸ™‚

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      I used to feel silly saying the tall, grande, venti thing. I remember my sister once getting tongue tied and asking for a sall toy tatte instead of tall soy latte. πŸ™‚

  14. Shelli Johnson

    Hi Coleen!

    Okay, that was awesome. Fantastic pictures.

    I get Sherry a lot. I go with that. Sometimes, I just use my last name because most people don’t screw that up. πŸ™‚ Oh, and venti caramel mocha with extra caramel <==best drink ever. Cheers, darlin.

  15. Patricia

    I’m a regular at my Starbucks so they know my name and usually I go through the drive through so I just say, “Hi, it’s Patricia,” and they get my usual started. It’s one of the advantages of living in a small town. But, when I do go to an out-of-town Starbucks, I have never experienced a problem getting my name right. Maybe I just over enunciate. Sometimes people spell it wrong – usually Patrisha – but it’s close enough.

    When I’m rich and famous, I’ll have to start ordering using Jansen as my name. That’ll be fun!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      Hello Ms. Jansen!
      Speaking of a regular, the last misspelled name was written by a barista that knows my kids. He knew me by my last name–and greeted me as Mrs. so and so. Then he looked all nervous as he went to write that on the cup, because it’s impossible to spell. I thought I was helping him by saying, Coleen. LOL

  16. Amy Aird

    I actually laughed out loud reading those cups. You must go to one noisy Starbucks! It has been a while for me, but my favorite is the mocha Frap!

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      I’m guessing they don’t mess up your name. πŸ™‚ It’s noisy, but sometimes I think it’s me–my mom used to say I was a mumbler. LOL

  17. Ruth Schiffmann

    I’m not a coffee drinker, but when we order takeout I often give my daughter’s name instead of my own. Ruth seems pretty straightforward to me, but somehow on the other end of the line they hear Rose, or even Bruce. It’s just easier to borrow Amanda’s name =D

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      Bruce!! Now that’s funny. Sometimes the baristas look so frazzled and busy, that i don’t think they’re actually worrying too much about what they put on the cups. πŸ™‚

  18. Emma Burcart

    My name is usually spelled right, when I go to a Starbucks that asks for my name. If they do mess it up, it’s usually just missing one m. But, I have always thought it would be fun to make up a name there. Or maybe just mumble something unintelligable and see what they come up with. Oh, the ideas are coming now! What a fun post!

  19. Kourtney

    OMG, hilarious. With Kourtney, I’ve been Hillary and Brittany. Mary is the best one simple and easy to remember. I’ve got to get a 4 letter starbucks name. Maybe Jill?

  20. Phil

    I kind of dig Coleoo for you. That’s kind of fun, but where did they get Holly from???

    I have been called Flip, Pheelips, and Fill. I’m gonna start using a fake name and see what they write. Maybe Allowicious or something crazy like that!

  21. Kristy K. James

    I wish I had the guts to do the Katniss Everdeen one! Too funny. So is your daughter’s alias. Me? No Starbucks nearby, which is probably a good thing. With a name like Kristy, I already know there are a million ways to screw it up…the worst (so far) being ‘Happy Birthday, Krispy,’ on my first fresh from the bakery cake when I was an easily humiliated teenager. πŸ™‚

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      I don’t have the guts either! But if I could get someone else to do it, I’d have to video it. Could be so funny. Thanks, Krispy. πŸ™‚

  22. Barb Bamber

    Hahaha.. my city is so small they don’t need to write names on the cups. But this has started to change:D Yeh.. it’s a good thing, I’ve had my order stolen (oops taken by accident) before. I’m totally going to start picking different random names from now on. Hmm.. I’m feeling like I might want to be Charity tomorrow:D xx

  23. 4amWriter

    I don’t get my coffee at Starbucks. However! I have trouble getting people to understand my name over the phone. I tell them ‘Kate’ and most people think I say either ‘Kay’ or ‘Katie’. I think your daughter is very smart!

  24. Alarna Rose Gray

    Finally, someone made me smile this week!! Love the names they came up with for you… You have to wonder, though. Coleen doesn’t strike me as a particularly unusual or difficult name to hear.

    I always have trouble with my name – especially when I try to spell it out for people. Think I should just go with Rose. Much easier πŸ™‚

  25. Beth Teliho

    Hi Coleen! This is my first time on your site and I must say I LOVE it. Your photos are fabulous and the personal stories are so warm and lovely. As for Starbucks…they usually get my name right, but once they did write “Jeff” instead of Beth. uh…not sure how to take that, but I did put more effort into my appearance the next day. πŸ™‚

    1. Coleen Patrick

      Thanks, Beth!
      I don’t know how I’d feel about the Jeff call either. πŸ™‚ Do they not let the baristas drink coffee? Because sounds like someone on the other side of the counter was a tad bit tired that day!
      Thanks for stopping by my site, nice to meet you, BETH.

  26. Sarah

    My next door neighbour once told the story of his best friend’s experience with Starbucks. He has a fairly strong stutter and they actually wrote the stutter on his cup. πŸ™ I know not all Starbucks baristas are scumbags like that one was, but still…

Comments are closed.