Let's say I'm in a small team called Adhyan, and my name is Adhyan. (I've changed the names for privacy.)

There's no correlation, and I happened to join this team because I wanted to learn a topic that they specialise in, no other reason. When I joined the team, I didn't even think of this as being a problem.

However, I get weird comments from people all the time. It has come to a point where even my own family doesn't realise that. My grandpa, who hadn't heard this name before, asked if there was a typo in the team name.

I get teased by friends all the time and have messy experiences when I'm introducing myself as a team member.

For example, recently, I attended a fest where I needed to market my team's product, and people whom I interacted with asked me my name. When I told them, they burst out laughing, and I got embarrassed. The team lead even scowled at me once.

I don't want to spoil my team's brand or cause any misconceptions due to it, as if the team were named after me. What should I do when introducing myself? It's a real issue, and I don't want to leave for such a silly reason.

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    Could you describe your character that might help here or may exclude some things? Are you charismatic, funny, extroverted, aggressive, easy going, confident or something like that or perhaps the opposite? What exactly do you do once that coincidence is revealed? Also, how old are you?
    – Raditz_35
    Mar 4, 2020 at 17:38
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    – Em C
    Mar 5, 2020 at 0:09
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    You chose the exact same name for the fictional team name and your fictional name. Didn't you mean to have them slightly different? The rest of the question sounds like you did. Mar 5, 2020 at 5:33
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    Why does your grandpa not know what your name is?
    – Mazura
    Mar 6, 2020 at 4:12
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    @Mazura I assume the grandfather didn't know the team's name.
    – avazula
    Mar 6, 2020 at 6:29

3 Answers 3


I suggest you "own" it and if need be, tell a mild joke about it first. I know someone whose initials are STL and who worked on the C++ Standard Library (which for historical reasons we all call STL) team at Microsoft. Nobody was confused by that, and many people called him STL deliberately to draw attention to the name thing.

So you can say "Hi, I'm Adhyan from the Adhyan team -- the team I was born to join! Or at least named to join!" Then grin and carry right on. This has the advantage of making everyone realize it at the same time, and getting it over with. Notice that this also makes it clear that the team had this name before you joined it.

As for your family, I would again take the "it's fate haha!" tack and come up with an easily repeatable joke like "I certainly don't have to worry I'll forget my team name!" By taking control yourself you remove any chance for people to tease you.

  • In the spirit of "owning it", and to avoid acting "as if the team were named after" OP, OP might also joke that "No, the team was not named after me, in fact I was named after the team!" Apr 6, 2020 at 23:32

I met a man once here in Hungary, whose family name was similar to the PM's (the prime minister wrote his slightly differently, also a rare name). He introduced himself like this:

-Hi, I'm X.Y., and the PM is my uncle. (short pause) Ok, just kidding. My name is written like this and that.

And he went on with whatever he wanted to say. He obviously expected the question and went ahead to make a small (and not too good) joke. You could do something similar. (BTW the PM turned out to be a former agent (D-209), and had to resign before his term was over, so the guy only had around 3 years to practice his joke)

  • According to the Wikipedia article (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C3%A9ter_Medgyessy), the PM was indeed a former agent, but he resigned for unrelated reasons several years after this was published.
    – pts
    Mar 6, 2020 at 13:46
  • Szia PTS! The Wikipedia article isn't that detailed about this event. His past wasn't widely known, but his coalition partner (SzDSz) knew about this. So when he wanted to fire Csillag from his government (SzDSz member), they revealed his past, and this led to his resignation. Looking back, somebody probably blackmailed him with this information before, as he behaved much calmer in an interview right after his resignation than in any interview he had as a PM, the change was apparent (his speech problem people mocked him with simply disappeared).
    – Nyos
    Mar 6, 2020 at 15:24

Not exactly the same, but I have a really common first name in my country, so at most workplaces I've been, there's been several other with the same first name.

We usually solved it by going by our last names instead, thus easily distinguishing between us. Some chose to go by initials.

So that would be my recommendation: Go by your surname or initials, at least while on that team. If you wear name badges, request an updated badge that doesn't include your full first name.

Also: Don't be embarrassed about this - some might comment on the name change, and to those I'd answer that as much as you like your name, it's just too confusing on this team, to a point where it's getting unprofessional, so you handled it.


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