the photo on the left illustrates my reaction

when running into someone that i’ve met before

and its awkward because i cannot, for the life of me

remember their name

and i just have to say

“great to see you again’

and if i ever have to introduce them to someone else

i just have to introduce the person with me instead

 hoping they’ll pick up the cue and respond with their own name.

for 3 years i called one of my old neighbors ‘phil’

 until another neighbor said

“i don’t know who you’re talking about, do you mean, al?”

“yes, as a matter of fact, i think i do.”


my new perfect word of the day –

‘tartle’ (verb, scots)

(to hesitate while introducing or meeting someone because you have forgotten their name)

85 responses »

  1. For many years, I called one of my fellow dog-walkers ‘Helen’,mistaking her for another woman. (Who she did not resemble at all)
    One day, she told me her name was Liz. I was so embarrassed, but she thought it was amusing.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I never knew there was a word for that specifically awkward moment. Not sure having a name will make it any less embarrassing, but at least I know what to call it. This experience and your story are so relatable. Great post, Beth!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha, Beth, I have done the same and called someone the wrong name. It happens to me sometimes when I’m blogging as I tend to use two computers and flip from Roberta Writes to Robbie’s Inspiration. Sometimes, I made mistakes with names as a result. It is very embarrassing and I often fix them, but sometimes I don’t notice at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You just gave me a brilliant idea for this problem… If I can’t remember a person’s name and it seems obvious I need to say it, I can always say, “Excuse me while I tartle a bit.” Chances are, the people with whom I’m around will NOT know the definition of that word, and if they all look oddly at me, I can do something – cough, blink rapidly, twist my wrist in circles, ANYTHING – and they will assume that whatever I’m doing is what tartle means!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s even worse when they remember your name without hesitation! 🙄
    I once told my friend that if I tartle (no, did not know this word back then) then her job is to say something along the lines of “Excuse my friend for being so rude, but my name is XXX …” to which the other was hopefully to answer in kind 😉 (This was after she gave me sh*t for not introducing her!)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. oh gosh, I’m such a tartler too. I first thought it came from tarte, French for – well – tart! I immediately thought: falling flat on your face, figuratively speaking…. it happens to me far too often. Having terrible eye sight but being (nearly always instantly) recognised by my wild white hair, I’m being greeted everywhere and I’ve often no idea if I know that person even and when, what’s their name, and thirdly, where from do I know them. It’s super embarrassing to me and I’ve started saying: I’m so sorry, didn’t recognise you / I’m having a ‘senior moment’ – please tell me your name again. It usually passes well but I’m ashamed all the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. People from around here never introduce anyone, not even themselves and I’ve come to understand it’s because `1) few people move here so there are no strangers, 2) everyone knows everyone or is related to everyone or went to school with everyone. I guess that gets them off the hook!

    Liked by 1 person

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