“Rech? How do you say that?” A question I am often asked. My father-in-law was the youngest of thirteen. So it really depends on which brother you are talking to. Some say “Wreak”, some Resch (soft e). My husband uses Ree (long e) with the “ch” like the beginning of the word cheese. His brother, a musician added an “a”, making it Reach, so it would be easier for Emcee’s to introduce him. Their sister gave it up and married a Smith.
When my Dad’s dad came to Canada from Czechoslovakia, his last name was shortened, a lot. The first letter was changed from a “Z” to an “S”. My dad’s birth certificate carries the original long name. My brother still proudly bears the shortened version.
Myrna married my brother. Murr-nah. Easy peasy, right? Nope, she informed me. She is often addressed as Mi (long I) – earn (show me the money) – ah. Mi-earn-ah. Who would have thunk it.
My sister married a Zborowsky. I suggested that she keep her name from from her first marriage, which started with a “B” so that her kids wouldn’t always be last in line. She declined.
Don’t get me started on hyphenated names. Please, just pick one.