ACCORDING TO THE WEBSITE howmanyofme.com, there are 52,554 people in the U.S. with the last name Orr.
Furthermore, there are 1,269,455 people in the U.S. with the first name Steven, 879,852 people in the U.S. with the first name Stephen, and there are fewer than 1,623 people in the U.S. with the first name Steeven.
Stay with me, I’m building to something.
Of the 52,554 people with the last name Orr; 205 are named Steven, 142 are named Stephen, but only 1 is named Steeven.
That would be me.
Now, I don’t know how accurate these statistics are, the site itself claims that it is “More accurate than a Magic 8-ball. Less accurate than distributing and collecting 300 million surveys.” It also admits that while the information does come from the Census Bureau, it’s actually quite old. Not as old as me, but old all the same.
Still, it is interesting data.
I use it here for two reasons.
One: I always like to point out how unique my first name is. I mean when you think that out of the three hundred and some odd million people there are kicking it in the United States, less than two thousand spell their name the same as I do. Now, if I’ve done the math correctly, and there’s more than a good chance that I haven’t, I am part of the just 0.00051037735849057% of the population of these United States with that spelling.
But there is a downside to that uniqueness.
For example, when I’m at my second job and folks see my name tag, I am invariably asked:
“Are there really two e’s in your name?”
“Three, actually,” I would respond, and we’d both have a good laugh.
If pressed further on why my named is spelled the way it is, I would tell them the truth.
I am named after my Dad’s high school friend who never made it back from Viet Nam.
Why his parent’s chose to spell his name with three e’s, I have no idea.
Another disadvantage of having a name spelled as I do: Folks always feel the need to correct it for me. Meaning, I’ll fill out a form, I’ll put “Steeven” in the first name field and somewhere down the line someone sees that and says to themselves:
“Now surely that isn’t how he spells his name. I mean, sure, the form is filled out in pen, but it’s obvious this guy doesn’t know the first thing about how to spell his own name. I’ll take it upon myself to correct such an oversight. He’ll thank me for it later when he discovers his mistake.”
In fact, if I go to Google and type in: “Where does the name Steeven come from”, even Google corrects it for me as this is what I get back:
"Including results for Where does the name Steven come from"
Three pages in with nothing regarding the name Steeven, and the results switch to:
“Including results for Where does the name Stephen come from”
It’s twenty pages in before I finally give up, start over, and choose the Search only for Where does the name Steeven come from option.
From there all I can find is one site, behindthename.com, that tells me that Steeven is a variant of Steven and that it’s French.
That explains my love for french fries.
OK, terrible joke, but I make no apologies.
The second reason I began with the above statistics is to show that once I explain why I chose Steeven Orr Else as the name for my website, I know that there will be at least 52,554 people out in there in the States who will know exactly where I’m coming from.
See, when you have a name like Orr, growing up, you hear this a lot:
“What’s your name?”
“Steeven Orr? Steeven or what?” This would inevitably be followed by brays of laughter. One-sided, of course.
I would like to think that if all 52,554 Orrs are reading this, that they would feel me.
Throughout the first few years of this sort of behavior, I’d pretend to laugh along with the original genius, or O.G., who came up with the creative jibe, but eventually I began to reply in a very simple sort of way.
THEM: What’s your name?
ME: Steeven Orr.
THEM: Steeven Orr? Steeven or what?
ME: Steeven or else.
I would typically follow it up with a grin.
Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t trying to be intimidating. I mean, I am a very large and hairy man. But Intimidating I am not.
I just needed something to say. Some sort of reply. Something to throw back other than laughing uncomfortably along with them.
And to tell you the truth, it’s probably been twenty years since I’ve had to use the reply because people stopped asking.
So, back in October of 2011, when I was ready to buy my domain name, it just felt right to use SteevenOrrElse.com.
And now you know.
Even if you hadn’t wanted to.