Monday, January 08, 2007

Usnavy

Here is a great article about unusual names in Venezuela. Honduras gets a special mention as well. When I was there as a Peace Corps volunteer, the national legislature passed a law outlawing "obscene" names. The "Llanta de Milagro" (Miracle Tire) was one that was often cited as being obscene. Another one that did not appear in this article but cited (in an urgent whisper), was Hijo de Verga Lara. For you non-Spanish speakers, "Hijo de" means "son of" and "verga" is a common slang word for the male anatomy. As if that weren't enough, "Lara" sounds much like the Spanish word for "long." I kid you not. When I read about the obscene name law in the paper, they had a photocopy of poor Hijo's birth certificate. He was born in 1903, so hopefully he lived out the centruy without problems.

Not too many unusual names in Angola. My name is very difficult for Portuguese speakers to say, so I usually get called "Leizy" which sounds like "Lazy" in English. Insert your own quip here.

UPDATE: Apparently the NYT article has been taken down already. Sorry

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

Where is the article?