names

American Cartoons in Spain: Do You Know Who Triki Is?

If you’ve never been to Spain, you may not realize that a lot of American movies are shown here, but not with subtitles. No, instead they’re dubbed into the Spanish language, and often the title is changed—sometimes for obvious reasons. You see, The Bucket List title just wouldn’t work in Spain, where they don’t use the idiom “to kick the bucket,” meaning “to die.” Sure, they have their own idioms, but the title was changed to Antes de Morir (Before Dying), which makes sense and gets the point across. Back in the day—that is, the 80s—cartoon characters often had their names “translated.” By translated I mean changed into Spanish names that would perhaps be more palatable for Spanish audiences. I find these names hilarious, and I sometimes even prefer the Spanish names! Here’s a list of some of my favorites:

Triki—Cookie Monster

Cookie Monster Triki (Alternate spellings: Triqui, Triky.) Also known as el monstruo de las galletas, Triki is known for saying, “¡Yo querer galletas!” and “¡Yo comer galleta!”, not exactly the most correct form of Spanish, but he gets his point across.

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Let’s Link—Week 3

Let's Link!

And we’re back with another link list! Sorry for the delay, but last weekend I was visiting Zamora and Mario’s family for the November 1 holiday, Todos los Santos, or All Saints’ Day in English. In Spain, families tend to visit the graveyards to put flowers on relatives’ graves. We had a merienda consisting of chocolate a la taza (basically melted chocolate, thick and delicious), chorizo, Zamoran cheese, fried bread, two kinds of cake, wine, and liqueurs. Other, more-widespread culinary traditions include eating Huesos de Santo (Saints’ Bones) and buñuelos de viento, which are filled with whipped cream, pastry cream, or chocolate.

Here are some of my favorite links from the past two weeks:

Do Different Languages Confer Different Personalities? Ah, a great question. I often feel more eloquent as well as funnier in English. In Spanish, I’m much less likely to express an opinion, because I find that it’s easier to quash. I also have a fear of looking silly, so this leads me to say less.

For Mind and Body: Study Finds Mediterranean Diet Boosts Both. For those of us living in Spain and consuming loads of olive oil, good news! The diet boosts both cerebral and physical health! I’m always happy to hear what I’m already doing is good for me.

The American Smile. I found this article, by fellow expat blogger (in Germany) Alex, to be hilarious and mind-opening. I never thought of this! Do Americans have a distinct smile? I know we smile a lot and especially on cue. But most of the time my smile is genuine; I’m not faking it. Also, I agree with Alex that flossing is not just made up by dentists. Flossing is totally important!

Recipe: Chorizo Burger with Paprika. It seems the UK has gone “mad” over chorizo, and this recipe just adds more evidence to the pile. A chorizo burger? Has the UK gone too far?

The Guiri Complex. What is really like to live in another country? Sometimes I get the picture that people think we live in a constant vacation world, that our lives are only filled with sunshine and rainbows. What is it like to miss things from the US? Should we always be searching those things out or treat them as what they are—a treat? Cat explores this question.

And now in Spanish …:

Esquelas curiosas publicadas en ABC. Esquelas are like death announcements, in which the family of the deceased puts a notice in the newspaper. The Spanish newspaper ABC recently published this article for Halloween of some of its more curious notices, including one that lamented that the deceased forgot to pass along a recipe for “pickled paella”!

Una docena de los nombres de chica más puestos en España. Recently I read about some of the most popular girls’ names in the US, and this article supplied what I’d wanted since: a list of the most-popular Spanish girls’ names. Obviously, María leads the list.

Thanks for reading! Any links you’d like to share?

Why Do We Call José “Pepe”?

¡Hola, don Pepito! ¡Hola, Don José! So goes a popular children’s song in Spain … but once you start thinking about it, you realize both of these men are named José, and you start wondering what’s really going on here.

Hola Don Pepito

One of the many things that used to baffle me was the origin of Spanish nicknames. (Oh okay, they still kinda baffle me!) I understood how “Francisco” could become “Fran” and “Beatriz” could become “Bea,” but I didn’t quite understood where the heck “Pepe” came from!

  1. There are no Ps in the name José.
  2. There are the same amount of syllables in both Pepe and José, thus saving you no time.

I decided to turn to the ultimate source, Mario’s dad. As I have explained before, he is knowledgeable about so many aspects of Spanish culture, being a former teacher and all-around know-it-all in the best way. If I ever have a “duda,” he’s the guy I go to, especially if that duda has to do with plants, animals, climate, or Spanish history. He’s my guy.

He told me all about the reasoning behind the nicknaming process, but it all went over my head, a great whoosh! of knowledge flying speedily in one ear and out the other. A few years later, still feeling rather flummoxed, I sat down to put an end to this ignorance of mine.

  • Pepe. This diminutive comes from the name José as I said earlier. There are two theories out there. The first, often espoused by the Spanish, is that it comes from the abbreviation of pater putativus (P.P.), which means “supposed Father” in Latin, attributed to Joseph of Nazareth (José de Nazaret), Mary’s husband and Jesus’s supposed father. This is mainly a popular legend, and most reputable sources claim that the real story is that Pepe comes from the Italian Beppe, short for Giuseppe (the Italian cognate for Joseph). I guess even most Spaniards have something to learn from this blog post!
  • Paco. Paco comes from Francisco. St. Francis of Assisi was known as the Pater Comunitatis (Father of the Community) when he founded the Franciscan order. Thus, we get Paco from the first two letters of each word.

Other diminutives of interest:

  • Chema. One of Mario’s friends in Salamanca when I met him was called Chema, and I had no idea his real name was José María for the longest time. Never mind that whole using a female name thing as well.
  • Sito. Mario’s cousin, Sito, ran the marathon with him, as you might recall. Any guesses to his given name? Alfonso. Sitos are usually Alfonsos, although there is probably an exception out there somewhere. Alfonso –> Alfonsito –> Sito.
  • Quique/Kike. Comes from Enrique.
  • Chus, Susi, Suso. Those with the name Jesús out there have a lot of different nicknames!

Which Spanish nicknames do you find the most amusing or interesting?