Archive for Names

Mee Tu flavor

A tasty visual pun found on Facebook:

(originally posted by Wayne Hudson)

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Xina

Lately, since Xi Jinping made himself President for Life of the People's Republic of China, wags and wits have taken to calling the country over which he rules "Xina".

It turns out that this is the Catalan word for "China".  Curious to know how Xina is pronounced in Catalan, I looked it up on Wiktionary:

  • Balearic, Central /ˈʃi.nə/
  • Valencian /ˈt͡ʃi.na/

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Speaking of Lou Dobbs…

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X & X

Perhaps modeled on the rise of big brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, Crate & Barrel, etc. (though in our own history going back much further), but a bit different, in Asia, we have Nail & Nail, Lock & Lock, Bagel & Bagel, and so forth. Below are photographs of two shops in Asia with "X & X" names.

I should mention that the Chinese name of the first one is "rèlà shēnghuó 热辣生活" ("hot and spicy life").

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Japanese readings of Sinographic names

Eoin Cullen wrote in:

I recently learnt that although Taipei  たいぺい is generally used as the Japanese reading for Taipei 台北, NHK still uses the colonial form Taihoku たいほく.  Is this still true in 2018? Why would the national broadcaster persist in using an archaic term? To me, it seems it would be comparable to the BBC insisting on using the name Ceylon to refer to Sri Lanka.

I asked several colleagues who are specialists on Japanese what the significance of this usage might be.

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Reanalysis, Jackie Chan edition

Photograph of a high-backed chair that has gone viral on Chinese social media (as reported in this Taiwan newspaper):

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Fifth Third Bank

Wikipedia explains that the Fifth Third Bank's name "is derived from the names of both of the bank's two predecessor companies: Third National Bank and Fifth National Bank, which merged in 1908". But despite the fact that "[t]he bank operates 1,154 branches and 2,469 automated teller machines in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, and North Carolina", I've managed to travel extensively in those states without ever encountering the name, until this building presented itself to us on our way to dinner last night in Toledo OH. The name seems odd at first but I guess it's memorable as a result.

Are there any other examples of names combining two ordinal numbers as the result of a merger, like the "Second Third Presbyterian Church"?

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Sorrbucks

Paul Midler submits this one from South China:

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Burp Bowl

Eating establishment near Baruch College in New York City:

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Long words

I'm in Hamburg for lectures and meetings this week.

The first day I was here, in the afternoon I went out for a walk.  After taking about 50 steps from the front door of my hotel, I saw this lettering on the glass facade of a nearby building:

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Uyghur basketball player

Article in NBC Sports (6/22/18) by Drew Shiller:  "Report: Chinese prospect Abudushalamu Abudurexiti will play for Warriors in Summer League".

Quips heard around the Language Log water cooler:

Geoff Nunberg:  "It’ll give the announcers something new to chew on, now that they’ve learned to toss off Giannis Antetokounmpo."

Barbara Partee:  "If that article has the pronunciation anywhere near right, then I'll bet his nickname will be Budu-Budu. I like it."

For sure, it's gonna be a challenge for NBA announcers to rattle off his name, but let's see what we're really dealing with.

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Makudonarudo

Here's an amusing Japanglish song by a Malaysian Chinese hip hop recording artist who is called Namewee:

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Honey Oligosaccharide Spice Chicken

Sign in the window at Green Pepper, a Korean restaurant at 2020 Murray Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA:

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