I name this child Hildergaard…. Whether she likes it or not.

Why...

Are parents so shortsighted in the naming of their kids? My father just managed to stop his Godchild being christened Helen Angela Parry. He pointed out she would forever be known as being accident prone as her initials would read Miss.HAP (She is happily in her sixties now and was christened Angela Helen). I know we are not allowed to say anything negative about St. David Bowie, but I see his film Director son did ditch the name his dad gave him, Zowie Bowie, to use instead the less dramatic Duncan Jones. Had the lad been born in Denmark, he would not have been allowed to have that name. An extraordinary by law in Denmark, states that the local authority has the right to name a child if the parent’s choice does not meet with their approval! “Nope, you cannot call him Apple. His name is… Adolf. Next please.” This near Orwellian control is not what you expect from a country that gave us Lego bricks (and leg-over with beautiful blond au pairs - nannies to you yanks). Although the Danes did of course cause a furor over the Mohammed cartoons controversy, I suspect they did not fear an economic backlash of a boycott of famous Danish goods…. Well at least Danish bacon and Carlsberg beer might not have been too worried.

...and another thing

Thoughtless names seem to haunt the car industry. GM wondered why the Nova did not sell in Mexico (No Va literally means Not Go). Toyota (which seems confused at birth as it was founded by Mr.Toyoda) were puzzled why their mid-engine car the MR2 failed to ignite the French sales charts. That was until someone pointed out if you said it in French Mmm Err Deux it was suspiciously close to merde (shit). My favorite urban legend however is car manufacturer Mitsubishi. For a while they had a range of cars named after horses; The Lancer, The Colt and puzzlingly The Starrion. The explanation is that the Japanese marketing department when talking to the Agency mispronounced the word Stallion, (the letter L hard for the Japanese to pronounce) and so the proud stallion became a starrion…..

...and another thing

Food and drink continue to baffle me. When in Japan, even when it’s sweltering hot, I find it difficult to order a can off their favorite drink, Pocari Sweat. Masterfoods in the US have the worryingly named, Creamy White Finishing Sauce and Greenridge Farm market Kiddie Wieners. Further afield Ramen noodles have an instant noodle drink called Soup for Sluts and Macedonia’s leading beer is caller Vergina. The Brits like nothing better than a bottle of the stuff to wash down a hot bowl of Mr. Brain’s rich West Country faggots.

However the howler that stays forever in my memory was when I sitting in a dark theatre in London in 1993. Waiting for the main feature I was watching Warner Bros trailer about an orphaned kid and a vandalized theme park. The voice-over built up to a crescendo as a whale leapt into the air and the voice shouted FREE WILLY. The entire cinema just erupted into laughter. Two nations divided by one language.

Go Back

Add a comment:

2 Comments

  1. clare Mac Gillivraày says:

    These stories make for a great read, dear Mark. Love Clare

  2. clare Mac Gillivraày says:

    These are great stories dear Mark! So enjoyed the read. Thank u. Love clare