Login/Sign up

World Association of International Studies

PAX, LUX ET VERITAS SINCE 1965
Post More Funny Place Names: Spain
Created by John Eipper on 04/04/12 2:14 AM

Previous posts in this discussion:

Post

More Funny Place Names: Spain (John Heelan, -UK, 04/04/12 2:14 am)

The English language is not the only one to generate embarrassing place names.

In the 10th century, the Moors named a small Granadino pueblo after the noxious waterway in its vicinity, Wadi as-Sakruya, a name that over 1000 years elided into the Spanish "Asquerosa," meaning "disgusting, loathsome," etc. In 1931, the local council decided to change its unfortunate name to "Valderrubio" in honour of the tobacco grown and processed in the area.

One of its claims to fame (or infamy) is that the García Rodríguez family had a summer residence in Asquerosa. One of the neighbouring families provided the templates for the characters in Bernalda Alba, in Lorca's eponymous tragedy. The disrespect perceived by that family, linked to a history of political and business squabbles with Lorca's father, García Rodríguez, is said by some researchers to be one of the causes of Lorca's rapid assassination early in the Spanish Civil War by acquaintances of that family.

Oops! My hobby-horse is staring to run away with me!

JE comments: No need to add the "oops"--last week I re-read La casa de Bernarda Alba for about the tenth time, as part of an independent-study project I'm directing. Nearly have the whole thing memorized.

Asquerosa--how about Villaviciosa, in Asturias? Historically the name means "fertile town," but now it connotes a Village of Vice. I've always wanted to visit.



SHARE:
Rate this post
Informational value 
Insight 
Fairness 
Reader Ratings (0)
0%
Informational value0%
Insight0%
Fairness0%

Visits: 94

Comments/Replies

Please login/register to reply or comment: Login/Sign up

  • More Funny Place Names: How About San Cucufato? (Jordi Molins, -Spain 04/04/12 3:21 PM)
    When commenting John Heelan's post of 4 April, JE brought up the Asturian town of Villaviciosa.

    The traditional disdain of Spain towards other cultures and languages can be seen in how Spaniards translate town names in Catalonia. For example, the beautiful Valencian town of Vila Joiosa is translated into Spanish as Villajoyosa. In Catalan, Vila Joiosa means "the town of joy" (Catalan is closer to French than to Spanish, so joia and joie de vivre come from the same origin, but there is nothing similar in Spanish). However, "joyosa" means "full of jewels" in Spanish, which does not make any sense. Also, the musicality of the word "Vila Joiosa" is clearly superior to the sonority of "Villajoyosa."



    Another interesting issue is the names of small Catalan towns in for example the Spanish Wikipedia. The Spanish Wikipedia editors, as all-too-typical Spaniards, translate all the names into Spanish-sounding names. This could make sense for large cities, but for small cities, apart from the clear cacophony in some cases (e.g., San Cucufato del Vallés instead of the original Sant Cugat del Vallès), it may be a problem for tourists, since all signs in Catalan cities are, of course, in Catalan, so tourists may fail to find what they are looking for. Personally, I did not know what San Cucufato meant up to a few months ago, and if a tourist had asked me, I would have failed to help her. So, the insistence of turning into Spanish any Catalan name, and very often in a very ugly way, is becoming a problem, since tourists to Catalonia tend to rely to the Spanish Wikipedia for names to visit.


    JE comments:  I confess my ignorance of Sant Cugat (and yes:  "Cucufato/Cucufate" sounds really awful, as does Cucuphas in English).  Wikipedia to the rescue:  Sant Cugat was the 3rd-century missionary who was the first to preach to the Catalans.  The story of his martyrdom at the hands of the Romans is not for the weak of stomach:


    (My translation from Spanish Wiki):  "Legend has it that first they opened his abdomen and ripped out his intestines, but [Cucuphas] replaced them and sewed up his abdomen with a thread.  Later the emperor Galerius sentenced him to the stake, but the flames were supposedly blown out with a gust of air from God.  Later he was thrown into a dungeon, but his jailers were converted to Christianity.  Finally legend says that God allowed Cucuphas's throat to be slit, as the saint's wish was to ascend into Heaven through martyrdom."


    The English Wikipedia account is somewhat different, and mentions Cucuphas's flagellation with iron nails and scorpions:


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cucuphas



    This is the kind of textual discrepancy that would have greatly interested Prof. Hilton.


    Anyhow, the Benedictine abbey at Sant Cugat del Vallès is located at the site of the martyrdom.

    Please login/register to reply or comment:


Trending Now



All Forums with Published Content (44633 posts)

- Unassigned

Culture & Language

American Indians Art Awards Bestiary of Insults Books Conspiracy Theories Culture Ethics Film Food Futurology Gender Issues Humor Intellectuals Jews Language Literature Media Coverage Movies Music Newspapers Numismatics Philosophy Plagiarism Prisons Racial Issues Sports Tattoos Western Civilization World Communications

Economics

Capitalism Economics International Finance World Bank World Economy

Education

Education Hoover Institution Journal Publications Libraries Universities World Bibliography Series

History

Biographies Conspiracies Crime Decline of West German Holocaust Historical Figures History Holocausts Individuals Japanese Holocaust Leaders Learning Biographies Learning History Russian Holocaust Turkish Holocaust

Nations

Afghanistan Africa Albania Algeria Argentina Asia Australia Austria Bangladesh Belgium Belize Bolivia Brazil Canada Central America Chechnya Chile China Colombia Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark East Europe East Timor Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England Estonia Ethiopia Europe European Union Finland France French Guiana Germany Greece Guatemala Haiti Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran (Persia) Iraq Ireland Israel/Palestine Italy Japan Jordan Kenya Korea Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Latin America Liberia Libya Mali Mexico Middle East Mongolia Morocco Namibia Nations Compared Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria North America Norway Pacific Islands Pakistan Palestine Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Polombia Portugal Romania Saudi Arabia Scandinavia Scotland Serbia Singapore Slovakia South Africa South America Southeast Asia Spain Sudan Sweden Switzerland Syria Thailand The Pacific Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan UK (United Kingdom) Ukraine USA (America) USSR/Russia Uzbekistan Venezuela Vietnam West Europe Yemen Yugoslavia Zaire

Politics

Balkanization Communism Constitutions Democracy Dictators Diplomacy Floism Global Issues Hegemony Homeland Security Human Rights Immigration International Events Law Nationalism NATO Organizations Peace Politics Terrorism United Nations US Elections 2008 US Elections 2012 US Elections 2016 US Elections 2020 Violence War War Crimes Within the US

Religion

Christianity Hinduism Islam Judaism Liberation Theology Religion

Science & Technology

Alcohol Anthropology Automotives Biological Weapons Design and Architecture Drugs Energy Environment Internet Landmines Mathematics Medicine Natural Disasters Psychology Recycling Research Science and Humanities Sexuality Space Technology World Wide Web (Internet)

Travel

Geography Maps Tourism Transportation

WAIS

1-TRIBUTES TO PROFESSOR HILTON 2001 Conference on Globalizations Academic WAR Forums Ask WAIS Experts Benefactors Chairman General News Member Information Member Nomination PAIS Research News Ronald Hilton Quotes Seasonal Messages Tributes to Prof. Hilton Varia Various Topics WAIS WAIS 2006 Conference WAIS Board Members WAIS History WAIS Interviews WAIS NEWS waisworld.org launch WAR Forums on Media & Research Who's Who