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Re: CHAT: "John Doe" equivalents sought

From:FFlores <fflores@...>
Date:Sunday, May 21, 2000, 13:21
John Cowan <cowan@...> wrote:

>I've been asked on another mailing list to collect "dummy names" from >other cultures. In Anglo-America, the names "John Doe" and "Richard Roe" >...Are there other such names >elsewhere? Details eagerly solicited.
In Spanish, the name unknown people get in hospitals, prisons, etc. is just "N. N." /,ene'ene/ or /,e'nene/. For hypothetical people, there are three: "fulano", "mengano", "zutano" (or lately "sultano"). Don't know their etymology. Example usage: Digamos que fulano viene... "Let's say [some guy] comes...' These three are used in that order (that is, "mengano" cannot appear if a certain "fulano" hasn't been mentioned before). In fact, it looks like a deixis system... If "fulano" is "some guy", then "mengano" is "some other guy". Change the gender ("fulana", etc.) for women. The dummy name in informal conversations is "Juan Pérez" or more rarely variants with different common surnames ("García", "Fernández", "Gómez", etc.). There are no female names like these, that I'm aware of. Oh, and in a more rudish tone, you can have "Juan de los Palotes". Don't ask about that -- it may be a play on "... las Pelotas" ('the balls'). "Palotes" ('big sticks') is what children learning to write do before the actual letters (when they are practising to handle the pencil right: rows and rows of painful "| | | | |"). OK, end digression. --Pablo Flores "... When all men on earth think, day and night, about the Zahir, which one will be a dream and which one a reality?" Jorge Luis Borges, _The Zahir_