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Re: CHAT: "John Doe" equivalents sought

From:Vasiliy Chernov <bc_@...>
Date:Tuesday, May 23, 2000, 17:13
On Thu, 20 May 0100 20:08:42 -0400, John Cowan <cowan@...>
>In Anglo-America, the names "John Doe" and "Richard Roe" >(and female equivalents with "Jane") are used in the legal system and >elsewhere for people whose names are not known.
<...> I'm afraid there is no good equivalent in Russian, since I cannot think of anything that would suit specifically the *legal* system; but there are a few similar expressions in broader use. A fairly common one (formerly bookish) is _imyarek_. Originates from Church usage: _imya rek_ in Church Slavonic means '(having) said (the) name'; this expression was inserted in the texts of traditional prayers where an actual person's name has to be pronounced. Hardly analyzable in Russian, it was interpreted as a single word meaning 'no-matter-which person', 'so-and-so'. On Sun, 21 May 2000 02:26:16 +0200, taliesin the storyteller <taliesin@...> wrote: <...>
>A harry person: fat hair, wearing jeans or leather or a >mix, furry dice and wunderbaum in the tweaked car (uses it to attract
>the car-stereo, which probably cost more than the car, is churning out
>something to woo (also harry) girls with, or some old Country (oh sorry
>named "roots" here now) or other unspeakably bad music, with a volume high >enough to pierce your ear-drums. Bad booze (read: moonshine), worse
>low income, low status (most places), no future.
<...> A remote Russian equivalent will be _dyadya Vasya_ (Unklie Vasya; less common, Petya or Kolya): mostly drunk, wearing something too warm for the weather and blotted with lubricants, smelling accordingly, obtuse. The female version is _tyotya Masha_ (Auntie Masha; sometimes, Nyura): fat and busy bying foods most of the day. Their younger relative might be some _Van'ka_: always idle, easy to deceive and ill-mannered. For the military, all civilian/new-recruit vices are personified as _devka Mashka_ (lassie Mashka). On Sun, 21 May 2000 20:28:21 +0200, Lars Henrik Mathiesen <thorinn@...> wrote:
>In Denmark it's NN, for 'nomen nescio'.
On Sun, 21 May 2000 10:21:50 -0300, FFlores <fflores@...> wrote:
>In Spanish, the name unknown people get in hospitals, prisons, >etc. is just "N. N." /,ene'ene/ or /,e'nene/.
- Also known in Russia. Mostly written with Roman letters. Literary, obsolete. Sometimes only one N (resembling the maths usage: _ennyj_ 'n-th', and the like). On Sun, 21 May 2000 14:22:09 -0500, Matt Pearson <jmpearson@...> wrote:
>And let's not forget their address: > > 123 Main Street > Anytown, USA
- Indeed, their Russian fellows live in the city of Ensk (so to say, Nborough). I am not sure of the street, however. In the Soviet times it would be Prospekt Lenina, of course ;) On Sun, 21 May 2000 10:21:50 -0300, FFlores <fflores@...> wrote:
>For hypothetical >people, there are three: "fulano", "mengano", "zutano" (or >lately "sultano"). >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.
On Mon, 22 May 2000 11:54:21 -0300, Gustavo Eulalio <guga@...> wrote:
> In Portuguese, there's Fulano (de Tal), Beltrano and Cicrano, >as in Spanish, said always in that order.
- In Russian, a similar series includes three frequent surnames: Ivanov, Petrov, Sidorov. Used only when no actual Petrovs/Ivanovs/ Sidorovs can be concerned. Female equivalents rare (feminine forms of the same surnames: Ivanova, etc.). On Mon, 22 May 2000 10:03:18 +0200, Christophe Grandsire <Christophe.Grandsire@...> wrote:
>In French, we have "untel", and the feminine "unetelle", which are >sometimes used as names: Monsieur Untel or Madame Unetelle.
- These resemble the Russian _takoy-to_ 'so-and-so' (from _takoy_ 'such'). Can be used with titles: _G-n takoy-to_ 'Mr. so-and-so'. Also used attributively: _takoy-to gorod_ 'such-and-such a city').
>Generic names >could be some like Dupont and Durand, which are quite common in France.
- The abovesaid Ivanov, Petrov, and Sidorov fit this position. On Mon, 22 May 2000 11:54:21 -0300, Gustavo Eulalio <guga@...> wrote:
> And also, "Num-sei-quem" (I-don't-know-who) -- I believe this >particular to Brazil.
On Mon, 22 May 2000 12:51:28 -0400, Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...> wrote:
>We have what's-his-name and so-and-so, as well as what's-his-face, a >somewhat ruder version of what's-his-name.
This resembles _kak bish' yego_ (_...yeyo_, etc.) 'how, remind me, [did they call] him (her, etc.)'. Can replace any name, or even any noun. Funnily, the almost invariable hero of grammatical examples in Russian linguistic tradition is Pyotr ( = Peter). Has survived most incredible situations, like John in the English tradition ;) Basilius