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Re: CHAT: "John Doe" equivalents sought

From:taliesin the storyteller <taliesin@...>
Date:Sunday, May 21, 2000, 0:26
* John Cowan <cowan@...> [000521 01:47]:
> 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" > (and female equivalents with "Jane") are used in the legal system and > elsewhere for people whose names are not known. I have heard that > the name "Alain LaFlamme" is used similarly either in France or in > French Canada (my informant wasn't certain). Are there other such names > elsewhere? Details eagerly solicited.
I don't know of names used specifically for unknowns, I guess if you don't know somebody's name you put 'ukjent' (unknown). The dummy-names below are used to refer to nobodies, the man in the street, the run-of-the-mill Norwegians etc. * Ola (masc.) and Kari (fem.) Nordmann, the typical Norwegians * Ola and Kari Dunk, "bad" Norwegians; intolerant & stupid In credit card-commercials, 'Ola Nordmann' or 'Kari Nordmann' are just about always used (how boring!) while the 'Dunk'-versions occur in parodies and funny songs. Ola and Kari are the stereotypical Norwegian first names. gammel-Ola (old Ola and similar for Kari) refers to old, landish people; gammel-Ola smokes his pipe and has no teeth and gammel-Kari has a headscarf (is there a better word for that?) and glasses and knits etc. etc. gammel-Erik is the devil (as in old Nick), lille-Erik (little-) and lille-Ola are humorous euphemisms for penis, but lille-Kari doesn't mean anything special. All these are a bit old-fashioned, though. And while I'm rambling about connotations about names here, what is (if any) your equivalents of something or somebody "harry"? (How I pity the original Harry!) A harry person: fat hair, wearing jeans or leather or a mix, furry dice and wunderbaum in the tweaked car (uses it to attract chicks), the car-stereo, which probably cost more than the car, is churning out either something to woo (also harry) girls with, or some old Country (oh sorry it's named "roots" here now) or other unspeakably bad music, with a volume high enough to pierce your ear-drums. Bad booze (read: moonshine), worse tobacco, low income, low status (most places), no future. A harry thing is anything a harry person does or has or would (presumably) enjoy. Hmmm... are rednecks like that? t.