Dienstag, 29. August 2006

What’s in a name?

Here’s something that might be interesting for you English-speaking guys out there. Some film stars have names that sound very strange to German ears, or in other words: their names are normal German words.

Example 1: Kiefer Sutherland. Kiefer is the German word for jaw.

Example 2: Johnny Depp. Depp is used in Southern Germany (and Austria, probably) for an idiot, fool, dork or something along those lines.

Example 3: Halle Berry. I guess you could translate Halle as hall, but it doesn’t mean hall as in a hall in a dorm where you have rooms on either sides or something. It’s more like a venue, a location for sports events or concerts. Many places have a Stadthalle, for instance, which translates as town hall, but isn’t where the mayor’s office is, but, as I said, a place for concerts etc.

I’m sure there are more examples, but these are the only ones I can think of now.


  1. Hey, BBBG, that name thing is a cool idea.

    "Kiefer" is also the german word for the pine-tree. Which is actually a interesting name... pines are very modest trees growing on dry and barren locations. But they don`t root that deep in the earth, as opposed to firs, which they successfully pushed away as a population, at least in central european woods. Thats why they fall over more easily in stormy times.
    Now, what does this tell us?

  2. Oops, I totally forgot the 2nd meaning of Kiefer! Typical me ... LOL.

    Do you mean what does your explanation tell us about Kiefer Sutherland? Um ... I don't think he falls over easily in stormy times (okay, I'm really talking about his 24 character Jack Bauer. Bauer is another name you could add to the list cos it is the German word for farmer.)


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