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No. 27: The name in Spain comes partly from the dame.

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The name in Spain comes partly from the dame.

First | Previous | 2015-07-29 | Next | Latest

Strip by: Ian Boreham

caption: Spanish people usually have names of the following form: Given Names; Patronym; Matronym

{Face of a Spanish man.}
caption: Juan Elizondo Gutiérrez

{Face of a Spanish woman.}
caption: Eva María Álvarez Ramos

caption: A child receives one surname from the father and one from the mother. Pedro ... ...
{Image of Spanish baby.}

caption: However, the process is quite complex. Each name (or nomosome) can be thought of as consisting of a string of letters (such as A, B, C). Each parent's two surnames mix, in a process called nomosomal crossover, in which some letters swap between names: (This process is known as meiosis (coined by the nometics researcher Nazuke Kenkyuu, from the Japanese mei, meaning name).

{The name "Hernández Ferreiro" transforms to "Fernández Herreiro", by swapping the H and F.}

caption: This process is one of the main causes of variation in the name pool, and is likely to be due to paternal post-natal nervousness while filling out forms.

caption: A namete from the father fuses with one from the mother, forming a surgote. The surgote now contains a full complement of nomosomes (2). If the surgote successfully implants onto the end of the given names, a Spanish child will usually result.

{The given name "Ángela" fuses with the surgote "Ruiz López", above a picture of a baby Spanish girl.}

The author writes:

Making jokes related to a foreign language is always a risky proposition. I'd like to thank my friend and colleague Andrés for checking that I hadn't done something ridiculous in choosing names. After all, I wouldn't want people laughing at my comic, would I? (OK, so Herreiro isn't a very common name, but I didn't want to spend any more time optimising the comic.) Of course, if I've still managed to screw something up with the names, that's my fault.

I suppose maybe I should have had a linguist check my explanation of the process, but I'm pretty sure I got all that roughly right. Right? It is pretty complicated, though, so for a more detailed description, see the Wikipedia page.

Drawn in Inkscape an Krita.