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Found this article and thought it would be interesting reading (from Goal.com):

Deciphering Brazilian Footballers’ Names: Know Your Ronaldinhos From Your Ronaldãos
3/12/2005 1:22:00 AM
Aaron Marcus rips up the famous names in Brazilian football for Goal.com readers to see the hidden meanings behind players’ names. Find out why Little Richard is currently helping Little Robin to top-scorer status in the Paulista. See that a certain low-rise lisping Carioca star has Rosa and Mario for parents. Will Bob Charles be leaving Madrid? Who does Big Phil coach? When will Little Junior From São Paulo adapt to Celtic? All this – and more.
Those who remember ‘Pulp Fiction’ may recall Bruce Willis’ boxer telling his Colombian cab driver “I’m American. Our names don’t mean shit, honey”. Here in Brazil it’s exactly the opposite; names strain under the weight of meaning. This little guide will give you all the tools to decipher the majority of repetitive names in Brazilian football.

To pseudo-intellectualise things I’ve pigeonholed the common names into the following categories;

1. Prefixes & Suffixes

 Prefixes
 Suffixes
 Size suffixes
 Other suffixes

2. Regions

3. Nicknames & Abbreviations

4. Assorted Curiosities

 Anglo-Saxonisms
 The Lord & Epics
 V or W?
 Creative Spelling
 Fauna
 Foodstuffs

5. A league of their own


1. Prefixes & Suffixes

These allow for a taste-free bolt-on of maternal and paternal first names, resulting in names of mirror-shattering ugliness.

Prefixes

 Ev- Evanilson, Evandro, Evair (Mother’s name = Eva)

 Ed- Edmilson, Edmar, (Mother’s name = Edna)

 Od- Odair, Odvan (Mother’s name = Odette)

 Ro- Romario, Rosinei (Mother’s name = Rosa)

 El- Elber, Elder, Elano (Mother’s name = Elba)


Suffixes

Size suffixes

It really does matter. With a two letter suffix plain old Ronaldo can swell up to Ronaldão (Big Ron) – as Madrid fans have seen – or with four letters can shrink to Ronaldinho (Little Ron)

 -ão Felipão (Big Phil), Betão (Big Bob – ‘Beto’ being short for Roberto), Luis(z)ão (Big Lou).

 -inho Ricardinho (Little Richard – no kidding), Marcinho (Little Marcio), Marcelinho (Little Marcel), Juninho (Little Junior – about as diminutive as it gets) and Agostinho (Little August)

Other suffixes

 -son Adoption of the Anglo-Saxon-Scandinavian form; largely reflecting the British who first brought the game to Brazil. Vary from the traditional Anderson, Jef(f)erson and Robson to the more Brazilian Jobson, Athirson, Gerson, Liedson and Jadson - including the frankly eye-watering Nadson.

 -(v)aldo Rivaldo, Nivaldo, Vivaldo, Everaldo, Edivaldo Clodoaldo, Reinaldo (Father’s name = Valdo / Waldo)

 - mar Gilmar, Nilmar, Lucimar (Lucio – Bayern Munich), Jucilmar, Josimar, Itamar, Kalmar (Mother’s name = Maria)

 -ton Another Anglicism that ranges from the conventional Wellington, Washington and Clay(i)ton to the ludicrous Jefton, Adailton, Welton, Antonieliton (Marítimo, Portugal), Elivélton (Bahia, Brazil)

 -ey The same as above; Wesley and Sidney from the old school and Warley, Ederley and Jomarley from the special needs school.

 -ei The phonetical spelling gives that milk-curdling finish to Wanderlei, Derlei, Ueslei, Rosinei and Valnei with the pointlessly unpronounceable Danrlei worthy of special mention.

 -andro Evandro and Leandro show the father was Sandro.

 -val Dorival and Sinval use –val instead of –valdo (see above)

 -air Aldair, Odair (Father’s name = Jair)

 -gol A gem of pure tackiness, this self-appointed moniker shows you’re a Really Good Striker, Thiagol and Robgol wandering shamelessly into cheeseball territory.


2. Regions

Given the vast territorial spread, the popularity of certain names and regional pride it’s common practice to differentiate players by adding their state of origin to their first name.

 Carioca The player is from Rio de Janeiro e.g. Marcelinho Carioca (Brasiliense, Brazil)

 Paulista The player is from São Paulo e.g. Juninho Paulista (Celtic, Scotland)

 Mineiro The player is from Minas Gerais e.g. Mineiro (São Paulo, Brazil)

 Gaúcho The player is from Rio Grande do Sul e.g. Ronaldinho Gaúcho (FCBarcelona, Spain)

 Pernambucano The player is from Pernambuco e.g. Juninho Pernambucano (O. Lyon, France)

 Cearense The player is from Ceara e.g. Dudu Cearense (Rennes, France)


3. Nicknames & Abbreviations

These often find their way onto the back of shirts, mercifully replacing lumbering full birth names

 Kaká / Cacá Short for Carlos or Caio. Don’t s******ingly think this is scatological; there’s no link to faeces at all, but; Tip for the top; if you visit Brazil you can make this slip when ordering a thirst-quenching coconut water. This is a Coco (emphasis on the first syllable), whilst putting the stress on the end literally turns it to shit; Cocô. Important for those who prefer their water unrusty.

 Deco Short for Andre.

 T(h)iago Short for Santiago, which in turn is St. James in English. (The Spanish use ‘Santi’ e.g. Santi Cañizares, Valencia’s very own bottle blond)

 Zé Short for Jose e.g. Zé Maria (Inter, Italy), Zé Roberto (Bayern, Germ.)

 Mané Short for Manoel

 Zé Mané Combines the two innocuous names above to come up with a synonym for ‘jerk’. As would be expected, very few Jose Manoels use the full abbreviated form in Brazil.

 Dudu, Didi, Dada, Dede, Dodo Dudu = Eduardo, Dede = Andre (like Deco), Dada (Daniel), Didi (Dirceu), Dodo (Doriva, Dorival)

 Guga Short for Gustavo

 Juca Short for João Carlos or Joaquim

 Nenê Means ‘baby’ or ‘babe’.


4. Assorted Curiosities

Anglo-Saxonisms

Apart from the British railway workers that brought the game over (formalised by a certain Charles Miller), many Americans fled the civil war to establish themselves in rural São Paulo. Although the Yanks lacked the enthusiasm for soccer shown by the Limeys, they did provide names; strangely ‘W’ based:

 Washington, Wellington, Walker, Williams, Wilson

The golden age of Liverpool’s arch-rival resulted in the common use of:

 Ev(w)erton e.g. Ewerton, Borrussia Dortmund, Ger.)

Thankfully this doesn’t extend to other teams or we’d be dealing with Dunfermline da Silva, Portsmouth Oliveira or even Queens Park Rangers Nazario and Preston North End Ferreira. Phew.


The Lord & Epics

With the kneeling circle of clasped hands after the 2002 World Cup victory the outside world was given a glimpse of Brazil’s devotion or obsession – depending on your point of view. Milan games frequently see Kaká with an ‘I belong to Jesus’ t-shirt, a practice also in vogue with other religious players. Some already show their beliefs in their names:

 Moises, Gabriel, Gideon, Jesus, Santos (The latter could also be a homage to Pelé, the living God as easily as to the Saints)

The secular side exhibits clear Greco-Romano influences:

 Hermes, Socrates, Adonis, Julio Cesar, Marco Aurelio, Cicero, Laerte


V or W?

The German pronunciation is something reflected in the spelling, the ‘W’ being replaced by ‘V’s.

 Valter, Vagner, Vanderley


Creative Spelling

To add more variety to William (first name), there are wild fluctuations in the use of a single or double ‘L’, ‘N’ or ‘M’ dallying, final ‘S’ confusion as well as the V or W debate:

 William, Williams, Wiliam, Wiliams, Villiam, Villiams, Willian, Willians

Dennis suffers fewer mutations:

 Denis, Dennis, Dennys, Denys


Fauna

Metaphors usually side with more aggressive creatures, although the ‘almost-Pelé’ Mané Garrincha showed greater sensitivity:

 Falcão (hawk) and the self-explanatory Pitbull e.g. Claudio Pitbull (PSG, France), Garrincha (songbird)


Foodstuffs

Brazilians show their culinary respect by adopting various ingredients as nicknames:

 Feijao (Beans), Dill (Dill weed), Batata (Spud – very ‘Trainspotting’)


5. A league of their own

A select few names dodge classification:

 Tostão (Red Cent), Roberto Dinamite (Bob Dynamite) and Careca (Baldy) are randomly odd, while Escurinho (Little Dark One), Meia Noite (Midnight) and Petróleo (Gasoline) are all bordering on racism but slightly balanced by Branco (Honky).

You should now be able to understand those weird names that most Brazilian footballers have and even invent credible names for non-existent players. If you wish to take it a stage further and pronounce real players’ names to the jealous astonishment of your friends, here’s a couple of hints on Brazilian pronunciation.


A Couple Of Hints On Brazilian Pronunciation

 -ão Pronounced ‘Ow!’, e.g. Sow Pow Low = São Paulo. The more nasal the better. Try it with a heavy cold, sinusitis or deviated septum.

 R / rr Pronounced like an ‘H’ at the start of the word, so the correct sound should be; Homario, Honaldo, Honaldjinho, Hivaldo. The double ‘R’ in the middle of a word receives the same treatment; Brazil’s coach is Pah – hair-ah (Parreira)

Good luck with your translating and domestic commentary, or simply have a laugh at some of the names and T.V. commentators appalling mistakes. Oh, and don’t forget that coconut pronunciation.
 

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Thankfully this doesn’t extend to other teams or we’d be dealing with Dunfermline da Silva, Portsmouth Oliveira or even Queens Park Rangers Nazario and Preston North End Ferreira. Phew.
:(
 

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PMLF said:
I dos't think the prefixes and suffixes part is completely correct.
Actually it was so wrong I stopped reading and couldn't be bothered with the rest.
 

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al-3arbi said:
Actually it was so wrong I stopped reading and couldn't be bothered with the rest.
Yeah, exactly. The article simplify and generalise too much how the names in Brazil work. :thmbdown:
 

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Mourinho & Cassano!!
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I want to call myself Dedondo, the next football superstar

That name is so funny

I wonder is someone is called Dedono LOL

ANyways,

getting back to the point

I think that this article was interesting but I feel like an idiot for reading it sinc eppl said its wrong
 

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well, i didn't take it seriously, that's why i kind of like the article.

i find that funny. but if it's supposed to be serious, then never mind that...
 

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emmer said:
well, i didn't take it seriously, that's why i kind of like the article.

i find that funny. but if it's supposed to be serious, then never mind that...
It's probably not meant to be taken seriously, like I took it.

Nonetheless it's awfully poor.
 

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Deciphering Brazilian Footballers’ Names: Know Your Ronaldinhos From Your Ronaldãos
By Aaron Marcus

3/12/2005 1:22:00 AM


Aaron Marcus rips up the famous names in Brazilian football for Goal.com readers to see the hidden meanings behind players’ names. Find out why Little Richard is currently helping Little Robin to top-scorer status in the Paulista. See that a certain low-rise lisping Carioca star has Rosa and Mario for parents. Will Bob Charles be leaving Madrid? Who does Big Phil coach? When will Little Junior From São Paulo adapt to Celtic? All this – and more.

Those who remember ‘Pulp Fiction’ may recall Bruce Willis’ boxer telling his Colombian cab driver “I’m American. Our names don’t mean shit, honey”. Here in Brazil it’s exactly the opposite; names strain under the weight of meaning. This little guide will give you all the tools to decipher the majority of repetitive names in Brazilian football.

To pseudo-intellectualise things I’ve pigeonholed the common names into the following categories;

1. Prefixes & Suffixes

 Prefixes
 Suffixes
 Size suffixes
 Other suffixes

2. Regions

3. Nicknames & Abbreviations

4. Assorted Curiosities

 Anglo-Saxonisms
 The Lord & Epics
 V or W?
 Creative Spelling
 Fauna
 Foodstuffs

5. A league of their own


1. Prefixes & Suffixes

These allow for a taste-free bolt-on of maternal and paternal first names, resulting in names of mirror-shattering ugliness.

Prefixes

 Ev- Evanilson, Evandro, Evair (Mother’s name = Eva)

 Ed- Edmilson, Edmar, (Mother’s name = Edna)

 Od- Odair, Odvan (Mother’s name = Odette)

 Ro- Romario, Rosinei (Mother’s name = Rosa)

 El- Elber, Elder, Elano (Mother’s name = Elba)


Suffixes

Size suffixes

It really does matter. With a two letter suffix plain old Ronaldo can swell up to Ronaldão (Big Ron) – as Madrid fans have seen – or with four letters can shrink to Ronaldinho (Little Ron)

 -ão Felipão (Big Phil), Betão (Big Bob – ‘Beto’ being short for Roberto), Luis(z)ão (Big Lou).

 -inho Ricardinho (Little Richard – no kidding), Marcinho (Little Marcio), Marcelinho (Little Marcel), Juninho (Little Junior – about as diminutive as it gets) and Agostinho (Little August)

Other suffixes

 -son Adoption of the Anglo-Saxon-Scandinavian form; largely reflecting the British who first brought the game to Brazil. Vary from the traditional Anderson, Jef(f)erson and Robson to the more Brazilian Jobson, Athirson, Gerson, Liedson and Jadson - including the frankly eye-watering Nadson.

 -(v)aldo Rivaldo, Nivaldo, Vivaldo, Everaldo, Edivaldo Clodoaldo, Reinaldo (Father’s name = Valdo / Waldo)

 - mar Gilmar, Nilmar, Lucimar (Lucio – Bayern Munich), Jucilmar, Josimar, Itamar, Kalmar (Mother’s name = Maria)

 -ton Another Anglicism that ranges from the conventional Wellington, Washington and Clay(i)ton to the ludicrous Jefton, Adailton, Welton, Antonieliton (Marítimo, Portugal), Elivélton (Bahia, Brazil)

 -ey The same as above; Wesley and Sidney from the old school and Warley, Ederley and Jomarley from the special needs school.

 -ei The phonetical spelling gives that milk-curdling finish to Wanderlei, Derlei, Ueslei, Rosinei and Valnei with the pointlessly unpronounceable Danrlei worthy of special mention.

 -andro Evandro and Leandro show the father was Sandro.

 -val Dorival and Sinval use –val instead of –valdo (see above)

 -air Aldair, Odair (Father’s name = Jair)

 -gol A gem of pure tackiness, this self-appointed moniker shows you’re a Really Good Striker, Thiagol and Robgol wandering shamelessly into cheeseball territory.


2. Regions

Given the vast territorial spread, the popularity of certain names and regional pride it’s common practice to differentiate players by adding their state of origin to their first name.

 Carioca The player is from Rio de Janeiro e.g. Marcelinho Carioca (Brasiliense, Brazil)

 Paulista The player is from São Paulo e.g. Juninho Paulista (Celtic, Scotland)

 Mineiro The player is from Minas Gerais e.g. Mineiro (São Paulo, Brazil)

 Gaúcho The player is from Rio Grande do Sul e.g. Ronaldinho Gaúcho (FCBarcelona, Spain)

 Pernambucano The player is from Pernambuco e.g. Juninho Pernambucano (O. Lyon, France)

 Cearense The player is from Ceara e.g. Dudu Cearense (Rennes, France)


3. Nicknames & Abbreviations

These often find their way onto the back of shirts, mercifully replacing lumbering full birth names

 Kaká / Cacá Short for Carlos or Caio. Don’t s******ingly think this is scatological; there’s no link to faeces at all, but; Tip for the top; if you visit Brazil you can make this slip when ordering a thirst-quenching coconut water. This is a Coco (emphasis on the first syllable), whilst putting the stress on the end literally turns it to shit; Cocô. Important for those who prefer their water unrusty.

 Deco Short for Andre.

 T(h)iago Short for Santiago, which in turn is St. James in English. (The Spanish use ‘Santi’ e.g. Santi Cañizares, Valencia’s very own bottle blond)

 Zé Short for Jose e.g. Zé Maria (Inter, Italy), Zé Roberto (Bayern, Germ.)

 Mané Short for Manoel

 Zé Mané Combines the two innocuous names above to come up with a synonym for ‘jerk’. As would be expected, very few Jose Manoels use the full abbreviated form in Brazil.

 Dudu, Didi, Dada, Dede, Dodo Dudu = Eduardo, Dede = Andre (like Deco), Dada (Daniel), Didi (Dirceu), Dodo (Doriva, Dorival)

 Guga Short for Gustavo

 Juca Short for João Carlos or Joaquim

 Nenê Means ‘baby’ or ‘babe’.


4. Assorted Curiosities

Anglo-Saxonisms

Apart from the British railway workers that brought the game over (formalised by a certain Charles Miller), many Americans fled the civil war to establish themselves in rural São Paulo. Although the Yanks lacked the enthusiasm for soccer shown by the Limeys, they did provide names; strangely ‘W’ based:

 Washington, Wellington, Walker, Williams, Wilson

The golden age of Liverpool’s arch-rival resulted in the common use of:

 Ev(w)erton e.g. Ewerton, Borrussia Dortmund, Ger.)

Thankfully this doesn’t extend to other teams or we’d be dealing with Dunfermline da Silva, Portsmouth Oliveira or even Queens Park Rangers Nazario and Preston North End Ferreira. Phew.


The Lord & Epics

With the kneeling circle of clasped hands after the 2002 World Cup victory the outside world was given a glimpse of Brazil’s devotion or obsession – depending on your point of view. Milan games frequently see Kaká with an ‘I belong to Jesus’ t-shirt, a practice also in vogue with other religious players. Some already show their beliefs in their names:

 Moises, Gabriel, Gideon, Jesus, Santos (The latter could also be a homage to Pelé, the living God as easily as to the Saints)

The secular side exhibits clear Greco-Romano influences:

 Hermes, Socrates, Adonis, Julio Cesar, Marco Aurelio, Cicero, Laerte


V or W?

The German pronunciation is something reflected in the spelling, the ‘W’ being replaced by ‘V’s.

 Valter, Vagner, Vanderley


Creative Spelling

To add more variety to William (first name), there are wild fluctuations in the use of a single or double ‘L’, ‘N’ or ‘M’ dallying, final ‘S’ confusion as well as the V or W debate:

 William, Williams, Wiliam, Wiliams, Villiam, Villiams, Willian, Willians

Dennis suffers fewer mutations:

 Denis, Dennis, Dennys, Denys


Fauna

Metaphors usually side with more aggressive creatures, although the ‘almost-Pelé’ Mané Garrincha showed greater sensitivity:

 Falcão (hawk) and the self-explanatory Pitbull e.g. Claudio Pitbull (PSG, France), Garrincha (songbird)


Foodstuffs

Brazilians show their culinary respect by adopting various ingredients as nicknames:

 Feijao (Beans), Dill (Dill weed), Batata (Spud – very ‘Trainspotting’)


5. A league of their own

A select few names dodge classification:

 Tostão (Red Cent), Roberto Dinamite (Bob Dynamite) and Careca (Baldy) are randomly odd, while Escurinho (Little Dark One), Meia Noite (Midnight) and Petróleo (Gasoline) are all bordering on racism but slightly balanced by Branco (Honky).

You should now be able to understand those weird names that most Brazilian footballers have and even invent credible names for non-existent players. If you wish to take it a stage further and pronounce real players’ names to the jealous astonishment of your friends, here’s a couple of hints on Brazilian pronunciation.


A Couple Of Hints On Brazilian Pronunciation

 -ão Pronounced ‘Ow!’, e.g. Sow Pow Low = São Paulo. The more nasal the better. Try it with a heavy cold, sinusitis or deviated septum.

 R / rr Pronounced like an ‘H’ at the start of the word, so the correct sound should be; Homario, Honaldo, Honaldjinho, Hivaldo. The double ‘R’ in the middle of a word receives the same treatment; Brazil’s coach is Pah – hair-ah (Parreira)

Good luck with your translating and domestic commentary, or simply have a laugh at some of the names and T.V. commentators appalling mistakes. Oh, and don’t forget that coconut pronunciation.


Aaron Marcus
 

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I'm not brazilian and i don't speak portuguese but i have a very big curiosity about brazilian football and people.
So i ask to the brazilian friend: is it all true and correct in this article?
Any comments?


Ciao!
K. A.



You can find it here
http://www.goal.com/NewsDetail.aspx?idNews=51252&idSez=147
 

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Magnificient study. :thmbup: :)
:shades:
 

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Cachorro
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King Adriano said:
I'm not brazilian and i don't speak portuguese but i have a very big curiosity about brazilian football and people.
So i ask to the brazilian friend: is it all true and correct in this article?
Any comments?
No, there are many mistakes.

First, the author displays an alarming lack of familiarity with traditional portuguese names. Saying that names like Itamar and Leandro are "taste-free bolt-on of maternal and paternal first names" just exposes the writer's ignorance on the subject he's supposedly studying; those names are very old and not "made-up".

About the nicknames and abbreviations, the author tries to stablish direct cause-effect relationships between names and nicknames, but it's not that simple. Nicknames can develop in MANY ways. "Kaka/Caca" can be derived from Carlos and Caio, yes, but also from Ricardo or other names. "Deco" can be derived from Andre, but also from Anderson or Dennis. "Thiago" ISN'T a nickname derived from "Santiago", it's a proper name. :wallbang: And so on, the author's feeble attempt to link nicknames with original names doesn't recognize that the development of nicknames doesn't follow strict pre-established rules. "Zico" for example, was a derivation of "Arthur", believe me or not – his family nickname was "Arthurzinho", over time it became "Arthurzico" and finally just "Zico". The author just looks very, very silly through this whole chapter.

And don't even get me started on the idea that "Santos" is a first name like "Gabriel" or "Jesus" – Santos is a surname, and again the article's author looks foolish. Not to mention that religion-inspired names are hardly a Brasilian exclusivity, all over the world there are people names after religious figures. But at this point the writer can't be taken seriously anymore, so bleh.

And the final display of cluelessness is saying that "Falcão" was a nickname. Falcão's full, official name was Paulo Roberto Falcão. :rolleyes:

It's a pity, really, because this is an interesting subject. If you're interested in a more well-informed text about Brazilian footballer names, look for a book by British journalist Alex Bellos called "Futebol - the Brazilian Way of Life", IIRC it contains a chapter on the topic. It's not perfect either, but it's FAR more knowledgeable than this article. ;)
 
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