The names of shame | Stephen Bayley | Comment is free |

Right now, in Andalucia, they are selling a local whisky called “Dyck”. Anglophone larrikins enjoy entering bars and asking very loudly for “a big dick”.

In fact, the whiskey is called DYC, short for Destilerías y Crianza, and it’s not local to Andalucia. It’s very popular among people to whom the English word ‘dick’ means nothing. Personally I find it headshrinkingly disgusting, but it was never intended to be targeted at ‘anglophone larrikins’. I’m sure I’m guilty of the same sort of sniggering myself on other occasions, but as a general principle the fact that a word in one language sounds a lot like a rude word in another should never give cause for amusement (cf Aon Focal Eile by Richie Kavanagh). Still, it was funny the time a whole load of French kids started laughing at a guy I know called Shane because his name sounded a lot like ‘chien’.

3 Responses to “Soundalikes”

  1. 1 Donagh June 30, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Woah, on the back of this I discovered that the lyric ‘un chien andalusia’ in the Pixies’ song Debaser which always confused me was changed by Black Francis because the title of Buñuel’s film, Un chien andalou sounded too French.

  2. 2 Rusty June 30, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    There’s nothing like starting the day in Spain with a cup of Hornimans tea.

  3. 3 Hugh Green June 30, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Oh yeah.. chien…andalusia. That never occurred to me when I wrote the post, but I’m sure the bit at the end was the product of unconscious strivings.

    I never drink tea in Spain. There is something unnatural about making tea with a microwave. But there is also something unnatural about using a kettle in Spain. I think people should only drink tea in Ireland, with a drop of fresh milk, not UHT. However, I am planning on writing a post on why we should abolish fresh milk.

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June 2009

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