Sunday, January 30, 2011

Quiz Time! (European names)

Ok, here's a bit of a test for you.

So you know how Paolo is the Portuguese version of Paul, Antonio is the Italian version of Anthony, and Juan is the Spanish version of John?
Well, there's a lot more where that came from. Below are some names from all over Europe and surrounding areas. All are local versions of male given names that are common in English.

Your task: to identify their common English variant. Some of them are quite easy, some a little harder, but all are guessable if you put your mind to it. It might be helpful to bear in mind the way sounds can change from region to region; for instance, a /p/ sound in one language might easily be replaced by a /f/ or /b/ in another language.

1. João (Portuguese)

2. Guillaume (French)

3. Bostjan (Slovene)

4. Thiago (Brazilian Portugese)

5. Hagop (Armenian)

6. Hristo (Bulgarian)

7. Djibril (Arabic)

8. Dawit (Amharic)

9. Sikander (Persian/Hindi/Urdu)

10. Duarte (Portuguese/Spanish)

11. Jerzy (Polish)

12. Carlito (Spanish)

13. Boutros (Arabic)

14. Klaas (Dutch)

15. Shmuley (Hebrew)

16. Giuseppe (Italian)

Bear in mind that each of the above is not necessarily the only variant of that name, in the same way that Rick, Richard and Dick are all variants of the same name in English.

I shall post the answers in the comments section (below).


You may also like:

Guess the ethnicity - Spot the Eurasian!

How Muslim names evolve around the world

Hong Kong names

The most awesome Thai names


  1. OK people, here are your answers. I hope you did well.

    1. João (Portuguese) - John
    2. Guillaume (French) - William
    3. Bostjan (Slovene) - Sebastian
    4. Thiago (Brazilian Portugese) - Jacob*
    5. Hagop (Armenian) - Jacob*
    6. Hristo (Bulgarian) - Christopher
    7. Djibril (Arabic) - Gabriel
    8. Dawit (Amharic) - David
    9. Sikander (Persian/Hindi/Urdu) - Alexander
    10. Duarte (Portuguese/Spanish) - Edward
    11. Jerzy (Polish) - George
    12. Carlito (Spanish) - Charles
    13. Boutros (Arabic) - Peter
    14. Klaas (Dutch) - Nicholas
    15. Shmuley (Hebrew) - Samuel
    16. Giuseppe (Italian) - Joseph

    *James is also an acceptable answer; as it is itself a variant of Jacob

  2. haha.. i only got 1 correct out of 16..

  3. I would have gotten three correctly: Guillaume (Guillermo in Spanish); Dawit and Skandar.

  4. @ Mel:
    I didn't actually think of Guillermo, surprisingly enough. But Guillaume is sort of like a mid-point between Guillermo and William.

    Likewise, Boutros doesn't seem that much like Peter at all. Yet if you consider the Spanish Pedro, Polish Piotr and Greek Petros, it makes a lot more sense.

    Likewise, Klaas = Klaus = Niklaus = Nicholas

  5. the ones i got right:

    1. João (Portuguese) - John
    2. Guillaume (French) - William
    4. Thiago (Brazilian Portugese) - Jacob*
    7. Djibril (Arabic) - Gabriel
    12. Carlito (Spanish) - Charles
    14. Klaas (Dutch) - Nicholas
    16. Giuseppe (Italian) - Joseph

    but carlito (or carlitos) would be more like charlie, or chuckie, and carlos as charles or carl.