What’s in a Name? – Saludos Amigos

7th April, 2011 - Posted by DisAnim - Comments Off on What’s in a Name? – Saludos Amigos

Saludos Amigos simply means “Hello Friends.” There aren’t very many characters to explore the meaning of their names, and some have names with English equivalents, but otherwise are of no significance (such as Pedro, which means Peter).

The origin of the name Titicaca is unknown, though some have translated it as “Rock Puma,” because the lake looks kind of like a puma chasing a rabbit. While I agree that it does look like that, I have a hard time anyone without a satellite’s view would ever have thought of it. Aconcagua’s name origins are also unknown, though there are several local languages that could have strong arguments that it came from them; my favorite is the Quechua term which is translated as “sentinel of stone.” The origin of the word “gaucho” is also unknown, though some have speculated that it originally meant “orphan” or “vagabond.”

José Carioca has a name with meaning, however. José is the Portuguese equivalent of the English Joseph. This means that while in America, he goes by the name of Joe Carioca, but in Brazil he goes by the name of Zé Carioca. Carioca comes from a word that originally meant “white man’s house,” referring to the European settlers. Today, as a Brazilian term it refers to those from Rio de Janeiro. Thus, José Carioca is aptly named, as he was a Disney character whose concept was born both ideologically in Brazil and while the cartoonists where literally there.

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