Some words can be innocent in your language but may sound very inappropriate in other languages, especially proper names. Have you ever thought beyond your language when it comes to what your name or other names mean? If you haven’t, you’re in for a surprise. A name could sound totally cute and lovely in your country but can sound very silly and inappropriate in the ears of speakers of other languages. So, here is a list of common names that could raise eyebrows in other languages and cultures.
Apple’s personal assistant name is sweet but that’s not what Georgian and Japanese speakers think. In Georgian, ‘Siri’ is slang for “penis” and in Japanese, it is a term for “buttocks”.
Bill, the nickname for William, might not be something you want to say in the Netherlands. In Dutch, the world ‘bil’ translates for “buttocks”.
Lisa in Greek sounds a lot like the word for rabies. It is spelled λύσσα.
Peter is a very common name worldwide. In French “Péter” means to fart (with a slight difference in pronunciation). Pete, the shorter version of Peter means something unexpected in Argentina. Apparently, it is slang for “fellatio”.
This is very unexpected. Nick sounds identical to the French word ‘nique’ which means “to f***”. So, think twice before naming your toddler Nick.
“Khara” means shit in Arabic.
“Kiki” means “vagina” in Tagalog. In Japanese, it also means “crisis”.
No wonder why this name fell out of use recently. In British slang, “fanny” is a vulgar word for a woman’s genitalia. In the United States, the word “fanny” used to refer to the buttocks.
Becky is short for Rebecka. But in the Philippines, it means a young gay man. It isn’t seen as a homophobic slur though. It’s used more affectionately and might be used to get some giggles from your Filipino friends.
‘Tod’ is the German word for “death”.
While the name is beloved and popular around the world, its popularity does not extend to Norway. This is because ‘Mark’ in Norwegian means “worm” and that’s why parents are reluctant to give this moniker to their babies no matter how beloved the name is in other countries.
In some Italian dialects, ‘mona’ is used to refer to woman genitals or an insult along the lines of ‘stupid’. In Spanish, it’s used to mean a female monkey.
Gary derives from a Germanic word meaning spear. But in Japanese, this name is not really that charming. It sounds like the Japanese word ‘geri’ which means diarrhea (下痢).
In Poland, ‘gil’ is not used as a name or a particularly nice word. In Polish, the word ‘gil’ means “snot”.