For those who
donít know, here is how they name streets in Limassol (Iím not sure how they do
it elsewhere in Cyprus): The local authorities find a famous dead person or a
well known place or event. If the name isnít Greek, then they find its Greek
equivalent or they translate it into Greek. That gives them the top half of the
street sign. So far, so good. Next, in a misguided attempt to follow policy
believed to be handed down from various high and mighty cultural experts, they
translate this Greek name back into English, but phonetically, giving us the
lower part of the sign. Then everyone else tries to work out exactly what the
English part is supposed to mean.
A drive around my
town can unearth great comic delights. Here are some favourite street names,
found by driving around Limassol (or Lemesos as it is now known) and its
environs, plus a handful at the end to test you with:
Gkropious- German Architect,
currently turning in his grave. Actually, architects are pretty popular. We
also have a street called Lekorpouzie and one named F. L Rait.
Georgiou Ouasigkton- Named
after an American president. But Iíve never heard of Oasigkton.
Yet another street called after American president. Allegedly.
Rousvelt- I love how they spell this one.
First he gets shot before he has a chance to win the elections, and now this.
Brother of the late Tzon Kennenty.
Salvator Ntali- Given the name
of a surrealist painter. Or so Iím told.
Ouolter Ntisney- Apparently,
an American cartoonist and moviemaker.
Rovertou Koch- Bears the name
of Nobel Prize Winner. Or thereabouts.
Alvertou Svaitser- Another
Nobel recipient. Can you work out who it is?
Machatma Gkanti- I understand
that Gkanti only just missed out on the Nobel Prize.
Ioanni Kempler- You work out
the secrets of the solar system and this is how people remember you.
Viktoros Oungo- French guy who
I hear wrote a few books. Probably used a nom de plume otherwise I would have
heard of him.
Onore Nte Balzak- A compatriot
of Mr Oungo, apparently.
Outrillo- Also French, but in
this case a painter.
Almprekt Ntourer- Another
painter, this time a German. Took me a while to work this one out.
Bertolnt Brecht- At least they
got the surname right.
Entgkar Poe- Again, try as
they did to get it all wrong, the surname is correct.
Gian Simpelious- Jean Sibelius
was a Finnish composer. Iím not sure who Gian Simpelious was.
And a selection of others for
you to work out- Giougkoslavias, Voukourestiou, Amstertam, Romis, Londinou,
Dounaveos, Amoundsen, Da Vitsi and Gkaite. Actually, Iím only fifty-fity about
who the last one refers to (hint: I think itís a German writer).
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