The Yat (One) and Only Journey

Monday, 14 March, 2005

Know Your Fave Bazillian Footballers Names / Create Your Own Brazillian Name

Filed under: Footballs — Yatz @ 8:12 pm

Those who remember ?Pulp Fiction? may recall Bruce Willis? boxer telling his Colombian cab driver ?I?m American. Our names don?t mean shit, honey?. Here in Brazil it?s exactly the opposite; names strain under the weight of meaning. This little guide will give you all the tools to decipher the majority of repetitive names in Brazilian football.To pseudo-intellectualise things I?ve pigeonholed the common names into the following categories;

1. Prefixes & Suffixes

? Prefixes
? Suffixes
? Size suffixes
? Other suffixes

2. Regions

3. Nicknames & Abbreviations

4. Assorted Curiosities

? Anglo-Saxonisms
? The Lord & Epics
? V or W?
? Creative Spelling
? Fauna
? Foodstuffs

5. A league of their own

1. Prefixes & Suffixes

These allow for a taste-free bolt-on of maternal and paternal first names, resulting in names of mirror-shattering ugliness.


? Ev- Evanilson, Evandro, Evair (Mother?s name = Eva)

? Ed- Edmilson, Edmar, (Mother?s name = Edna)

? Od- Odair, Odvan (Mother?s name = Odette)

? Ro- Romario, Rosinei (Mother?s name = Rosa)

? El- Elber, Elder, Elano (Mother?s name = Elba)


Size suffixes

It really does matter. With a two letter suffix plain old Ronaldo can swell up to Ronald㯠(Big Ron) ? as Madrid fans have seen ? or with four letters can shrink to Ronaldinho (Little Ron)

? -㯠Felip㯠(Big Phil), Bet㯠(Big Bob ? ?Beto? being short for Roberto), Luis(z)㯠(Big Lou).

? -inho Ricardinho (Little Richard ? no kidding), Marcinho (Little Marcio), Marcelinho (Little Marcel), Juninho (Little Junior ? about as diminutive as it gets) and Agostinho (Little August)

Other suffixes

? -son Adoption of the Anglo-Saxon-Scandinavian form; largely reflecting the British who first brought the game to Brazil. Vary from the traditional Anderson, Jef(f)erson and Robson to the more Brazilian Jobson, Athirson, Gerson, Liedson and Jadson – including the frankly eye-watering Nadson.

? -(v)aldo Rivaldo, Nivaldo, Vivaldo, Everaldo, Edivaldo Clodoaldo, Reinaldo (Father?s name = Valdo / Waldo)

? – mar Gilmar, Nilmar, Lucimar (Lucio ? Bayern Munich), Jucilmar, Josimar, Itamar, Kalmar (Mother?s name = Maria)

? -ton Another Anglicism that ranges from the conventional Wellington, Washington and Clay(i)ton to the ludicrous Jefton, Adailton, Welton, Antonieliton (Marmo, Portugal), Eliv鬴on (Bahia, Brazil)

? -ey The same as above; Wesley and Sidney from the old school and Warley, Ederley and Jomarley from the special needs school.

? -ei The phonetical spelling gives that milk-curdling finish to Wanderlei, Derlei, Ueslei, Rosinei and Valnei with the pointlessly unpronounceable Danrlei worthy of special mention.

? -andro Evandro and Leandro show the father was Sandro.

? -val Dorival and Sinval use ?val instead of ?valdo (see above)

? -air Aldair, Odair (Father?s name = Jair)

? -gol A gem of pure tackiness, this self-appointed moniker shows you?re a Really Good Striker, Thiagol and Robgol wandering shamelessly into cheeseball territory.

2. Regions

Given the vast territorial spread, the popularity of certain names and regional pride it?s common practice to differentiate players by adding their state of origin to their first name.

? Carioca The player is from Rio de Janeiro e.g. Marcelinho Carioca (Brasiliense, Brazil)

? Paulista The player is from S㯠Paulo e.g. Juninho Paulista (Celtic, Scotland)

? Mineiro The player is from Minas Gerais e.g. Mineiro (S㯠Paulo, Brazil)

? Ga?The player is from Rio Grande do Sul e.g. Ronaldinho Ga?(FCBarcelona, Spain)

? Pernambucano The player is from Pernambuco e.g. Juninho Pernambucano (O. Lyon, France)

? Cearense The player is from Ceara e.g. Dudu Cearense (Rennes, France)

3. Nicknames & Abbreviations

These often find their way onto the back of shirts, mercifully replacing lumbering full birth names

? Kakᠯ Cac᠓hort for Carlos or Caio. Don?t sniggeringly think this is scatological; there?s no link to faeces at all, but; Tip for the top; if you visit Brazil you can make this slip when ordering a thirst-quenching coconut water. This is a Coco (emphasis on the first syllable), whilst putting the stress on the end literally turns it to shit; Coc?mportant for those who prefer their water unrusty.

? Deco Short for Andre.

? T(h)iago Short for Santiago, which in turn is St. James in English. (The Spanish use ?Santi? e.g. Santi Ca񩺡res, Valencia?s very own bottle blond)

? Z頓hort for Jose e.g. Z頍aria (Inter, Italy), Z頒oberto (Bayern, Germ.)

? Man頓hort for Manoel

? Z頍an頃ombines the two innocuous names above to come up with a synonym for ?jerk?. As would be expected, very few Jose Manoels use the full abbreviated form in Brazil.

? Dudu, Didi, Dada, Dede, Dodo Dudu = Eduardo, Dede = Andre (like Deco), Dada (Daniel), Didi (Dirceu), Dodo (Doriva, Dorival)

? Guga Short for Gustavo

? Juca Short for Jo㯠Carlos or Joaquim

? Nenꠍeans ?baby? or ?babe?.

4. Assorted Curiosities


Apart from the British railway workers that brought the game over (formalised by a certain Charles Miller), many Americans fled the civil war to establish themselves in rural S㯠Paulo. Although the Yanks lacked the enthusiasm for soccer shown by the Limeys, they did provide names; strangely ?W? based:

? Washington, Wellington, Walker, Williams, Wilson

The golden age of Liverpool?s arch-rival resulted in the common use of:

? Ev(w)erton e.g. Ewerton, Borrussia Dortmund, Ger.)

Thankfully this doesn?t extend to other teams or we?d be dealing with Dunfermline da Silva, Portsmouth Oliveira or even Queens Park Rangers Nazario and Preston North End Ferreira. Phew.

The Lord & Epics

With the kneeling circle of clasped hands after the 2002 World Cup victory the outside world was given a glimpse of Brazil?s devotion or obsession ? depending on your point of view. Milan games frequently see Kakᠷith an ?I belong to Jesus? t-shirt, a practice also in vogue with other religious players. Some already show their beliefs in their names:

? Moises, Gabriel, Gideon, Jesus, Santos (The latter could also be a homage to Pel鬠the living God as easily as to the Saints)

The secular side exhibits clear Greco-Romano influences:

? Hermes, Socrates, Adonis, Julio Cesar, Marco Aurelio, Cicero, Laerte

V or W?

The German pronunciation is something reflected in the spelling, the ?W? being replaced by ?V?s.

? Valter, Vagner, Vanderley

Creative Spelling

To add more variety to William (first name), there are wild fluctuations in the use of a single or double ?L?, ?N? or ?M? dallying, final ?S? confusion as well as the V or W debate:

? William, Williams, Wiliam, Wiliams, Villiam, Villiams, Willian, Willians

Dennis suffers fewer mutations:

? Denis, Dennis, Dennys, Denys


Metaphors usually side with more aggressive creatures, although the ?almost-Pel钠Man頇arrincha showed greater sensitivity:

? Falc㯠(hawk) and the self-explanatory Pitbull e.g. Claudio Pitbull (PSG, France), Garrincha (songbird)


Brazilians show their culinary respect by adopting various ingredients as nicknames:

? Feijao (Beans), Dill (Dill weed), Batata (Spud ? very ?Trainspotting?)

5. A league of their own

A select few names dodge classification:

? Tost㯠(Red Cent), Roberto Dinamite (Bob Dynamite) and Careca (Baldy) are randomly odd, while Escurinho (Little Dark One), Meia Noite (Midnight) and Petr󬥯 (Gasoline) are all bordering on racism but slightly balanced by Branco (Honky).

You should now be able to understand those weird names that most Brazilian footballers have and even invent credible names for non-existent players. If you wish to take it a stage further and pronounce real players? names to the jealous astonishment of your friends, here?s a couple of hints on Brazilian pronunciation.

A Couple Of Hints On Brazilian Pronunciation

? -㯠Pronounced ?Ow!?, e.g. Sow Pow Low = S㯠Paulo. The more nasal the better. Try it with a heavy cold, sinusitis or deviated septum.

? R / rr Pronounced like an ?H? at the start of the word, so the correct sound should be; Homario, Honaldo, Honaldjinho, Hivaldo. The double ?R? in the middle of a word receives the same treatment; Brazil?s coach is Pah ? hair-ah (Parreira)

Good luck with your translating and domestic commentary, or simply have a laugh at some of the names and T.V. commentators appalling mistakes. Oh, and don?t forget that coconut pronunciation.

Adapted from


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