June 26, 2003


Via AAP:

US authorities in Iraq have been forced to change the name of the planned Iraqi armed forces, after learning that the orginal title they came up with created an unfortunate acronym in Arabic.

The planned force was originally entitled the New Iraqi Corps, whose initals in English produce a colourful Arabic synonym for fornication.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 26, 2003 03:44 PM

I'm reminded of the travails of a Japanese airline that was planning to launch its U.S. based service with the name Air Nippon United States.

Unsurprisingly, they changed to All Nippon Airways in fairly short order.

Posted by: seafarious at June 26, 2003 at 04:01 PM

What? What's wrong with Nick? A lot of people are named Nick. A few tsars and the saint for example. What? Achmed, stop laughing! That's not nice. What?

Posted by: Nick at June 26, 2003 at 09:26 PM

The Buenos Aires subtitles staff once translated, "She's a really good screw," into "She's an excellent mechanic."

Posted by: Cassandra at June 27, 2003 at 01:31 AM

Could be worse. It could have been a euphemism for nasal mucus, or feces, or a sexually transmitted disease. But a euphemism for fornication? Hell, that might improve recruitment.

Posted by: Harry at June 27, 2003 at 01:59 AM

Well, for god's sake don't tell 'em about Network Interface Cards!

Posted by: mojo at June 27, 2003 at 02:45 AM

'what happened to your virginity?'

'it was nic-ed'...

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at June 27, 2003 at 07:09 AM

They could have named themselves the MILF like the Islamist rebel group in the Philippines.

For a westerner steeped in slang it's pretty hard to take them seriously.

Posted by: kalin at June 27, 2003 at 07:21 AM

kalin, i can imagine rumsfeld reading the latest report about the milf, shaking his head, and grumbling "those are mothers i'd...."

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at June 27, 2003 at 08:51 AM

Of course there is the urabn legend that when the then named Western Australian Institute of Technology changed its name to Curtin University it was initially going to be named the Curtin University of New Technology.

Posted by: Razor at June 27, 2003 at 12:47 PM

Then there's Kingsley Amis' joke about the mythical Sam Houston Institute of Technology -- a very plausible name if you ignore the initials.

Posted by: Dr. Weevil at June 27, 2003 at 02:24 PM

Wonder if this is the origin of the recent French slang word "n*quer" for "to f***". ("N*que ta mêr"=FYM).
A fair number of other such terms derive from Arabic, like "kiffer" for "to like".

Posted by: Former Belgian at June 28, 2003 at 04:26 AM