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Brazilian nicknames


hulkIf you are introduced to Brazilians in a bar, most names seem familiar. But sometimes you would not be able to repeat what you just heard. And probably you would spell it wrong, because parents tend to be very creative with spelling as well.

If parents hear the famous song of Michael Jackson, they may decide to call their newborn Bylly Gym, or Maicon. In Brazil nobody will stop them. There are no limitations regarding foreign, stylized (Washynggtton instead of Washington) or invented names, neither regarding the amount of given names.
Some people are named after cars, places, products, numbers, American presidents, foreign musicians of football players, songs, but some names are random words that the parents saw on a document or an advertisement. Following the tradition of Portugal it is common to give children four names, but some have more. Some names are long and almost impossible to pronounce.
A lawyer at a notary public’s office, has published a book with thousands of remarkable names.
Someone who studied the strange names in Brazil, found out that parents have chosen the name because it sounds nice to them.

Popular names today
We list the top 10 of names, which prove to be very common and often biblical names, and we also list some names we found in the top 100 that you may never have heard before.
Top 10 most popular teenager girls names: Gabriela, Ana, Amanda, Fernanda, Júlia, Beatriz, Mariana, Larissa, Camila, Leticia.
Also in top 100: Andressa, Maria Eduarda, Raissa, Taynara, Laís, Yumi, Babi, Raiane.
Top 10 most popular teenager boys names: Gabriel, Lucas, Matheus, Pedro, Leonardo, Felipe, João, Vinicius, Guilherme, Daniel.
Also in top 100: Renan, Maicon, Breno, Diogo, Alef, Giliard, Caue, Zaqueu.
Most difficult part of the names in Brazil is the writing. With 7% illiteracy, and the rules for spelling and pronounciation being very complex, you will find a lot of creativity in the names and the spelling.

Foreigners notice immediately the nicknames on the football shirts.
Because many person’s names are either very common of very long and difficult to repeat, Brazilians use nicknames. More then 10 million women are called Maria, and near ten million men are called José.
Many people get a nickname, sometimes early in life. It can be a shortening of a person’s name, like Eduardo being called Dudu or José being called Zé. It can also be a physical trait, like Baixinho (Shorty) or Gordinha (Chubby). It could also be a defining trait about someone’s personality, or where a person is from, like Baiano (from Bahia) or Mineiro (from Minas Gerais). Also, a person’s name could be there name with a diminutive, like Joãozinho or Fernandinha. It could even be an invented word!
You’ll find that some Brazilian celebrities are known by their nicknames rather than their given names. It is especially common for football players and other athletes, many of which are known affectionately by their nicknames.
Here are some examples:
Xuxa – Maria da Graça Meneghel
Ronaldinho Gaúcho – Ronaldo de Assis Moreira
Pelé – Edison Arantes do Nascimento
Kaká – Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite
In academic circles people are called by their family name.

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