Monday, 29 October 2012

The Brazilian Boys


 File:Aurélio de Figueiredo - Praia de Fortaleza, 1910.jpg

Just like with the girls, the boys have their own distinct flavour. If you have a look through Brazil's top 100 boy names, you'll find how uniquely Brazilian many of the names are - they're names that you won't find in other name charts across the world. But, like I mentioned in the earlier post, Brazil is a melting pot of cultures, and most of the names on the Brazilian chart are actually borrowed from other nationalities. Here are some of the findings from the baby announcements taken from the Journal Pioneiro.

It's always good to start off with what names are popular, to give us a clear picture of a country's naming styles. These names were the ones I came across the most:

Arthur
Lucas
João
Vinicius - By far the one that popped up the most
Cauã
Vitor
Enzo
Henrique (Enrique)
Gabriel
Guilherme 
  
Name combinations are also very popular, just like with the girls. They are more varied, but they still come up quite often. The last three in this list are classics and very recognisable. Vitor Hugo was made famous by a Brazilian footballer, Julio César and Marco Anthonio are of course the Portuguese equivalent of Julius Caeser and Mark Antony.

João Miguel
João Pedro
João Gabriel
João Vitor
Pedro Enrique 
Arthur Enrique
Luís Eduardo  
Vitor Hugo
Julio César   
Marco Anthonio   

Brazil is hugely influenced by the US. Wealthy Brazilians have homes in the US, take holidays there, and send their children to study in American universities. Brazilians, like most of the world, watch American films and television, but they are even more interested in American pop-culture than most. It isn't a surprise, therefore, to see that this influence has trickled down to the use of names. The following don't exactly fit in with the traditional Portuguese names commonly used; they are foreign imports, likely from the American name chart.

Noah
Taylor
Johnny
Alex
Ryan
Derick 
Deivid - A creative spelling to ensure that the child's name is pronounced the English way 
Henry
Arthur - It is with this name that we can really see the influence of the English speaking world. The Portuguese spelling is Artur, but I didn't come across a single one. The Arthur spelling dominates so much that it is currently #4 in the country.

You may also notice that there are a number of very Italian sounding names being used in large numbers in Brazil. This is because Brazil has a large population of Italian descendants, with estimates of 25 million Brazilians having Italian ancestry. This part of Brazilian culture is so visible that in 1999 a telenovela (which are huge there) called Terra Nostra was made. It showed the immigration of Italians to Brazil after the slave trade was abolished in 1888 and Brazil needed more workers. This influence has stuck, and Italian names are easily found.

Lorenzo (Lourenço)
Enzo Gabriel 
Pietro 
Luca 
Luigi
Alesandro
Giovanni
Viccenzo

But just because Brazil likes to borrow, it doesn't mean that it doesn't keep its own style, and that Brazilian parents don't pick names that have origins closer to home. They do, which is what makes the Brazilian name chart so fascinating. The names listed below show that Brazilians don't always look internationally for their sons' names:

Cauã Leonardo (Kauã and Kauhã were also found)
Vinicius Emanuel 
Caetano
Kaik Abrão 
Kaike (Kaique)
Jonatas
Cauê

A trend that was very obvious when looking through the birth announcements was the use of the -an ending. I'm unsure as to whether this trend corresponds with the popularity of the -en boy names that have taken the US by storm, or if no connection is to be had. Whatever the reasons for the rise in -an boy names, they seem to be favoured by Brazilian parents.
 
Luan
Kaynan
Rennan 
Ian
Bryan (Brian)
Rian (Ryan)
Ruan
Lohan
Hyran Duarte
Juan - which is not pronounced hwahn in Portuguese 

But there were many other names from the birth announcements that showed Brazil's diversity. They are difficult to categorise because they are so varied, but they are fantastic nonetheless. 

Allander
Aldemir
Nadson
Heitor 
Hanon Ryan
Ryan Bernardo
David Lucas 
Gabriel William  
Kauã Matheus
Norberto Vinicius
Gustavo Luis  
Otávio Augusto    
Lourenço Antonio   
Juam Antoni 
Estefano
Yago
Rafael (Rafhael)
Vittor
Pedro Davi
Miguel
Samuel
Thiago
Breno
Everton
Pablo
Riquelme
Israel
Francisco
Erico
Conrado
Otávio

Image: Praia de Fortaleza by Aurélio de Figueiredo