names1You’ve seen it with the sports stars: Pele, Naymar, Ronaldinho, etc. Here in Brazil, most people go by first names only. I’m Dona Ana and I’m married to Ser Tomas.

When we introduce ourselves, it’s first names only. Que legal!

The fun part is learning all of the Brazilian names, especially the ones that end in “son.” Denilson, Edison, Edson, Wilson, Benson, Emerson, Anderson, Addison, Nilson, etc. We asked a friend about this, and she said that many of the people from the country added “son” to their children’s names because it seemed more chic, more elegant.

You have the typical names: Monica, Fernanda, Arthur, Luis, Alex, etc. My own favorites are the “R” names: Rodrigo, Raisa, Roderick…pronounced Hodigo, Hiesa, and Hodrick. The problem with learning these names is that I now pronounce all “R” names with an “h”: the French soccer player is Hibery, the Dutch soccer player is Hobben, and our friend is frequently called Hoy.

We make a point of asking the names of the guards and maids, and this can be a fun exercise in patience, for all of us: Adaminho, Robertinho (Hobertinyo, try getting that one right when you’ve just moved here!), Joaluó, João, and Agnaldo being the best. We’ve also had Cicero, Dante, and Cesar do repair work in our apartment.

The name “Neto” is a diminuitive for grandson. Chances are, his name is the same as his grandfather, and he goes by Neto. Then there is Marc Antonio, who goes by Marchinho (Mar-cheen-yo).

Look at the wonderful names on the rosters of the soccer teams here in Brazil: Wellington, Denilson, Paulinho, Bruno, Fabio, Milton, Ernando, Edinho, Elivelton, Ralf, Casio, Romarinho, Durval, Arouco, and Dudu. What fun!

Too bad the street names don’t follow a similar format. Our small street is called Barao do Triunfo, which is a reasonably short name. More often than not, the name includes a title, such as Professor, General, Doctor, Senator, President: such as Rua Doutor Penaforte Mendez. You never know what portion of the name is going to show up on the street sign. One road is known within a three-block stretch as either Rua Riu Barbosa, Viaduto Armando Puglisi-Armandinho do Bixiga, or Rua Trez de Maio. And then there’s the two-block street named Rua Capitano Felisbino de Morais, not to be confused with the next parallel street, Rua Jose Antonió Morais, both of which feature Morais in the name. How much easier would it be just to use first names: Penaforte, Barbosa, Armando, Felisbino, and Jose Antonio.

But that would be too logical.