You, Too, Can Be From Curacao


Any day now one of the most esteemed records in professional sports, the Japanese single-season home run mark, will be toppled by a man whose name nobody can pronounce. This seems to be a recurring problem with people from Wladimir Balentien’s native Curaçao. It is almost as though these people want to discourage immigrants through sheer linguistic perversity. Even if you can master the name of the country itself, you get there and you have to make friends with folks named Andrelton Simmons and Jair Jurrjens and Hensley Meulens and Jonathan Schoop. Scanning the names of some “famous” non-baseballing Curaçaoans only reinforces the suspicion: consider Riechedly Bazoer, Angelo Cijntje, and Ruelly Etienne-Winklaar. These are names that sound like regular names from around the world, if regular names were torn into pieces, put into a hat, shaken thoroughly, and reconstituted by small children.

Fortunately, this has irritated me enough that I have, through dogged effort, at last cracked the Curaçaoan code and deciphered the rules by which parents on this twisted island christen their offspring. I present it to you now, so that you, too, may have an authentic Curaçaoan name with which to torment your future acquaintances.

1. Begin with your own, existing, perfectly adequate name.
2. Remove one letter at random.
3. If your name contains an “s,” replace it with “sch.”
4. Insert one “j” or “w” in your name at a position of aesthetic felicity.
5. Select one of the following changes to make to your first name:
– Append either “elton” or “ickson.” If your name is one syllable, simply add the suffix to the end. If more than one, replace the final syllable, starting with its first vowel.
– Take the first consonant and the first vowel of the name and repeat it. E.g., “Brad” becomes “Baba.”
– Append either “ly” or “ley.”
6. Select one of the following changes to make to your last name:
– Append one of the following: “a,” “ius,” or “ens.”
– Take one vowel and double it. E.g., “Jones” becomes “Joones.”
7. If still dissatisfied, cut one syllable from either name and insert it randomly into the other.

My own Curaçaoan name is Matthelton Schmijtens. I expect to hear from you in the comments.

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Patrick Homer
10 years ago

Patrickson Hoomerjens

10 years ago
Reply to  Patrick Homer


Mississippi Matt Smith = Mischschischschippelton Matthew Schmijtens

Jason Bay
10 years ago
Reply to  tz

Jaja Wayens.

Think I have a second career making sitcoms on BET.

I don't care what the author
10 years ago
Reply to  Jason Bay

If we can go outside of baseball:

Lance Armstrong = Lala Arschtwrong

Mike Lowell
10 years ago

Mijkelton Lowellens

10 years ago
Reply to  Patrick Homer

It is not completely correct, most of the time names of the children on our island are chosen by taking the name of the daddy and the mom and make a combination of these two names. But I like your way of analyzing things, I am going to try it with my own name and my children’s name,lol

10 years ago
Reply to  Evelyne

I thought as much. I figured that when Rogearvin Bernadina was born, his parents tossed a coin: Heads, we name him my father, Roger (or Rogelio), tails we name him after your father, Arvin. The coin landed on edge in the sand and they decided that Rogearvin sounded better than Arvinger (or Arvingelio).

10 years ago
Reply to  Patrick Homer

i am from curacao and the naming is nothing so dastardly or siniste
its much much whorse 🙂
we are simply multi lingual average curacao inhabitant speak a minimum
of 2 languages fluently at the age of 8 and usualy 4 by 18
and it can go higher depending on your personal interest
surnames come from all over the world europe latin america mostly
and names have dutch american and native language papiamento influences to them .. I assure u those names are quite normal here and where not intended to frustrate anyone except maybe ur third grade teacher 🙂

Sidney Ponson
10 years ago
Reply to  mickey

Hey, someone called me Fatjelton Arubnius.