Language of Airports

From an English-speaking perspective, some of the names and abbreviations of airports around the world are exceedingly unusual and unfortunate.

Unfortunate IATA airport codes include:

BAD (Barksdale Air Force Base, Bossier City, Louisiana, United States); BOG (Bogotá Airport, Columbia); BUM (Butler Airport, United States); DIK (Dickinson Airport, United States); DOH (Doha Airport, Qatar); FAT (Fresno Yosemite International Airport, California, United States); GIT (Geita Airport, Tanzania); KOK (Kokkola/Pietarsaari Kruunupyy Airport, Finland); MAD (Madrid Barajas International Airport, Spain); NOB (Nosara Beach Airport, Costa Rica); OLD (Old Town Municipal Airport, Maine, United States); PEE (Perm Airport, Russia); POO (Pocos De Caldas Airport, Brazil); SAD (Safford Regional Airport, Arizona, United States); SEX (Sembach Airport, Germany).

Unusual names of airports include:

Batman Airport (BAL) Turkey; Black Tickle Airport (YBI) Canada; Brest Airport (BES) France; Dang Airport (DNP) Nepal; Fak Fak Airport (FKQ) Indonesia; Flin Flon Airport (YFO) Canada; Fort Dix Airport (WRI) United States; Fukui Airport (FKJ) Japan; Gaylord Airport (GLR) United States; Linga Linga Airport (LGN) Papua New Guinea; Mafia Airport (MFA) Tanzania; Mala Mala Airport (AAM) South Africa; Moron Airport (MXV) Mongolia; Ponce Airport (PSE) Puerto Rico; Pratt Airport (PTT) United States; Shafter Airport (MIT) United States; Tsili Tsili Airport (TSI) Papau New Guinea; Useless Loop Airport (USL) Australia; Wagga Wagga Airport (WGA) Australia; Wee Waa Airport (WEW) Australia; Wuhu Airport (WHU) China.

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In Britain, it is illegal for a political party in an election to call itself ‘None of the Above’. This is to prevent the words appearing on ballot papers; presumably, there is a fear that the NOTA party would win by a landslide.

Michael J Fox’s middle name is Andrew.

Karaoke means “empty orchestra” in Japanese.

In the Oxford English Dictionary, the first use of the word ‘sponge-cake’ is attributed to Jane Austen.

The first treaty Adolf Hitler ever made as a dictator was with the Vatican.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

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Henry IV of France promoted green parks in Paris. He is responsible for a street called the Street of the Bridge of Cabbages.

10,113 Americans insured themselves against giving birth to the messiah at the millennium.

The 10th President of Nigeria (that is, the 3rd President of the Fourth Nigerian Republic), was called Goodluck Jonathan.

Scorpions navigate by starlight.

More than 50% of the world’s languages are located in just eight countries: India, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, and Cameroon.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

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According to the Greek Historian Herodotes, king Xerxes I of Persia had the Dardanelles (also known as the Hellespont) whipped three hundred times and branded with red-hot iron rods for the crime of ‘breaking two bridges’. He also had the architects beheaded.

37% of all the people in the world are either Indian or Chinese.

The longest English name on record is Leone Sextus Denys Oswolf Fraudatifilius Tollemache-Tollemache de Orellana Plantagenet Tollemache-Tollemache. He was a captain in the British Army who died during the First World War in 1917, aged 32.

Bambi, Dizzy, Squiffy, Puddin, Lord Cupid, The Blubberer, Jack Boot, Hubble-Bubble, The Coroner, Stalin, and The Great She-Elephant are all nicknames for British Prime Ministers.

When a Mormon church elder told writer and comedian Stephen Fry he would be reunited with his entire family after death if he become a Mormon, he replied “What happens if you’re good?” He was asked to leave Salt Lake City immediately.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

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The German composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was born in 1685, the same year as Handel and Scarlatti. He was the father of 20 children.

George Frideric Handel, born in the same year ...

Thomas Hudson’s 1749 painting of George Frideric Handel, born in the same year as Johann Sebastian Bach and Domenico Scarlatti

The English word Growler may refer to: a pseudonym of singer Errol Duke, a size of iceberg, a sound-powered telephone used on US Navy ships, a type of beer bottle, a type of horse-drawn cab, a Yorkshire artisan pork pie, an electrical device for testing electric motors, an internally transportable vehicle, a horse-drawn carriage known as a Clarence, it is the nickname of a jet fighter known as the EA-18 Growler, it is also slang for a hot dog and vagina.

Torschlusspanik is a German word meaning ‘the fear of diminishing opportunities as one grows older’.

In 1999 The German Language Society, based in Wiesbaden, nominated Rind­fleisch­eti­ket­tie­rungs­über­wachungs­auf­ga­ben­über­tra­gungs­ge­setzas its Word of The Year. It came tenth in the national contest. The winner was Millennium.

Bob Dylan’s real name is Robert Allen Zimmerman. Zimmerman is German for carpenter. For his début album, Bob Dylan (1962) Dylan recorded the song House Carpenter but it was not included on the album and he never sang it again in public.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

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The word geranium is spelt the same in French, Latin and Dutch. It comes from geranos, the Greek word for ‘crane’.

Gerald Ford, official Presidential photo. Fran...

Gerald Ford in 1974

There are more than 300 species of geranium. Over 100 million geranium plants are grown and sold commercially every year.

Gerald Rudolph Ford (1913-2006), who served as 38th President of the USA, is the only US President who was never elected as either President or Vice President. His real name was Leslie Lynch King Jr. He didn’t find this out until he was 17, when his real father confronted him in a cafe.

During the Second World War, 70,000 tons of German bombs fell on Britain, killing 60,000 people.

In 2003, a poll of three million Germans voted Konrad Adenauer the greatest German of all time. Martin Luther came second and Karl Marx came third. No one was allowed to vote for Adolf Hitler.

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Patronymic‏ Names

A patronym, or patronymic, is a component of a personal name based on the name of one’s father, grandfather or an even earlier male ancestor.A component of a name based on the name of one’s mother or a female ancestor is a matronymic.

Each is a means of conveying lineage. Patronymics are still in use in many places world wide, although their use has largely been replaced by family names.

Icelandic names differ from most current Western family name systems by being patronymic in that they reflect the immediate father of the child and not the historic family lineage. The Icelandic system does not use family names. A person’s surname indicates the first name of the person’s father.

Some family names exist in Iceland, mostly inherited from parents of foreign origin, while some are adopted. Before 1925, it was legal to adopt new family names; one Icelander to do so was the Nobel Prize-winning author Halldór Laxness. Since 1925, one cannot adopt a family name unless one explicitly has a legal right to do so through inheritance.

First names that have not been previously used in Iceland must be approved by the Icelandic Naming Committee (Icelandic: Mannanafnanefnd) before being used. The criterion for acceptance of names is whether or not they can be easily incorporated into the Icelandic language. First, they must contain only letters found in the Icelandic alphabet and second, they must be able to be declined, that is, modified according to their grammatical case.

A basic family tree showing the patronymic nam...

A basic family tree showing the patronymic names of an Icelandic father’s two children. The passed down name is underlined.

Icelandic patronymic naming works likes this: a man named Jón Einarsson has a son named Ólafur. Ólafur’s last name will not be Einarsson like his father’s; it will become Jónsson, literally indicating that Ólafur is the son of Jón (Jóns + son).

The same practice is used for daughters. The daughter of Jón Einarsson is called Sigríður, she would not have the last name Einarsson; she would have the name Jónsdóttir. Again, the name literally meaning the daughter of Jón (Jóns + dóttir).

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