The Corner

International Small Talk

Andy, Jonah, as you note, Akbar Zeb (whom I happen to have met) has been turned down as Pakistani ambassador to Saudi Arabia because his Urdu surname means, in Arabic, penis.

On the other hand, President Lula of Brazil has a Portuguese name that means in Urdu the self-same appendage.

But then again, the late Chilean minister of works, Maximiliano Espinoza Pica, has a Spanish name that is Portuguese slang for the male member.

This is a fun and educational game for long car journeys!

[UPDATE: Several readers remind me of the Turkish diplomat who figures in a famous wartime letter back to London from His Britannic Majesty’s Ambassador to the Soviet Union.]

Mark Steyn — Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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