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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191 Responses to “You, Too, Can Be From Curacao”

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  1. Patrick Homer says:

    Patrickson Hoomerjens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • tz says:


      Mississippi Matt Smith = Mischschischschippelton Matthew Schmijtens

      +13 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Evelyne says:

      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

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • jwbiii says:

        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).

        +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • mickey says:

      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 :-)

      +14 Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. JE says:

    Jakickson Miltonerly

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Justin says:

    Juschtickson Graay

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Henry says:

    hjenrleton drschcheel

    for a name with an -sch- already in it, the replace an s with sch rule was particularly good

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Asmo says:

    Danjelton Weeschton

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Stephen says:

    Schephelton Dj’Amiico

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Jurickson Profar says:

    Jurickschonley Powfarens

    +24 Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Harper Hill says:

    Hapjerly Hillens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. Zach Reynolds says:

    I love this.
    Zachrickson Wreynooldsch

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. ettin says:

    Oobbicksningonly Cuunwhamius

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Nevin says:

    Newilton Paattjens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. Joelskil says:

    Jowelienckson Koschens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. Aaron says:

    Jar Jar Binks?

    +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. dfives says:

    Wjadelton Baleenimirtien

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. Carjonickson Ciischtulli

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. Sean says:

    Scheanilton Fjerrickson

    I’m running with this

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. Kalinago says:

    Beverly Sills

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. Stockhfcrx says:

    Dadamnelton Flewetens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. Matt Smith says:

    Mamajhicksonly Schmithens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. Jaschelton Kiid says:

    Jaschelton Kiid

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. Trip Somers says:

    Tipickson Schjomeers

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. Samuel Rorabaugh says:

    Schasamul Roraabaujgh

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. Adam Peterson says:

    Admelton Pjeterschens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. Rod Blunck says:

    Rwodickson Bluunc

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. AJT says:

    Anjelton Thomaaschonens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  26. Lujelton Broown says:

    Lujelton Broown

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  27. Well-Beered Englishman says:

    Brickson Eijnhaartens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  28. mattc says:

    Mattjelton Chischtmaanius

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  29. se1915 says:

    Schamuelickson Ewlodius

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  30. Josh WIlson says:

    Jjoschhley Wilonius

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  31. Dadajelton says:

    Dadajelton Roobelesch

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  32. Joe says:

    Jojoe Mjoogord

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  33. Big Bucks Bonilla says:

    Wlaeickson Riizzardini

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  34. Marco Esposito says:

    Pomarickson Essitens.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  35. Eno Sarris says:

    Enilton Schaanorius… Like my regular name, with a touch of claass.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  36. The Return of Rambo Diaz says:

    Dayn Perry

    +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

  37. Nukewhales says:

    Bljanelton Broowna

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  38. Jason says:

    Jaschickson Lewens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  39. Craig Robinson says:

    Craigley Robijschoon

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  40. Terrible Ted says:

    Wyelton Gjraay

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  41. Kate Morrison says:

    Kajtely Morischoon

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  42. Andrew Fisher says:

    Anjrelton Fischens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  43. RC says:

    Rojickson Cunninghius

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  44. Tim Lycurgus says:

    TIti Lycuujgusch

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  45. Ben Duronio says:

    Benelton Durniijoens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  46. Juan says:

    Janickson Agagaley

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  47. Tybalt says:

    Curgelton Railjayens.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  48. Justin Bakaian says:

    Jutickson Baakwaian

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  49. MSpitz says:

    Michelton Schpiijznagel

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  50. BalkingHeads says:

    Gregelton Karjamanius

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  51. Ross says:

    Rojschwickson Pruuitius

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  52. Duncan says:

    Dudu Wroobinsens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  53. tz says:

    Tojacto Zwajacens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  54. BenRevereDoesSteroids says:

    BjenRevelton DooschSchteroidsch

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  55. Scooter says:

    Mathelton Hoowtz

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  56. Tom Steele says:

    Tomelton Schteweens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  57. Andrew McCutchen says:

    Bowickson Wowens

    +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

  58. Wladimir Balentien says:

    Wldwimickson Balentienius

    +10 Vote -1 Vote +1

  59. Chris Aplin says:

    Wiwichisickson Jaaplinens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  60. drtrix says:

    Patrickson Trickeelens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  61. I don't care what anyone says:

    Ily won’t care what anyoone

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  62. John Elway says:

    Jhnaayelton Elwens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  63. Yoenis Cespedes says:

    Yoeisley Ceschpjedeschius

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  64. Daniel says:

    Didiley Gregoorousens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  65. Bartolo Colon says:

    Baba Cowlonius

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  66. Mike Trout says:

    Mimi Rojuta

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  67. Kurt says:

    Kjurtton Aandelrschoon

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  68. Johnny Guitar says:

    Kjyleley Miith

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  69. JMS says:

    Jwarickson Schtipemaan

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  70. Daniel Siegal says:

    Djanelton Schiegaalens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  71. Kurt Suzuki says:

    Kuku Schujzuuki

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  72. Corey Kluber says:

    Crewyley Luberens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  73. Jeff Samardzija says:

    Jefelton Schwamardzijens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  74. Yu Darvish says:

    Yuelton Drvijschhens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  75. Illinois glass M. Michael Sheets says:

    Landeekley Oojue

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  76. suicide squeeze says:

    schuicjidely schquezens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  77. murphym45 says:

    Matthley Murpjens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  78. Alejxelton Boischeert

    If no one makes a web application to automate this in the next 24 hours, we have failed as a nation.

    +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

  79. Pete Sampras says:

    Pepe Schwampaasch

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  80. Ricky Ledee says:

    Rickickson Lweeee

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  81. shibboleth says:

    chrischickson hoodujens

    google yours for additional confusion!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  82. Tim Tebow says:

    Titi Teebww

    This thread > me

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  83. Choo says:

    Weely Blakeenschwipius

    Hell yes. I’m keeping it.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  84. Sammy Sosa says:

    Schwammelton Schooscha

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  85. Greg says:

    Greggejeltonly Hickscheens, although I am quite sure I fucked up somewhere along the line. I suck at following directions.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  86. emlazar says:

    Ewanly Lazaar

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  87. For the record, this is the funniest thing I’ve read in a while. Bravo Matthelton Schmijtens, bravo. In Curacao, we tend to mash-up mom and dad’s name (sometimes grandmother and grandfather too) resulting in truly unique concoctions, often very difficult to pronounce and therefore reduced to “Juni” and “Dèka”, “Zusje” (little sister) and “Broertje”(little brother), or simply Mientje (pron: Meencheh), Liesje (pron: Leesheh), Suzy or Bob.

    I’ve compiled a list of favorites, all real people, for real.











    And more:

    +29 Vote -1 Vote +1

  88. Joshua Thomas says:

    Joschuelton Thomjasius

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  89. U2 Can Be From Curaçao says:

    Paulickson Hjeewwschon
    Davelton Ewanschius
    Admickson Claajyton
    Lala Muwlleens, Jr.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  90. Peewee Reese says:

    elton RPweeeeeesche

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  91. Mark says:

    What about the name: Go fuck yourself
    Why are you looking at the names on our island……..

    Go look at the history of your own sick country!!!
    The most rascist country in the world

    -20 Vote -1 Vote +1

  92. Dayton Moore says:

    Dmbelton Aschschjens.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  93. I can't cure a heifer... says:

    But I can definitely Curaçao

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  94. Dave (UK) says:

    Dada Bwukens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  95. Jairo Silberie says:

    twisted island?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  96. Leighton says:

    Wleihtickson Easchhens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  97. Eric Stonebraker says:

    Ejricicksonly Schejtoebrakerens.


    Vote -1 Vote +1

  98. Rich Mahogany says:

    Please do one of these for Cuba, in honor of the Yunieskys and Yasiels of MLB.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  99. A. Noorden says:

    Anoujkelton Noordenius

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  100. roxanne de zoete says:

    I,m from Curacao.And if you know your history you will know that our,native language is Papiamentu.Papiamentu is an combination of many languages,Dutch.English,Portuguese and Spanish.Curacao is an island and we opened the door for people alle over the world .Here on the island curacao you can practice your religion etc no question ask.we can speak 4 languages.We learn about the whole word at school.we know our history.And i,m proud of my island Curacao

    +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

  101. Jose Gomez says:

    Joschwerickson Googmens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  102. Clark Westerfield says:

    Clarkelton Weschterfijldius

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  103. Kenny says:

    One of the top 10 Notgraphs ever.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  104. Andruw Jones says:

    Andruw Jones

    +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

  105. Philip Rademaker says:

    Love this thread. The sensible part of this complicated name business is that these names are just for the records. Nobody really intends to use them anyway. When a father went to register this newborn son and gave the census employee a piece of paper with the unpronounceable name on it, he added preventively: Don’t ask. Just enter it in the records. At home we’ll just call him Junior. I have a perfectly normal name. Philip. I am a 69 year old male who has never had any homosexual tendencies nor do I look like a cute little dog or a French prostitute. Still, my whole long life I have gone by the name of “Fifi”. And nobody has ever batted an eye.

    +20 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Brionplein says:

      Bravo Fifi! Your normally wear trousers right? Cause i don’t think they would bat an eye if you didn’t and were called Fifi.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  106. Philip Rademaker says:

    And by the way, for those who have not gotten it yet; yes. I am from Curaçao!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  107. David Ortiz says:

    Embiggens Papiamentu

    +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

  108. Sweet Sassafrassie says:

    Schweetley Schaschschafaaschschie

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  109. JJ Hardy says:

    JJJly Hardens

    +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

  110. Xander Bogaerts says:

    Xanderjelton Boogertsch

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  111. Yasiel Puig says:

    Yaya Pigwius

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  112. Marysol Rodriguez says:

    You forgot to mention: Jurickson Profar…..we are oooonnneee blessed and talented twisted beautiful little island….you should come sometime ;)

    +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

  113. Babu Bhatt says:

    And now he has cleverly gotten you all to reveal your real names. He is very bad man.

    +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Blueyays says:

      LOL I don’t think anyone even noticed this. Do you just go around looking to slip that into threads? :p

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  114. Nancy Heldewier says:

    Very funny piece!!!
    I was born and raised on this beautiful piece of rock and have always laughed at and made fun of the crazy name concoctions people come up with here. It’s quite unique and indeed unpronounceable. Thank god for the ‘simple’ nick names.

    +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

  115. zach says:

    zachley dubiin

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  116. Buster Olney says:

    Buschterickson Olnejius

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  117. Free Bryan LaHair says:

    Wjoschsonley Aander

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  118. Marc Rzepczynski says:

    Macjelton Rzepczynschkens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  119. Table says:

    Coschelton Djiieener

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  120. Cici says:

    Haha quite funny, even though it doesn’t make much sense.
    I still admire your attempt. The reason for the last names is mostly because we have so many cultures on our island.
    So you get dutch, spanish, french, american last names. Now the reason for the names is mostly the same or simply over creative parents.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  121. Ellcjrischelton McDoonn

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  122. Figure it out says:

    Frickson Webjeyens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  123. Fingelton Fiijv says:

    Mawrcusickson Scheemen
    Mijkeley O’eillius
    Djannyly Schalzarens
    Bubu Schjmittens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  124. Andy Dick says:

    Wadickson Dickens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  125. Rose says:

    Can you imagine how a room full of Americans (black and white) reacted when two guys from Curaçao went for a meeting to Atlanta. The white guy called the black guy “Boy” and the black guy just answered his collegue and friend like it was the most normal thing on earth to be called boy by a white guy, as if that was his name. Well, it actually was his nickname, like a lot of other guys in Curaçao that have the nickname Boy!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  126. Wins Above Replacement says:

    Winschley Aboplaceej Rementens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  127. Scott Brosius says:

    Schcowtickson Broschiuschius

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  128. junny schoop says:

    here are some of the names we actually go by:
    bambam [strong one], bubu[first boy], juni[junior], junny[junior], junjun[junior], fifi[sounds like F], kabes[head/jughead], neus[nose], pretu[black/verry dark], yuyu[sound like J]. and so on, mostly we use alternative names. and for most of us its working.

    you are all invited to come sometime, ask for a tour and sea the nest of all the big players from this island, enjoy the sandy beaches, dig a little in the culture and have a nice time.

    remember our sheer linguistic perversity is just like the shell of a delicious lobster. hardcover soft tissue

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • tz says:

      I’d love to vacation in Curaçao and take this all in. And if I end up not coming back, just call me Kabes (or maybe Neus).

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  129. aascd says:

    Coercoor Beewius… sounds more like a children’s telivison character

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  130. Barack Obama says:

    Baba Jobaaa

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  131. Jonathon Schoop says:

    Jonthickson Schchjooop

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  132. Baseball Prospectus says:

    Bascheballickson Proschjectuschius

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  133. Drew Smyly says:

    Drwwly Schmyyly

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  134. Josh Hamilton says:

    Joschhickson Jamiltonius

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  135. The_Visionary1 says:

    JaJa Kwappens

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  136. Bryz says:

    Oh my. For ease (?), I’m going to strip off the hyphen in my name.

    Aandrjewly Bryzgensrnia

    My last name is so effed up already that I spent most of my time “fixing” my first name.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  137. Blueyays says:

    Papaleltonley Kaajschinschkius

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  138. Seb Visser says:

    Haha this is great! It turns a very common Dutch last name into this: Schwiebley Vischerius

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  139. Ifamer says:

    This article says more about the ignorant lack of general knowledge and of diversity in this world.
    Why should his name in another country/culture be a common name and easy to pronounce.
    Ignorance is a sad and dangerous thing specifically when used to make fun of the name ( identity) of someone else.

    Not respectful and not funny Matt (who names a child something like that?)

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  140. James Kushner says:

    Jaja Kuschherens

    My daughter Ursula became Urschlajley Kuschhnerius.

    Vote -1 Vote +1