DC UNITED SIGNS FRED; READYING CONTRACT FOR BARNEY: The MELBOURNE HERALD-SUN reports a top soccer pro Down Under, Brazilian striker “Fred”, has made a “dash for cash” (wot?!) by signing with MLS (does the team matter?)
Aussies, and particularly fans of A-League champion Melbourne, are gnashing their tooth over the loss of the celebrated South American striker.
Meanwhile, let’s face it, the only interest Americans might have in the sign is, “What’s up with all these one-named Brazilian dudes?”
Slate offers a piece speculating on the reasons for Brazil soccer’s singular surnames: “Brazil’s affinity for nicknames might stem from the country’s historically high illiteracy rate. As such, shortened spoken names are typically used more often than longer birth names.
“The use of single names could have its roots in the slave system. When they were documented, slaves would be referred to either by their first name only—say, Joao—or by their first name and country of origin—say, Joao Congo.”
That historically-reasoned explanation is all fine and good, but how the hell do you explain a Brazilian nicknamed “Fred”? (there are actually two famous Freds from Brazil, the aforementioned and another who plays in France)
My hypothesis: Amazon Country is enraptured by The Flintstones.