Of Vokuhilas and Brozacos

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Paul and Linda McCartney in the 1970s. Anyone have any idea where this post is going? (Photo by Corwin)

Over the last few years, I’ve been on a sort of quest to find a specific type of word (although to be honest, that’s not the only thing I’ve been doing the last few years). The type of word I’m looking for is like an abbreviation, but it’s more special than that. It’s also more special than an acronym, although you can also pronounce the type of word I’m looking for. So I guess it’s like an extra-special acronym, maybe? And the strangest part is, I’ve not even found any in my own language, English. Thus far, I’ve just found two: Vokuhila and Brozaco.

What’s so special about these words? Well, they take the first two letters of a few things, and combine them into a new word that’s pronounceable. The first is in German, the second is in Spanish.

Vokuhila is a shorter version of “vorne kurz, hinten lang,” which means “front short, back long.” Wait, that description sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Hell yeah it does: it’s German for “MULLET”!

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This guy, Mike Werner, was an Austrian soccer player in the 1980s and 1990s. Sorry, I mean: “OF COURSE this guy was an Austrian football player in the 1980s and 1990s.”

When we’re talking mullet here, we mean the hairstyle, not the fish. But that’s really the name used in German for that kind of hairstyle and ever since I heard that word, I’ve loved it (even though I can’t say the same about the haircut).

Now to Brozaco. It’s a Spanish word, but when I asked my students about it, they didn’t even know what I was talking about. I told them I had seen it at the supermarket that very night, and I actually had to go buy it to prove it to them:

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Accompany with “Casovi” (Carne Sopa Vino)

So Brozaco is actually an abbreviation for “brócoli zanahoria liflor,” or “broccoli carrot cauliflower.” I think that’s just excellent.

Has anyone else found any other words like this, or did I happen to find the only two members of this species? Keep in mind that I’m not talking about brand names, since I know there are some like that (KaDeWe, for example, is an abbreviation of “Kaufhaus des Westens“–“shopping center of the west”–a department store in Berlin). I’m looking for words that describe a whole idea, not just an individual thing or place.

So, dear reader, if you have any tips for my linguistic safari, please let me know!

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Sitzman

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