Marketing experts at Dell are probably regretting not doing a quick internet search before deciding that the name for its tablet will be Peju.
They may even have been complimenting themselves that since making the name known, Google would have recorded a lot of hits from Indonesia.
The problem for Dell is that in the local lingo “Peju” means sperm, and the blogsphere is alive with gags about Michael Dell’s Peju. This ranges from “can you get pregnant from sitting on a Dell tablet”, to “does it have a rubber like an iPhone“, “isn’t it premature to come up with a name before it has been released?”, to the inevitable “it has been a long time coming.”
To be fair to Dell, it is not the only company that has come up with names which are rude in another language. Here are our top five:
1. The Wii. According to its marketing Nintendo thought that Wii would mean “we”, “which “emphasises that the console is for everyone. Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language they speak. No confusion. No need to abbreviate. Just Wii.” Of course, in the UK we just thought they were taking the piss.
2. Mitsubishi’s Pajero Jeep. Never in the history of motoring was a four wheel drive more aptly named, unfortunately not in the way the makers intended, at least in Spain. If you are ever run off the road by a four-wheel drive in that country you would shout Pajero at the driver. In English terms, if you pajero too much, you go blind.
3. Proton Jebat. When Proton released its Jebat, there were a few amused glances in the Balkans where it is known as a course way of saying “to have sexual intercourse with”. According to our Bosnian motoring correspondent, he often thought that the Jebat was a Jebat ugly car.
4. AMD’s Sempron. When AMD released its Sempron budget chip, it must have done so knowing that pron was a well known meme for pornography. It opened itself to all sorts of gags about finally developing a chip for the real internet. “At last, a chip without staples in the belly button”.
5. Vista. Soon after Microsoft launched its overdue replacement for Windows XP worth got out that the word Vista meant “cock” in Lithuania. It was usually associated with the bird but some associated it with Vista-like behaviour. Unfortunately for those foreign geeks who started wearing “huge Vista seeks suitable box” t-shirts when visting Lithuania, the word is closest to actually meaning hen.