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Name

Appears in

Meaning

Hergé

 


Hergé’s self portrait appears in crowd scenes in a number of books, along with portraits of his wife and some associates.

The pen name of Georges Remi, author and illustrator of Tintin. Remi, a Belgian, took his initials, reversed them, and turned their French pronunciation into a pen name. Pronounced (in American English) Air Zhay (RG).

Examples of Hergé self portraits include King Ottokar’s Sceptre, pages 37 and 59; Tintin in the Congo, page 1, frame 1;
The Calculus Affair, page 15 and frame 8 (next to the tent, smoking).

Alcazar

Many Tintin adventures

castle (Spanish)
See Alexander Deubelbeiss’s explanation of the etymology.

Chief Avakuki

The Broken Ear

Have a cookie!

Professor Alembick

King Ottokar’s Sceptre

alembic: a vessel with a beaked cap or head, formerly used in distilling

Baron Almaszout

King Ottokar’s Sceptre

almost out (Bianca Castafiore calls him Halmaszout in The Castafiore Emerald.)

Sheik Bab El Ehr

Land of Black Gold, The Red Sea Sharks (in a newspaper)

babbler, one who babbles
Also note the bird, the Arabian Babbler (Turdoides squamiceps).

Jacob Balthazar

The Broken Ear

Balthazar: one of the three Magi, a wine bottle holding 13 quarts, a male given name

Ali Bhai

Tintin’s alias in Cigars of the Pharaoh

alibi: the legal defense of having been elsewhere at the time a crime was committed

Shifat Ahmed Adnan, of Bangladesh, informs us that “Bhai” means brother, and is used in Bengali, Hindi and Urdu (maybe in Arabic too) as an honorific. “Ali” is, of course, a common given name.

James Biddup & Co.

Red Rackham’s Treasure

bid up
Auctioneers selling Marlinspike Hall

Max and G. Bird

The Secret of the Unicorn (Max Bird is mentioned in Red Rackham’s Treasure.)

bird: any warm-blooded vertebrate of the class Aves
The Bird brothers were criminal antique dealers.

The Well of Bir Kegg

Land of Black Gold

beer keg

Bohlwinkel

The Shooting Star

bollewinkel: in Brussels dialect, a local confectioner’s shop

Bolt

The Castafiore Emerald

bolt: a bar or rod that fastens a door or gate; any strong rod, pin or screw for fastening two parts together, usually threaded to receive a nut

Mr. Bolt is the handyman who spends most of The Castafiore Emerald not fixing Captain Haddock’s broken marble stair.

Bounce Bros. Removals

 

The Castafiore Emerald

A moving company that delivers Signora Castafiore’s piano. We can only hope they treat furniture better than their name suggests.

Brutus

The Secret of The Unicorn

The Bird brothers’ dog, named after Marcus Junius Brutus, one of the assassins of Julius Caesar

Cuthbert Calculus

Professor Calculus first appears in Red Rackham’s Treasure.

Saint Cuthbert, 635-687, an English monk and bishop

calculus: a method of calculation, especially one of several highly systematic methods of treating problems by a special system of algebraic notations, as differential or integral calculus

After his introduction in Red Rackham’s Treasure, Calculus becomes one of the four most important characters in the Adventures, along with Tintin, Snowy and Captain Haddock. According to the Hergé Foundation official site, Calculus is based on Augute Piccard, inventor of the bathyscaphe and a professor at Brussels University in the 1930s and 1940s.

Bianca Castafiore

Many Tintin Adventures

Bianca: Italian, white

Castafiore: Italian, chaste flower

(based on Italian-to-English dictionary)

Chang
Chong-Chen

The Blue Lotus, Tintin in Tibet

The name Chang carries no funny meaning, but it’s notable nonetheless. Chang Chong-Chen was not a name made up for the boy introduced in The Blue Lotus; it was the name of a real Chinese student at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. Hergé consulted the real Chang while researching The Blue Lotus. Not only did this consultation inform The Blue Lotus, it changed Hergé’s work forever. All subsequent stories are well researched and therefore more accurate.
Chang did the Chinese calligraphy in The Blue Lotus, and many of the signs carry political messages appropriate to the events unfolding in China and more or less accurately depicted in The Blue Lotus.

The River Coliflor

A river in San Theodoros

cauliflower

E. Cutts

Several Tintin Adventures

The butcher in Marlinspike village, [’e cuts (meat)]

di Gorgonzola

The Red Sea Sharks and others

gorgonzola: A strongly flavored, semisoft variety of Italian milk cheese, veined with mold.

According to The Emir, Ben Kalish Ezab, di Gorgonzola is an international crook, a shipping magnate, newspaper proprietor, radio, television and cinema tycoon, air-line king (the owner of Arabair), dealer in pearls, gun-runner, trafficker in slaves and the man who helped put Bab El Ehr in power. He appears, often as Rastapopoulos, in several Tintin adventures.

The Djelababi Tribe

Cigars of the Pharaoh

jelly baby (similar to the American gummy bear, but shaped like a human), also similar in sound to djelabah, a loose-fitting hooded gown worn by men in North Africa

Abu-Bin-Dun

A corporal in Cigars of the Pharaoh who recruits Tintin.

been done

The Maharaja of Gaipajama

Cigars of the Pharaoh, The Blue Lotus

gay pajama

Gibbons

The Blue Lotus

gibbon: the smallest of the great apes
See, for example, Hylobates lar
Gibbons is, of course, a common English name.

Samuel Goldbarr

The Broken Ear gold bar, a bar of gold

Captain Haddock

All Tintin adventures after his first appearance in The Crab with the Golden Claws

Captain Haddock adds more than any other character to the vocabulary of the books.

haddock: a North Atlantic food fish of the cod family, Melanogrammus aeglefinus

Hasch Abaibabi

The location of the emir’s castle in Land of Black Gold

hush a bye baby

Hotuatabotl

The location of the pyramid near San Theodoros in Tintin and the Picaros

hot water bottle

Iago

The Castafiore Emerald

Iago is the parrot Bianca Castafiore gives to Captain Haddock.

Iago is also the villain in Shakespeare’s Othello. Iago is so pathological in Othello, it seems unfair to brand the poor parrot with the name.