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The Name “Tintin”: His real name or a nickname?

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#1 · Posted: 18 Jul 2004 18:49
Is Tintin a nickname, or is it the boy reporter's real name?

For example in Cigars of the Pharaoh, he says to Patrash Pasha, "I know my name may mean nothing to you, but at home they call me Tintin" or something like that.
Moderator Emeritus
#2 · Posted: 18 Jul 2004 23:53
I would put forward that 'Tintin' is not a nickname -- when talking to Patrash Pasha, he is making the assumption that Pasha will treat him the same whatever his name is.

Tintin is quite appropriately being very humble and respectful. So you could read it as 'My name isn't important, but my name is Tintin -- just so you know'.

UK Correspondent
#3 · Posted: 19 Jul 2004 00:35
In "Tintin in the Land of the Soviets", Tintin gives his name as being just that - "Tintin", when he is arrested and taken to the consul, or whoever it is. Surely if you are arrested, you're oblidged to give your full name - which suggests that "Tintin" is his full name.
#4 · Posted: 19 Jul 2004 11:32
I suppose it might be a bit of both. Brushing aside the fact that it is a little pretentious just to have one name (“Sting”, “Bono”), he surely has parents and a family name, and that therefore he never states a full name whatever the situation.

It could be that Tintin, if not exactly a nickname is at least a diminutive of his forename. It wouldn’t have been particularly odd if his name were (for arguments sake) William, to say when arrested his name was Billy.

Actually, if Sting was arrested (by The Police), he might say something along the lines of “…I am known as Sting”. That would in fact be adequate, because that is the name he is known by, and is therefore legitimate.

You don’t actually have to use the name you are given, you can use any name you want, you don’t even need to change it by deed poll; my aunt never liked the forename she was given, uses another, and qualified as a doctor using it. No problem.

You may not be able to get official documents in that name, such as a passport, because your birth certificate will be used to corroborate who you are, and you can’t take a name to use it fraudulently.

My guess would be Tintin has a regular birth name of Forename Surname variety, but uses “Tintin”, and that is the name by which he is known.
#5 · Posted: 20 Jul 2004 10:30
Or, Tintin could be his first/last name, and he only uses that.
#6 · Posted: 20 Jul 2004 16:44
Maybe his parents last name was Tin, and they thought they'd call him Tin as well, hence Tin Tin. ;/

Aliases for the police, when George Michael had that 'incident' he gave the police his real name, and then they asked if he had any aliases and then he told them George Michael.

No idea where Tintin the name comes from, has nobody on this forum named their kid Tintin?

#7 · Posted: 29 Jul 2004 16:08
He's called "Mr. Tintin" by many people, suggesting that it's his last name.
But "at home they call me..." is just a way of saying "my name is..."; this confused me too when I was young and first read this book.
#8 · Posted: 17 Aug 2004 09:47
Maybe his parents last name was Tin, and they thought they'd call him Tin as well, hence Tin Tin. ;/

Some people have done that before!! There is currently an afl coach who's name is Donald McDonald!!! Its sad that some people brand their kids with sad names!!
quiff of hair
#9 · Posted: 8 Oct 2004 19:03
Perhaps he is known as Tintin because it is easy to remember. Wasn't his "prototype" called Toto?
#10 · Posted: 9 Oct 2004 02:55
Um... no. Toto is Dorothy's dog's name from the Wizard of Oz. Tintin's prototype was Totor.

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