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Tintin in the Congo: Ba Baoro'm

#1 · Posted: 10 Apr 2004 08:31
Extracted from the trivia section of our Tintin in the Congo album guide:

In the French edition of Asterix, one of the four fortified Roman camps surrounding Asterix's village is called 'Babaorum.' In 'Tintin in the Congo', Tintin becomes a sourcerer for the Babaoru'm Kingdom. Coincidence? Apparently, the name comes from 'Baba uu rhum,' which is a type of French pastry. Any opinions on the subject? Do you think it is a conincidence, or did Goscinny and Uderzo get the name from the pastry, or from a certain quiffed reporter's second adventure?

[Posted by Richard Wainman 23 April 2001 05:24]


'Baba au rhum' (baba with rum) is the name of the pastry. Personnally, I think it is a coincidence and not a "copy" by Uderzo and Goscinny.

[Posted by Etienne Chevalier/Chevet 09 April 2004]

More pastry, anyone?
#2 · Posted: 19 Apr 2004 03:28
I'm not sure, but I presume it was a coincedence, otherwise Goscinny and Uderzo would have been avid and extremely observant Tintin readers. Maybe they just liked pastry? I mean Asterix is full of puns and other trivia, so they may just be having fun with words.
#3 · Posted: 8 Apr 2006 16:13
Tintin in the Congo was made in the 1920s, Asterix was started in the 1960s, so there is a pretty long time in between. Maybe one of them read it, and subconsciously stored the name in their head, till they used it.

The english translators, Anthea Bell and Derek Hockridge, called 'Babaorum', 'Totorum' -possibly something to do with 'Totor'? They also changed 'Petibonum' to 'Compendium' but left 'Aquarium' and 'Laudanum'.
#4 · Posted: 26 Jul 2006 22:54
'Rum Baba' is also a Greek/Turkish sweet. The 'Rumbabas' are the 'sworn enemies' to the Arumbayas according to Ridgewell in the Broken Ear. The name originally could be Turkish for 'Greek Uncle/Father' although I do not speak Turkish so it needs to be verified.
UK Correspondent
#5 · Posted: 27 Jul 2006 15:57
The english translators, Anthea Bell and Derek Hockridge, called 'Babaorum', 'Totorum' -possibly something to do with 'Totor'? They also changed 'Petibonum' to 'Compendium' but left 'Aquarium' and 'Laudanum'.

'Totorum' refers to "tot o' rum", a small amount of rum, which therefore has a link to the original name. 'Petitbonum' ('little fellow'?) becomes 'Compendium', and the other two presumably retained as they still make sense in English (laudanum being an opium extract which used to be commonly used as a painkiller).

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