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Tintin: His original English name was... "Infty"?

Harrock n roll
#1 · Posted: 8 Jan 2005 03:04
Thought some of you might find this interesting.
Reading the new Hergé - Chronologie d'une Œuvre (vol 5), I came across something that intrigued me.
To celebrate the liberation in 1945 a silk scarf was produced, the design of which featuredg little vignettes from the books, interspersed with crossed Belgian and British/US flags.

In the centre is a picture of Tintin and Snowy waving a British and Belgian flag with their names written in a circle around them in French, Dutch and English.

As the adventures hadn't been published in English at that point, Hergé gave them the names "Infty and Bobby" (well, according to the Chronologie 5, page 128).

Moderator Note:
Broken link removed - but you can see a picture of the scarf here in this auction catalogue - look for lot 208.

Interesting that Snowy has been given the same name as he has in Dutch, although spelled differently. However, Tintin's name really bothered me.
Why would Hergé call him "Infty"? It doesn't mean anything, and just seems too obscure. Why not just call him "Tintin" and be done with it, why make a nonsense "English" name?

But then, after looking at it again... I decided that it might actually say Tufty...!

There are some slight discrepancies with his lettering; the "T" is different to the one in Tintin, but in the second upside-down spelling of the name what should be "n" looks much more like a "u".

Most of all it would certainly seem more logical - Tufty because of his tuft of hair, and the English equivalent of the Dutch Kuifje ("Quiffy"). Anyone agree?
#2 · Posted: 8 Jan 2005 06:58
It appears to me to say Tufty and Bobby. Quite interesting!
UK Correspondent
#3 · Posted: 8 Jan 2005 23:53
I think we should be even more grateful to Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper and Michael Turner.
I can't see The Adventures of Tufty and Bobby being taken too seriously by anyone.
Plus he'd get mixed up with the road safety squirrel!
Harrock n roll
#4 · Posted: 9 Jan 2005 15:28
Well, all MT and LLC had to do was not change the name.
Perhaps the English translators felt that the name had become established in some small way with the earlier serialization of Ottokar in the Eagle comic. I am thankful though that Hergé didn't do the translations :)

It also highlights that Hergé was game for the characters to have different names in other languages - he wasn't so precious about it as some fans are, even today.
#5 · Posted: 9 Jan 2005 15:39
Richard said:
I can't see "The Adventures of Tufty and Bobby" being taken too seriously by anyone.

I think it's a matter of familiarity, really - is Tufty less sensible than Tintin?

But I agree, I'm glad it stayed Tintin too...

Anyway, I think the word is definitely Tufty, and not the anomolous Infty - the version up by the Union Flag is clearer than the one to the left.

I think you should drop the publishers a line and clarify it for them, Chris; another piece of exemplary scholarship!! Hats (and scarves?) off to you!
Harrock n roll
#6 · Posted: 9 Jan 2005 15:43
Ha ha, thanks Jock! In fact I am doing just that - I have a letter to Philippe Goddin c/o Éditions Moulinsart which I'm posting off tomorrow. If I ever get a reply I'll relay it here.

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