What is Boaty McBoatface in French?

I don’t mean a literal translation. If one were to make up a silly name in French (or any other language) is there a commonly used format, the way English has different variations of Namey McName, such as Stinky McStinkerson or Boaty McBoatface?

Toto LeBateau

I’m guessing here. But a common French way to make a diminutive out of a first name (the equivalent of adding a y to the end) is to double a syllable. And a stereotypically common prefix for surnames (the equivalent of Mc) is Le.

So I took the French word for boat, which is bateau, and modified it this way. I left out the face (visage) part.

Looking online, I find “Boaty McBoatface , que l’on peut traduire par… Bateau Tronchedebateau.” ("Boaty McBoatface, which you can translate as “Boat Boat’sface”) La folle histoire de "Boaty McBoatface", le sous-marin scientifique au nom loufoque (“Tronche” is a slang term for face.)

Another source says “dont l’esprit est hélas à peu près impossible à restituer en français (« Dubateau Face de Bateau » ?)”—"concerning which it is, alas, nearly impossible to render the spirit into French (“of-the-boat Face of Boat”?) Mystique marine | Mythes, Mancies & Mathématiques

A Swiss site Royaume-Uni: Le fleuron de la flotte écope d'un nom ridicule - 20 minutes says «Monsieur Glouglou le Bateau» (“Mr. Gobble the Boat” / “Mr. Gurgle the Boat”).

This is a random google search using “Boaty McBoatface,” “nom,” and “bateau,” so I don’t know how representative these are.

Another: «Boaty McBoatface» (qu’on pourrait en gros traduire par «Bateau Monbobateau» (“Boaty McBoatface” which you could translate roughly with “Boat Myfineboat,” with “beau” (fine) rendered “bo”) Le point Godwin est dépassé, la loi de Poe l'a remplacé | Slate.fr

As I said at the start, I’m not looking for a translation. I’m asking about silly name formats in other languages. In English Namey McName is a common way to make up a silly name. Is there something similar in French, or any other language, even if it isn’t equivalent to Namey (son of) Name?

That’s what I tried to do.

The French equivalent of Namey McName would be something like Me-me LeName.

Would that be something like Pepe LePew?

I provided a few translations because I thought they might reveal some of the patterns. None of them were literal translations, which would be something like “Batel le fils de Visage-de-Bateau.”

I don’t think this is the sort of thing for which Google Translate is useful. Instead it requires an answer from a native speaker, someone familiar with idioms and slang usage.

The Questionable Content webcomic has just introduced an AI housed on a boat, and they’re going to an island off the coast of Nova Scotia, so we may get an answer to that question soon.

Or Foo Foo the Snoo?

I don’t speak Spanish, but the word for boat in that language is barco. I also know that “ito” is a diminutive in Spanish.

So would a Spanish cutesy name be something like “Barcito Barco”? (i.e. “Boaty boat?”)

Bonjour, mes amis.
Ici je parle le ‘Franglais’. :sunglasses:

Le mot anglais ‘weekend’ est ‘le weekend’ en Francais.
Donc ‘Boaty McBoatface’ est ‘Le Boaty McBoatface’! :heart_eyes:

Elementaire, n’est pas? :wink:

The prefix “Mc” in a surname derives from the Scots Gaelic for “son of”, a la “Fitz-” in Anglo-Norman and Irish, “-ez” in Spanish, or “-ovich” in Russian. Is there a native French equivalent?

Patronymic and matronymic surnames in France were formed in several different ways. The majority of French patronymic and matronymic surnames have no identifying prefix and are direct derivations of the parent’s given name, such as August Landry, for “August, son of Landri,” or Tomas Robert, for “Tomas, son of Robert.” The typical format of attaching a prefix or suffix meaning “son of” (e.g., de, des, du, lu, or the Norman fitz) to a given name was less common in France than in many European countries, although still prevalent. Examples include Jean de Gaulle, meaning “John, son of Gaulle,” or Tomas FitzRobert, or “Tomas, son of Robert.” Suffixes meaning “little son of” (-eau, -elet, -elin, -elle, -elet, and so forth) were also used.
French Surname Meanings and Origins

if “Boaty McBoatface” is meaning to represent a name of someone that you don’t know or don’t care, I propose “Machin” or “Dupont” or “Dugenou”
If you want to be more offensive, use (warning! NSFW!) “Dugland” or “Ducon”

I love this !

It’s the answer that sounds the most idiomatic in French while capturing the silliness of the original (with a rhyme as an added bonus). Any French speaker reading about Toto LeBateau would immediately understand it’s a joke name.

For the record, Toto is the stereotypical lazy and stupid primary school student in the French-speaking world and les blagues à Toto (Toto jokes) are a staple of recess humour.

I agree that these generic names are the default to refer to people you don’t like, but I don’t think they would work here as they lack the silly aspect.

Thank you. (And a belated thanks to @Little_Nemo as well). I think you understood my question better than I did, that I’m looking for the idiomatic translation, similar to a recent thread Is there a German equivalent to the phrase “teach your grandmother to suck eggs”?

You’re welcome.

The funny thing is, ever since I first heard of Boaty McBoatface, I have repeatedly failed at coming up with an idiomatic French equivalent and had come to the conclusion that it was impossible. I’m glad to be proved wrong. @Little_Nemo has nailed it.

At the closing ceremony of a team chess tournament, our British captain (who spoke German fluently) was asked to translate the German captain’s speech into English (for the benefit of e.g. the Scandinavians.)

Although I don’t speak German myself, I could tell by the body language of the German team that something interesting was coming up.

Our captain had to translate the German phrase ‘taking owls to Athens’ and with little hesitation produced ‘bringing coals to Newcastle’ - both mean supplying something to a place that already has plenty of it!

The German team gave our chap a standing ovation. :sunglasses:

What would the Scandinavian equivalent be, though?