Why is Saddam Hussein always called by his first name?

Why is Saddam Hussein always called by his first name?

Everybody to whom I asked the question scoffed me and asked me why he would deserve respect after all the atrocities he committed. Granted, I realize calling him by first name makes him lose status, compared to other chiefs of state, but why aren’t other dictators treated as such? No one ever calls Castro, “Fidel”; Stalin, “Joseph”; or even Hitler, “Adolf” in news headlines.

Any thoughts on the matter would be well-appreciated.

Here ya go:


Well, it used to give George Bush the First an opportunity to deliberately mispronounce it as “Sodom”.

Fidel Castro is always called “Fidel” in Cuba. It’s kind of interesting to note that “fidel” means loyal, while “castro” means castle.

WAG I think it’s to keep from confusing Sadam with the late King Hussein of Jordan.

pravnik D’oh! Should have previewed thread.

Oh well, I’m still a newb… at least on this board.

If I remember correctly, Bush, Sr. pronounced it SAD-um, with the “a” pronounced like the “a” in “apple”. He did this for the duration of hostilities during the Gulf War. Once hostilities ceased, he went back to a mostly proper pronunciation.

The explanation I heard back then was that it was pure psychological warfare. Hence, Bush’s mispronunciation coincided with the period of hostilities.

The difference, though I don’t know if this is correct, was defined like so:

Pronounced “Sa-DOM”, the name means “The Crusher”

Pronounced “SAD-um”, the name means, roughly, “one who polishes old men’s boots”

Perhaps a bit more insulting than people of certain political persuasions constantly referring to our President as “Dubya”. But I don’t think the mispronunciation of Saddam’s name is any worse than the cartoon caricatures of Hitler and the Japanese during WWII.

You must not have looked in the link I supplied, because Collounsbury did not see how that was likely.

It is possible, though, that some other combination of “SDM” using emphatic/non-emphatic “S” and “D” might mean something else. The consonants as given apparently mean “to crush.” I’m no expert on Arabic, but I don’t think changing the vowels will always change the root meaning.

Any Arabic experts, feel free to jump in.