Where’s Waldo and Why Does He Have So Many Different Names?
That strange man in the stripy shirt who hides from children, he’s known by many names.
He has more than one identity.
He could be a spy. He certainly knows how to keep his location a secret!
But I don’t think he’s dangerous — he just likes playing hide and seek.
And the real reason Waldo has so many names, of course, is so that kids from different countries can better identify with him.
His name has been adapted to fit the native sounds and traditions of different languages and cultures from around the world.
In Britain Waldo is known as Wally. This name is traditionally short for Walter.
He is, in fact, called Walter in Germany.
Whereas in the Dutch, Spanish, Catalan and Polish languages, he’s back to Wally!
In the Welsh language — which is spoken in the UK nation of Wales — his name is Wali, a slight variation on the theme.
In Turkey he’s called Ali, a common name in countries influenced by Muslim culture. It also sounds similar to Wally.
In Israel he’s known as Effi, which is short for Efrat, a name from the Jewish Bible.
And in France he’s known as Charlie!
It doesn’t really matter what name he goes under, however. The real fun — and frustration — is in finding him.