Bush insults Hussein when saying 'Sa-dam' WAR IN THE GULF

GULF NOTEBOOK

January 31, 1991|By Knight-Ridder News Service

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein may be infuriated by President Bush's Kennebunkportian mispronunciation of his name.

According to linguistics experts quoted in New York magazine, the name Saddam has two distinctly different meanings, depending on where the accent is placed. With the accent correctly placed on the second syllable, Saddam means "learned one" or "leader."

But an Egyptian says the way George Bush pronounces Saddam gives the name "a very vulgar meaning."

He says that when "Saddam" rhymes with "Adam," the word means "a boy who fixes or cleans old shoes. It's the dirtiest possible insult in some parts of the Arab world, but you have to have spent years on the streets of Alexandria or Cairo to know it."

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