Feb 15, 2012

Déjàlà, What’s in the Name?

Logic will take you from A to B.
Imagination will take you everywhere.
Albert Einstein 

It's all in the name
After owning our sailboat for about 4 years and in preparation for our sailing adventures to visit many new countries, and following approximately two seconds of heavy deliberation, we agreed to have our sailing vessel registered in Canada. From experience, it seemed that in many countries of the world, the Canadian flag is viewed and treated as friendlier than the US one.

When we traveled to Canada to register our sailboat a couple of years back, we came up with three possible names (Déjàlà [French], La Pulce D’Acqua [Italian], or Yá át tééh [Navajo]). In case our favorite one was already taken by another clever name thinker we’d quickly have something to fall back on. The first name we came up with was thankfully approved and we didn’t think much more of the meaning behind the name we had made up.

How we came up with Déjàlà? Well, if you know a little French (English use the French term as well) Déjà-vu, basically means “the experience of feeling sure that one has already witnessed or experienced a current situation, even though the exact circumstances of the prior encounter are uncertain and were perhaps imagined – somewhat like an illusion.” We toyed then with the idea of replacing the vu (seen, viewed) with là (there) hence the illusion of having been there/somewhere before.

Now that we are in Mexico I often catch some of the Mexicans working around our boat point at its name and snicker so I finally asked them what it meant then did a little googling of my own.

In a broad sense, the term can mean: Let her be, Leave her behind, Let it be (my favorite version), Let it go,
anything to do with leaving something or someone somewhere, placing something somewhere or abandoning something or someone. It also can mean to allow, to pass on or to let depending on the context. I can now see why some snickers happen here in there. The Mexicans who snicker will often dare one another to ask me what it means or how I say it. I tell them that it actually is not a true word and when I pronounce it the French way where the “j” is pronounced like a “j”, not an “h” (as in Spanish), they think of it somewhat differently.

It will be interesting to see if other languages encountered along the way see other meanings in the name…

1 comment:

  1. I have searched for the meaning of your ship's name! And came up with essentially nothing...now I know why!

    I am so enjoying traveling with you two, thanks for this marvelous work you are creating--I hope to see it in print some day & perhaps that will pay for another adventure! Your blog is so well written and photo documented that I've been recommending your site to others!

    Thanks for the giggles (ladders and peeing, who'd a thot), exploration, adventure, and real life depiction which leads me to experience Dejala' through you 3 mateys!

    Let it be! indeed at sea~~~~~~~~~


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