Demetrios Is Now Jimmy – Problems and Pitfalls Translating Proper Names

Demetrios Is Now Jimmy is the title of a book by Lazar Odzak that traces the experience of Greek immigrants in the Southern United States during the early 1900s. The desire to adapt to and be accepted by the dominant society led many of these early immigrants to Americanize their names. Hence the title of the book.

At the time, it was common to change surnames as well as first names. That is now rare, but anglicizing first names is still …

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  1. See
    Title The Americanization of Greek Names
    Author James E. Alatis
    Publisher Ohio State University, 1953
    Length 178 pages

  2. To call Demetrios Jimmy is a caricature of grecletude, because James is Giacomo or Iakovos, as in the Gospel of James or Iakovos.

  3. The early 1900s was the era of conformity and assimilation.
    The early 2000s was the era of diversity and multiculturalism.

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