5 unusual character names from the Asterix comics series

High Five: The wildest names in Asterix and Obelix


His name is the same in almost every language: Obelix. He is Asterix's rotund companion who fell into a cauldron of magic potion as a child and since then has possessed superhuman strength. In Icelandic, however, the name of this emotional giant is "Steinríkur," which roughly translated means "rich in stones." It probably alludes to the monoliths that he loves and carries around with him.

High Five: The wildest names in Asterix and Obelix


Obelix's best friend contrasts starkly with his stout master. The little white pup is named Idefix in both the original French and in the German translation, and his name is a word play on the French term "Idée Fixe" — a possessive or reoccurring idea or motive. For South African readers, the dog's name is also a pun relating to thought and the mind: "Witblix" is Afrikaans for "flash of genius."

High Five: The wildest names in Asterix and Obelix


The village troubadour is a lovable guy — if it weren't for his terrible voice, which always manages to annoy his neighbors. His English name, "Cacofonix," alludes to his highly jarring — cacophonous — voice, while his German name "Troubadix" is a pun on the word "troubadour," a poet-musician of the Middle Ages. In Bengali, he's named "Kawlorobix," which means "raising a racket about nothing."

High Five: The wildest names in Asterix and Obelix


His specialty is a magic potion that gives the drinker superhuman strength. In the French original, the white-bearded druid's name "Panoramix" refers to his broad knowledge. In English, his name "Getafix" reminds the reader that he is the guy to go to when you need a potion of any sort! His Serbian name is particularly creative: "Aspirinix" — a word tribute to the well-known headache medicine.

High Five: The wildest names in Asterix and Obelix


Asterix is the star of the Gauls. The petite warrior always manages to defeat the Romans using his sharp wits — and with a little help from Getafix's magic potion. It's no wonder that in Chinese, Asterix's name is translated as "Yali," which roughly means power.

Asterix and Obelix are well known names, but sometimes the main characters of the best-selling comic series were creatively renamed in translation. Who are Yali, Witblix and co? Find out here.

When the first volume of the Asterix series, "Astérix le Gaulois," was initially published in 1961 with a print of 6,000 copies, French illustrator Albert Uderzo and author René Goscinny couldn't have predicted that it would become one of the best-selling comic series in the world.

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Star and starlet

They obviously hoped it would become successful, however. For instance, the authors strategically picked a name for the title character starting with "A," allowing their comics to land at the top of alphabetic lists.

"Asterix" is derived from the ancient Greek word "asteriskos," or little star. Asterisk is also the term used in many languages for the typographical symbol of the star. Asterix was therefore predestined to become a star, not only in the stories, but also in book stores.

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International bestseller

Some 350 million copies of the comics have since been published, with a third of them for the German-language market. The 36 volumes have been translated in 110 languages and dialects, including Ancient Greek, Latin, Esperanto, Palatine German, Frisian and even Low German.

Translators in different countries each had their own way of dealing with the puns of the names of Asterix and Obelix, the latter of which is a play on the French word "obélisque." Click through our High Five gallery to discover the unusual names given to the main characters of the famous series.