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Four dots in Ajijic

When world traveller Norm Gillespie, in Ajijic (pronounced ah-hee-HEEK), Mexico, posted a message on our GuestMap, we emailed him, commenting on the four successive dots in the town's name.

Norm replied: "We visited Australia in 1995 and enjoyed Sydney a lot. You are the first person to notice the four dots without me showing them." He said he made home movies of his travels, in which the opening credit was A Four Dots Production. "Are there four dots over any other place name?" he asked.

We relayed his query to Seattle wordsmith Anu Garg, author of the global daily newsletter A Word A Day. In a flash, he replied "Here is one: Ujiji, a city in Tanzania."

A Canadian website, says Ujiji is the oldest town in western Tanzania, about 10 km south of Kigoma. Ujiji was a "slave trade" town settled by Arab peoples. It's also the place where Burton and Speke first reached the shore of Lake Tanganyika in 1858 and where Dr. Livingstone met Stanley in 1871. A monument known as the Dr. Livingstone Memorial was constructed to commemorate the meeting.

Later, Norm told us: "After checking with Google I found that jiji is 'phonetically' a Japanese word for a legendary baby to be found on the ground which when picked up turns into a monster or a large animal."



Picture of
jiji doll
From a Japanese website

From a French list of names
Story first posted April 2005

Copyright 2005

Eric Shackle

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