Since I only thought of someone whose name starts with X a moment ago, I’ll have to give you the name of an album. X-tra Naked won the Best Reggae Album award at the Grammy’s in 1993. The artiste is Shabba Ranks, a colourful personality with an interesting voice. The
song music I liked most on this
album was Muscle Grip
(don’t ask), which is a fusion between reggae and something slow and relaxing. An aside here: I can see people clicking through out of curiosity once they read the blog post title.
The word Xaymaca means land of wood and water, which refers to Jamaica. The name has gone through several changes dating back from the time of Christopher Columbus who ‘discovered’ the island, along with the Indians (politically correct term is no longer Arawak, but Taino) who were resident at the time. It is thought that Spanish historians corrupted the name of the place, substituting J for X. It’s been referred to as Jamaica as early as 1511, as well as being called Jamica, Jamaiqua, Jamaiaua, Jamaqua, Jamaicha, Xamaica. As late as 1734, the island is refered to as Xaymayca in Charlevoix's L'isle Espagnole. Once the British occupied the island, it was written as Gemecoe and Gemego, Jamico, Jammaca, Jamajaco and Jamecah. If we spoke Spanish hereabouts, no doubt the island’s name would be pronounced Hamyca.
Several explanations have been given for the gradual name change, including the fact Jamaica it was named for James 11, but somehow I don’t believe that’s accurate. The most plausible explanation I’ve come across that Columbus made came up with the name based on the name the Indians had given the island, or what it sounded like to his ear. Historians have come up with a couple of words used by Indians that represent (wood)trees/rivers. These words, in combination, sound something like Jamaica. The book that contains this information, is housed in the Cornell University Library and was produced to replace the original which probably fell to bits. It is described as the irreparably deteriorated original.
My X’s have now run out…