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How did the writers not notice that the mailbox of Leela's parents says "Turanga," and not "Leela"?

Turanga Leela is Leela's proper name, with Leela being her surname, so shouldn't it follow that her folks would be the same?

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    Zap has also said to Leela that she is his "second favourite Turanga girl" in the episode "Zap Dingbat" suggesting that Turanga is the surname. – AverageMarcus Jan 23 '13 at 13:51
  • @AverageMarcus, "Zapp Dingbat" is also the episode where he dates Munda, Leela's mom. That would make her mom the other Turanga girl. – Octopus Apr 12 '18 at 5:18
  • Related : scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/184868/… – Goufalite Apr 12 '18 at 6:50
  • @AverageMarcus Zap is also technically a blithering idiot. – Doomfrost Apr 12 '18 at 11:25
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    This question is accompanied by a false premise, that Leela is her surname. The correct answer to this question only has to refute that premise which was done six years ago. Why offer a bounty on it now? – Octopus Apr 12 '18 at 18:32
38

Turanga is the family name. Her parents names are Turanga Morris and Turanga Munda.

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    References????? – ThePopMachine Apr 12 '18 at 21:58
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    @ThePopMachine I feel like references aren't that necessary when you're just pointing out the names of characters in the show. I mean IMDb lists them. – Misha R Apr 21 '18 at 19:23
  • @MishaR, well if that's the case then the original question should be massively downvoted.... – ThePopMachine Apr 21 '18 at 21:53
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    @ThePopMachine I think that there are many people who've assumed the same thing as the OP - so they identify with the question and don't fault it for being easy to Google. – Misha R Apr 22 '18 at 0:24
38

In certain cultures, a surname (i.e. family name) is said first when pronouncing a person's name. Leela's family appears to follow the same tradition, with "Turanga" being their surname, not "Leela". This is why it (intentionally) appears on the mailbox of their sewer home.

Although transcripts for episodes sometimes refer to Leela's parents by their full names (Turanga Morris and Turanga Munda, listing "Turanga" as the common first surname), I don't believe their full names are ever explicitly said aloud as Leela's name often is (such as in the season 4 episode Leela's Homeworld, when she is receiving her "Orphan of the Year" award). The closest I found was from the season 7 episode Zapp Dingbat, when Zapp (who is dating Leela's mother) refers to Leela as "my second favorite Turanga girl".

The pronunciation of the surname first suggests they may be of Hungarian or East Asian descent, although this is never established or referenced in the show. Since "Leela" sounds like the word for "purple" (her hair color) in Hungarian ("lila"), then Hungarian (speculatively) seems like the most likely lineage for her family.

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    Fascinatingly, Turanga is a Maori name. But I don't know if the creators knew that or not. – Mark Beadles Jun 28 '12 at 20:15
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    Bavaria (in southern Germany) is another place where the "surname" is placed before the given name. So it's not uncommon at all in Europe at least. – Andrew J. Brehm Jul 12 '12 at 9:57
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    To bring things back to science fiction, Bajorans from star trek also place their surname first, and get rather annoyed when you incorrectly call them by the incorrect name. – John Meacham Sep 23 '14 at 5:38
  • References??? This is all just commentary. – ThePopMachine Apr 12 '18 at 21:58
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    @ThePopMachine: I don't know what standards you're referring to, but I respectfully disagree. I gave them a clear answer and backed it up with a link to one of (if not the) most comprehensive source of information for this show. I even added more such references just now. – gnovice Apr 13 '18 at 4:18
4

The writer's did notice. Putting the name "Turanga" on the mailbox was an intentional move. Everybody puts their family name on their mailbox and the Turanga family are no exception.

In the episodes Leela's Homeworld, Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles, Less than Hero, Bender's Big Score, Bender's Game, The Mutants are Revolting, Mobius Dick and Zapp Dingbat her parents make appearances. Countless times, in many of those episodes, if not all, their names are spoken aloud as Turanaga Morris and Turanga Munda providing evidence that Turanga--being common to all of them--is their family name (also known as a surname).

Putting the name "Turanga" on the mailbox only helps to drive this fact home.

If you'd like to know why their names are reversed, I posted a related but different question over here.

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    Hi, this doesn't provide an authoritative reference why the writers did this. It only addresses the narrow point of whether it was intentional. Post the other half of your answer and I'll be happy to upvote and offer the bounty. – Valorum Apr 12 '18 at 5:58
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    The effect of the initial negative comment rears its head. This answer isn't worthy of downvoting. This is a reasonably good answer. It is citing actual episodes which demonstrate the Turanga is the surname. This certainly doesn't deserve downvotes compared to the other answers with 30+ upvotes. One just states a fact (the parents are Turanga Moriis and Munda) with no references at all, and the other merely points out that in the real world there are cultures that put the surname first. So what? – ThePopMachine Apr 12 '18 at 17:00
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    I have doubts about the claim that their names are spoken aloud repeatedly. I've looked through a number of transcripts, and found many instances of Leela's full name being spoken aloud, but not Morris's or Munda's. Have any links for that? – gnovice Apr 13 '18 at 4:22
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    Why the writers did what exactly, @Valorum? Put "Turanga" on the mailbox? The answer as stated is simply that it is the family's surname. Its not clear what extra information you're really trying to get at here. Have you considered opening a different question? – Octopus Apr 13 '18 at 15:26
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    @Valorum: OP didn't intentionally withhold information. He/she/it legitimately thought another aspect of the question would be better served by different question. That doesn't deserve a downvote. – ThePopMachine Apr 13 '18 at 19:44

protected by Community Apr 21 '18 at 20:25

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