As Marvel announces the arrival of Ari Agbayani, we explore the meaning of her Filipino name.
This June has seen the arrival of a new character to the Marvel universe. Ari Agbayani is a Filipino-American shield-bearer, who will debut in The United States Of Captain America #4. The fourth (of five) in the new series is set to be released on 22 September 2021.
Let’s get to know our new ‘local’ Captain America better.
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Ari Agbayani: Name meaning
Marvel comic writer Alyssa Wong addressed her character’s name and its meaning after Twitter poked fun at Ari’s meaning in Tagalog.
Alyssa tweeted: “I’d also like to clarify something about her name, which is Arielle Agbayani. She’s named after a few Fil Am friends, with help from my Fil Am fam.”
Arielle and Agbayani are both Filipino names, not unusual choices for their new Fil Am superhero!
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Meaning of “Ari” gets mixed reaction
Alyssa Wong felt the need to clear up her new Marvel superhero’s name after a mixed reaction on Twitter. This came from users who realised ‘ari’ in Tagalog translates to genitals.
One joked at the name’s meaning: “But Ari is still in the name lol so like… you can still call her genital. Like I see it Ari, I know what it means… I laugh because i know it means genitals in another language.”
It seems that for Filipinos and those based in the Philippines, the name choice is no big deal. One remarked: “As a native speaker, I don’t even remember using the word until now.”
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A Twitter user, named Ari and based in the Philippines, commented on the name choice: “Rolling my eyes over people so pressed about the name. Most, I guarantee, aren’t even fluent in tagalog or know only so much about Filipino culture. No one has ever made fun of my name here in the PH nor other people I know with the same name so wtf are they talking about?”
Another added: “Ari is a perfectly good nickname. I went to high school (in the Philippines) with a guy who went by Ari, and not once was it an issue.”
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Ari Agbayani as Marvel’s new Captain America
Ari Agbayani is part of Marvel’s new series, The United States Of Captain America. She is fourth in a string of rural Captain Americas that are taking up the name to be a hero in their community.
Alyssa Wong said of the new character: “Like the other local ‘Caps’ in #USofCAP, Ari draws inspiration from Captain America… by which I mean Bucky Barnes.”
She added: “Ari’s a vigilante, and she knows you can’t always win by playing by the rules. Bucky’s influence is reflected in her costume, designed by the incredible Jodi Nishijima.”
Bucky served as Captain America from 2007 to 2011, filling in during the time Steve Rogers was believed dead.