UK Police Code Name for President Barack Obama for Upcoming Visit is "Chalaque," Punjabi Word for "Smart Alec"

British police code name for President Barack Obama for his upcoming visit to the U.K. is “chalaque,” mildly offensive Punjabi word for “Smart Alec.”

Is the Scotland Yard code name – ‘Chalaque’ for President Obama meant to denigrate him? According to the Daily Mail, Indarjit Singh, a Punjabi speaker in the U.K. claims it means ‘Smart Alec.’ He told the Sunday Times ‘chalaque’ is “sometimes used when we want to denigrate someone who we think is too clever for their own good,” the newspaper said.

Scotland Yard insiders told the Sunday Times that their codewords are ‘randomly generated by computer’, but the paper wondered why officials decided to stick with them, when they could have simply had another word selected that would be less provocative.

Tell me this wasn’t deliberate on their part. Somebody had to program the computer to create random names.

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Janet Shan is a freelance journalist and managing editor of the Hinterland Gazette, who is working on her first novel, a mystery based in the hills on Montego Bay.