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World's Weirdest Superstitions

World's Weirdest Superstitions: Menem Shall Not Be Named, Argentina

Tim Graham / Alamy

Menem Shall Not Be Named, Argentina

Former president Carlos Menem, often blamed for the country’s debilitating economic crash in 2001, is considered a living curse. Many Argentines avoid saying his name and instead will substitute the alias “Mendez” into their conversation. If someone were to say “Menem,” women will typically touch their left breast and men their left testicle to ward off the bad luck. In 2011, the press even photographed one man shaking Menem’s hand while his left hand touched near his pants zipper.


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