Characters & Places

Tarrie  Tintin’s faithful companion. His name means terrier in Scots. He is called Milou in French, Snowy in English, Terry in Danish and Norwegian, and Tobbi in Icelandic! For names in other languages, see this list.

Nisbet and Nesbit the two glaikit detectives that follow Tintin. You can tell them apart by their moustaches! Nisbet has a curled moustache and Nesbit has a straight one.

The Hairy Etin (Derk Isle) based on the Red Etin of Scottish folklore, a flesh-eating giant whose red colour came from the blood of his victims! He was said to utter this grisly rhyme as he hunted his victims: ‘Snowk but, snowk ben, I smell the bluid o earthly men’.

Cameron Cartouche (Merk o the Pharaoh) the absent-minded professor and Egyptologist who is searching for the tomb of Pharaoh Kih-Oskh. A cartouche is an ancient Egyptian name-plate in an oval shape. (In the original French text, his name is Philémon Siclone.)

Sergeant Sur-Duq (Merk o the Pharaoh) The crabbit drill sergeant who recruits Tintin. His name is a pun on the Scots word soor dook, which means ‘sour milk’ and also ‘a sour, mean person’.


Corbiecraig Castle (Derk Isle) the name means ‘crag of corbies or ravens’.

Inverdoom (Derk Isle) the name means ‘mouth of (the river) Doom’.

Al-Jabra (Merk o the Pharaoh) the name is a pun on algebra, which itself comes from an Arabic word meaning ‘reunion of broken parts’.