sambo-rulers

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amaul

Senior Member
Spanish - Andaluz
Dear friends,
could I translate the expression as following?

Potterism, according to him, was characterized by the semi-detached mind, and all Potters were rock-cake and lemonade administrators, small-car aficionados, sambo-rulers – and heaven only knows what else.

Según él, el potterismo se caracterizaba por un espíritu casi indiferente y todos los Potters eran administradores de meriendas, aficionados de poca monta, gobernantes de pacotilla y solo dios sabe qué más.

¡Gracias!
 
  • Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The only meaning I know for 'sambo' is an offensive term for a black person.

    Sambo/ˈsambəʊ/
    noun (pl. Sambos or Samboes)
    • 1 offensive a black person.

    • 2 (sambo) historical a person of mixed race.
    – origin C18: sense 1 perh. from Fula sambo ‘uncle’; sense 2 from Amer. Sp. zambo, denoting a kind of yellow monkey.
    http://www.wordreference.com/definition/sambo


    I think we need much more context to be certain what is meant here.
    Who is the author?
    What is the name of the book?
    When was this written?
    What is the subject matter?
     

    amaul

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Andaluz
    Lawrence Durrell, Biiter Lemons (of Cyprus). ca. 1953
    It's a travelling autobiography. Cyprus during independence struggle from the British Empire.



    This is the whole paragraph:

    One of the slogans of the day was ‘Potterism’, an opprobrious expression coined by a bibulous and witty journalist, a frequent visitor to the island whose articles never failed to cause me concern, though they were never quite so clever as his private strictures on us all. He maintained that all administrators belonged to a cohort of mindless and faceless men who should either be numbered or described collectively as ‘Peter Potter, OBE’ ‘It’s Potter again,’ he would cry, on being informed of some stroke of policy or some new government statement. ‘It’s that man again.’ Potterism, according to him, was characterized by the semi-detached mind, and all Potters were rock-cake and lemonade administrators, small-car aficionados, sambo-rulers – and heaven only knows what else.

    And an extract from few paragraphs before, also with a reference to some black people (that doesn't seem to match here a lot to me, as Cypriot people are Mediterranean, a bit darker than English, but not black at all...):


    My inheritance seemed in pitiable shape; a cellar full of discarded blocks and photographic equipment so shabby and mouldering as to be a disgrace; and aged film van or two; a moribund house-magazine; and various other odds and ends of little practical use. Absolutely no briefs save the Colonial Report a year out of date; and a mountain of posters showing pictures of the Queen decorating coal-black mammies with long-service medals – the very thing to make Greeks and Turks, with their colour-bar, dance with rage.


    Thanks again!
     
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