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Meet “Optimosprayn”, the Son of a Paraguayan Transformers Fan

Whenever 19-year-old Optimosprayn Ismael Meza Barbosa tells people his name, they think he is making fun of them. That’s because his name is the phonetic version of how some people pronounce “Optimus Prime” in Spanish. It was given to him by his father, an avid fan of the Transformers animated series.

The Paraguayan teen recently got his five minutes of online fame after a photo of his ID card went viral on social media. A lot of people thought it was digitally altered to attract attention, but Optimosprayn recently sat down with Paraguayan newspaper Cronica to confirm that he was indeed the Latino namesake of Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots.

Photo: mike bernardo/Flickr

Apparently, Optimosprayn’s father was a big fan of sci-fi anime growing up. He used to love watching cartoons like Mazinger Z, and when Trasformers started airing in Paraguay, he became fascinated with the Autobots, particularly their charismatic leader, Optimus Prime. He never outgrew his love for the popular Hasbro character, so when time came to name his son, he did everything he could to convince his wife to accept the name “Optimosprayn”, the phonetic version of how everyone pronounced “Optimus Prime” back in the day.

Today, the 19-year-old is very proud of his unusual name, but things were very different when he was in school. Every first day of the school year was a spectacle, because students had to introduce themselves, and his schoolmates would always laugh when it was Optimosprayn’s turn.

Once, in the sixth grade, a new teacher asked the class to introduce themselves, and an embarrassed Optimosprayn decided to avoid the usual spectacle by using his middle name instead, but things didn’t work out the way he had hoped. The teacher asked him if he had any other names, and he eventually had to tell her his full name, Optimosprayn Ismael Meza Barboza.

“She asked if she had ‘clown’ written on her forehead and kicked me out of the classroom,” Optimosprayn recalled in an interview with Cronica. His classmates came to his aid, telling the teacher that he was indeed named after Optimus Prime and asking her to check his ID card if she didn’t believe it.

 

The Paraguayan teen still gets confused looks whenever he shows his ID to someone, and police routinely confirm his identity via radio, but he has gotten used it. In fact, he embraced his unusual name and even got a large tattoo of the Autobots logo on his neck.

Optimosprayn said he dreams of having two sons of his own and naming them both after Transformers characters. He would pass on his name to one of them and name the other Rodimus Prime, after the lost brother of Optimus Prime.