Vladimir Putin may be a powerful and menacing leader here on Earth, but in the cosmos, he isn't getting such kind treatment. Ukrainian astronomers along with pro-Ukraine activists have gotten together to name a star "Putin-Huilo!" Huilo (sometimes spelled khulio) is a Ukrainian term which translates loosely to a combination of "dickhead," "fucker," and "asshole." So the name of the star translates to either "Putin is a dickhead" or "Putin is a dipshit," depending how you read huilo.
The star was adopted through the Pale Blue Dot Project, affiliated with the White Dwarf Research Corporation. Pale Blue Dot allows anyone to adopt a star for just $10, and pick its name. The $10 donation goes to funding the research of astronomers seeking Earth-like planets.
"Putin Huilo" actually has a rich Internet history, becoming something between a meme and a slang word. It's origins are as a song, possibly written by soccer fans. It gained wider attention when Ukrainian protestors sang it during the Maidan protest:
Then more soccer fans began using it as a chant. Here are some Ukrainians, and some soccer loving Germans, singing it:
And then like all things on the Internet, other cultures started picking it up. Here's a Mariachi band singing it:
In June of this year, an Urban Dictionary entry formally defined khulio: "Khuilo is the president of Russia Vladimir Putin." So, now a word which originally was slang for penis is synonymous with "terrible dictator." Ukrainian rock bands started using it in their music, and even politicians picked it up. Ukrainian parliament member Oleh Lyashko was caught singing it, as was the minister of foreign affairs Andrii Deshchytsia.
While plenty of memes get their fifteen minutes of fame, this might be the first Internet meme with its own star (though I might buy the LOLcats star right meow.)
If you'd like to check out "Putin is a dickhead" twinkling in the night sky, its coordinates are "Celestial Star: right Ascension: 18 h 59 m 47.09 s Slope: 46 * 26 '44', 'magnitude: 11."
Hopefully its neighbors, the constellations Lrya and Swan, aren't too offended by the name.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.