Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Dorcus Malorcus Sum

"That's not Latin!" - Lisa Simpson.

Dorcus Malorcus may not be Latin, but this is. Here are the Latin names of the 30 MLB teams, broken down by division. Big ups to Karen for assistance. And for putting up with my dorkness.

Atanta Fortes
Florida Tetrapturi
Montreal Expositiones
New York Urbani
Philadelphia Philadelphienses

Notes: for a lot of the animal names, I just used the scientific names. The Romans didn't know what a marlin was. "Metropolitan" is derived from Greek, and a Roman would have known what it meant, but I translated it into a Latin word. Philadelphienses doesn't mean anything but Philadelphians, and I'm not aware of any other meaning of "Phillies." The Expos could (should) find themselves as the Senatores, Nationales, or Cani (Grays).

Chicago Ursuli
Cincinnati Russati
Houston Stellae
Milwaukee Cervesarii
Pittsburgh Praedones
St. Louis Cardinales

Notes: The Cubs seem to like Catuli, which works for any cute, fuzzy animal baby. Ursuli is more specific. The Russata was one of the chariot racing factions of Rome, so I used that instead of rubra or rosa or something. "Astros" comes from the Greek for "star," so there's Stellae. Dumb name.

Arizona Crotali
Colorado Saxosi
Los Angeles Eludentes
San Diego Patres
San Francisco Gigantes

Baltimore Oriolidae
Boston Udones Russati
New York Iohannes
Tampa Bay Diaboli Raiae
Toronto Cyanocittae

Notes: Romans didn't really wear socks, and udo was the closest thing I could find. "Yankees" was tough; no one really knows where it comes from. The going theory is that it's the Dutch equivalent of "Johnny," so they're the Johns. Make your own joke. Diaboli Raiae is literally "rays of the devil." Diabolos, devil, is Greek for "slanderer." Is that the worst they could say about him?

Chicago Udones Albi
Cleveland Aborigines
Detroit Tigres
Kansas City Regales
Minnesota Gemini

Notes: For Cleveland, I chose to go with a word meaning "natives" rather than "people from India."

Anaheim Angeli
Oakland Athletici
Seattle Nautae
Texas Pervagati

Notes: Two Greek words here, but they were both used by the Romans. Angelos in Greek meant nothing more than "messenger" until it picked up the Christian connotation (In modern English, Angelos means something entirely different). Nuntius is the Latin translation, but it never took on that meaning, so I kept Angeli. Athletici is Greek, too. "Rangers" is really difficult. Do you try to capture the police sense of the word? The army? Guy in charge of a forest? Pervagatus more or less means "one who ranges," so I went with that.

Try them with regunt (Cardinales regunt: Cardinals rule!) or sugunt (Iohannes sugunt: Yankees suck!).

UPDATE: The comments for this post are a cavalcade of edutainment. Seriously.


Olivier said...

Yeah, latin.. I had latin when I was young. Forgot it too.

By the way, you do know Montreal is an old french contraction for Mont Royal (which is the name of the mount at the center of the city of Montreal). And you *do* know that Montreal also has a spanish equivalent, eh, eh? And you know that said equivalent is, of course, *Monterrey*.

[cue creepy music]

All I know is, I couldn't watch expos-Jays this weekend at my favourite tavern because everybody was watching Euro 2004. Attaboy. At least Endy Chavez couldn't play, thus bumping Cabrera in the #2 slot.

Ryan said...

That is pretty spooky, and I hope not prophetic. I thought about doing the Latin for all the cities as well, but that's all little too much research. Los Angeles would be easy, I guess.

Peter said...

Diaboli Raiae is literally "rays of the devil." Diabolos, devil, is Greek for "slanderer." Is that the worst they could say about him?Without looking it up, I'm guessing the Greek use was borrowed from the Hebrew "Sathan" (from which we get the English "Satan"), which literally means "Accuser."

To those Old Testament Hebrews, "Satan" was less a yin-yang-bizarro-Yahweh (or equal opposite), but more a Loki-like trickster being who "accused" the righteous in the presence of Yahweh. (Check out Job 1:6-12)

Anonymous said...

I thought Satan was the bass player for Black Sabbath.

Ryan said...

That's Geezer Butler, Dave. I thought they taught you that kind of thing in seminary.

Ryan said...

Who is the bigger nerd, young Andrew, the nerd or the nerd who correct's the nerd's Latin? The correct answer is you.
Praedones is way better.

Anonymous said...

You have to go with Praedones just so you can get the wonderful "Booty-Men" idea. Plus, Piratae is too Ecce Romani. Now who's the nerd?