NFL Football Teams in Latin

You’ve heard of NFL “throwback” uniforms which hearken back to the original vesture of older teams. Even Pepsi has a “throwback” campaign – using an older-looking logo and going back to “real sugar.”

So here’s the ultimate throwback – the NFL team names in Latin. That’s right folks, Cicero knew the NFL teams by these Latin names – okay, not really, but if football had been played in the Colosseum, the following names would be the NFL (ahem…Foedus Nationale Pedipila) teams.

I’d appreciate any advice from my fellow Latinists. Last week I asked my Latin students to come up with Latin names for the NFL teams. Here’s what we came up with. I’m sure that we’ve overlooked something.

  • Pittsburgh Ferrarii (Ferrarii sounds much more blue blood than “steel-worker” doesn’t it?)
  • Washington Rubracutes (Saying it in Latin makes it sound more politically correct, doesn’t it?)
  • Green Bay Arctatores
  • Chicago Ursi
  • New York Gigantes
  • Indianapolis Equulei
  • San Francisco Undequinquagintatori (This is my personal favorite NFL Latin name – literally “one from 50ers”)
  • Dallas Bovipueri (My favorite team! – also a great Latin name)
  • Cleveland Bruni (Even in Latin, it’s still the most boring name in football history)
  • Detroit Leones
  • Oakland Raptores
  • New England Patriotici
  • Philadelphia Aquilae
  • St. Louis Arietes
  • Kansas City Principes
  • Miami Delphini
  • Arizona Cardinales
  • Denver Sonipedes
  • Tennessee Titani
  • Buffalo Gulieli (plural abbreviation of the Latin name “William”)
  • Minnesota Vikentes (yeah, we just punted on this one…)
  • New York Aeroplana (this term turns out to be neuter plural of airplane in “contemporary Latin”)
  • Baltimore Corvi
  • Tampa Bay Archipiratae (it rhymes!)
  • San Diego Fulgurifactores (I’m not satisfied with this as “Chargers,” but I wanted to keep the “electric” meaning)
  • Houston Texani (we punted on this one, too)
  • Cincinnati Bengalenses (I’m quite proud of this one)
  • Jacksonville Pantherae (yes, the scientific name for a jaguar is “panthera onca”)
  • Carolina Pantherae (unfortunately redundant with Jacksonville above)
  • New Orleans Sancti
  • Seattle Pandiones
  • Atlanta Falcones

I’m especially grateful to my students Dominic Sipe, Jacob Pearson, Max Biko, Daniel “Harundo” Reed, and Joseph Davis for their creative help in generating this list.

If you wish to reproduce this list, please give credit and a link.

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