Friday, 30 September 2011

High Gothic For Dummies #2


You may have noticed there was no Haiku Thursday this week. Now you know why. This week I'll do some Space Marines and their Primarchs. I warn you, this could get ranty.

Primarchs: I think this is probably a hybrid of primus (first), and patriarch, which itself comes from pater (father). Obviously not all Primarchs have Latin-based names, but I'll cover the ones that do in order of Legion.

Fulgrim: From fulgor, which is lightning, but it can be used figuratively to mean "splendour." Oh how appropriate for arguably the most fabulous Primarch. As a side note, while looking this up I found the Latin fulcrum (as in Arcane Fulcrum from Storm of Magic). This means "bedpost." Wonder if this makes Bedknobs and Broomsticks canon in Fantasy...

Peturabo: A wild guess this, but I think this is from peturbo, the first person for the verb "to throw into confusion." Or Chaos, one might suppose...

Sanguinius: Take a wild guess. Replace the i in 'ius' with e and you get sanguineus, or "blood-red."

Ferrus Manus: Oh, GW, GW, GW, so close and yet so far. Yes, manus is "hand," but the word for "iron" is a neuter noun. Therefore the correct Latin is Ferrum Manus. Or Ferro Manus if you wanted "Hand of Iron." Come to think of it, Ferromanus would be an awesome name.

Angron: Another guess, this time the guessword is angor, which figuratively means "suffering." And let's face it, he went through a lot of that. Plus, it sounds angry.

Mortarion: Likely derived from mortuus, which means "dead." The other option is mortarium, but since this means "mortar," I'm ruling it out.

Magnus the Red: Not difficult this, magnus being "big, great." So Big Red, if you will.

Vulkan: As in the Roman smith god who lived in a volcano and suchlike.

Corax: If this doesn't come from corvus, ie "raven" then I'm a flying polyp.

Alpharius/Omegon: Trick question (well, it is the Alpha Legion), this is the first and last Greek letters High Gothicised by the somewhat Orky method of "If you stick an -us on it, it sounds better."

With the Primarchs covered, I'm running out of time. Here's a few quick ones from the Black Library.

Sarpedon: A king of Lycia, home of the Chimera, a hybrid monster. Very clever, Mr Counter.

Uriel Ventris: Easily my favourite Ultramarine, only because his name is (and I didn't believe it the first time either) Uriel Bladder. Fear him.

Anyway, that's all for now. I leave you as ever with a thrilling fan-fiction:

postquam hereticum incenderit, Caecilius era laetus, sed promethium non habuit. "eheu!" inquit, "volo promethium!" subito astartes adirit. "astartes promethium habuit...." Caecilius inquit....

Over the course of this series I will periodically return to Marine names and suchlike. Upcoming will either be Imperial Tyranid classifications, or planets. And you'll learn whether or not Caecilius will get any promethium. A word I still need to cover. It's neuter by the way.

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