The Volokh Conspiracy

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"It Is Sort of a Monty Python-Latin"


"Crooked not courageous: Adani renames Australian group Bravus, mistaking it for 'brave,'" writes The Guardian (Naaman Zhou), quoted by Victor Mair (Language Log):

Mining company Adani has changed its name to a Latin word ["Bravus"] that means "crooked", "deformed", "mercenary or assassin", after mistakenly thinking that it meant "brave"….

Dr Christopher Bishop, from the Australian National University's centre of classical studies, said "bravus" did not mean "brave" in either classical or medieval Latin….

"It is sort of a Monty Python-Latin," he told Guardian Australia. "It is that classic joke where you chuck an '-us' on to the end of anything and call it Latin."

Bishop said the closest relative to "bravus" was the medieval Latin word "bravo" – a noun meaning a "mercenary", "assassin" or "sword for hire".