Purdue has been a dominate force so far this season. They have won every single game by at least 13 points and have done it in multiple ways. In the last couple weeks we've looked at Purdue's point guards, their three point shooting and star freshman Caleb Swanigan. However, this week I've decided to have a little fun with my weekly Purdue article.
On Saturday, Purdue plays host to the New Mexico Lobos. The Lobos nickname is interesting as it is one of the few college nicknames that is in Spanish. A few other schools have nicknames that are not in English, such as the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, named after South America's version of cowboys. This gave me a somewhat silly idea.
I decided to see what the Purdue Boilermakers would be called if they had named themselves in Spanish. I was actually rather surprised to find that Boilermaker had a direct translation: Caldereros. After that, I got a little carried away. I took the Boilers' schedule and started doing my best to translate the nicknames of every team they play this season into Spanish. It was actually kind of fun and challenging. I have a limited knowledge of Spanish and therefore some translations might be more accurate than others. I've added explanations to anything that wasn't a direct translation.
I present to you, the Spanish nicknames of every team Purdue plays this season:
North Carolina A&T Aggies = Aggies
Aggies, as we all know, is derived from the word agriculture. In Spanish, that word translates to "agricultura," so Aggies still works here.
Vermont Catamounts = Pumas
It seems catamount is just another name for mountain lion or cougar, which translates to "puma".
Incarnate Word Cardinals = Cardenales
Old Dominion Monarchs = Monarcas
Interestingly, this nickname is actually used by the soccer club Morelia in Liga MX.
Florida Gators = Gátors/Caimánes
Most translations seem to prefer caimán, but aligátor was also used in some places so I figured a shortened form of that would be plausible.
Lehigh Mountain Hawks = Halcones Montaña
Pittsburgh Panthers = Panteras
IUPUI Jaguars = Jaguares
Howard Bison = Bisontes
Youngstown State Penguins = Pingüinos
Butler Bulldogs = Bulldogs/Dogos
Bulldog is a relatively modern term and refers to breeds developed in to fight bulls and other large animals. However, these breeds are not very common in Spanish-speaking countries and as such it seems that they just use the English term. Some places suggested that "Dogo" was the proper translation, as it is the name of a mastiff breed Dogo Argentino, but that dog bears little resemblance to the English Bulldog Butler uses as their mascot.
Vanderbilt Commodores = Contralmirantes
Vanderbilt is named for shipping magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt (just ask Bill Walton), and their nickname comes from his nickname "Commodore" an old US Navy rank. A direct translation of commodores is "comodoros". However, it is not an actual rank in the Spanish Navy or the Mexican Navy, therefore I went with the most similar rank available in the Spanish navy.
Wisconsin Badgers = Tejones
Iowa Hawkeyes = Ojos de Halcón
"Eyes of Hawk"
Michigan Wolverines = Glotones
Directly translated, "gloton" means glutton, which Wikipedia tells me is actually an English term for wolverines (insert Brady Hoke or Robert Traylor joke here).
Illinois Fighting Illini = Illini que Lucha
There is not a different word for the Illini people in Spanish.
Penn State Nittany Lions = Pumas de Nittany
Penn State is named after mountain lions that roamed local Mount Nittany, so "pumas" made more sense than "leones".
Rutgers Scarlet Knights = Caballeros Escarlata
Ohio State Buckeyes = Falsos Castaños
Literally "false chestnuts", the full common Spanish name for the buckeye nut adds "de Ohio" to the end.
Minnesota Golden Gophers = Tuzas de Oro
"Gophers of Gold"
Nebraska Cornhuskers = Desgranadora de Maíz
"Shellers of Corn"
Maryland Terrapins = Tortugas de Agua Salobre
The Spanish translation here means "turtles of brackish water" because terrapins, turtles, and tortoises are not distinguished with different words in Spanish. Additionally, the species of terrapins that Maryland is named for are the diamondback terrapins, and they live in brackish water.
Michigan State Spartans = Espartanos
Northwestern Wildcats = Gatos Monteses
Indiana Hoosiers = Hoosiers
Coincidentally, our list ends as it began, with a nickname that doesn't have a translation.
There you have it, feel free to rip me in the comments for any poor translations (or any other reasons), or ask me to explain any translations that lack an explanation already.