In the “Biggest Party of the Summer”, as the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) advertised its big PPV Triple H, “The Game”, “King Of Kings”, appeared with a Latin sentence on the video wall:last Sunday – which, in my opinion, was rather mediocre –, in his long-awaited return,
“GENIBUS NITITO CANUS”
which (also according to the) is supposed to mean “On your knees, dog!” Now I don’t claim to be a Latin expert – after 16 years after school, my Latin is quite rusty – but I still can see (and research a little) that there’s something wrong. Let’s have a closer look (source: a Langenscheidt dictionary German–Latin plus my translation):
genibus: dative or ablative plural of genu:
Knee n genu n; flex one’s ~s genua flectere (or submittere); (before the king) genua ponere regi; fall on one’s ~s in genus procumbere; (before the king) procumbere ad genua regis, accidere genibus regis; lie on one’s ~s ad genua [regis] iacēre, supplicem esse [regi]
nitito: probably taken from nītor, nīxus & nīsus sum, used in connection with genu like this:
kneel genibus nixum esse, in genua procumbere (procubuisse)
(The imperative should rather be taken from esse, though… nitito is certainly wrong.) Alberto’s comment probably provides a better explanation.
canus: correct would be canis m f dog, canus doesn’t exist (as case of canis, that is; cānus would mean grey, elderly, venerable; grey hair).
Ergo: If the WWE must have a Latin sentence there, they should have done it properly…
(Should I be wrong in some place, don’t hesitate to correct me. )
Update: (Not every visitor will want to read through all of it… so:) To sum up the results so far from the experts in the comments (vielen Dank e mille grazie!):
An apparently correct phrase is GENIBUS NITERE, CANIS (the comma is not mandatory).
Update 2: In the meantime, WWE has corrected the clear mistake “Canus”, also the WWE shop shows T-shirts with “Canis“.