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Would-be Latin

GENIBUS NITITO CANUS snapshot from WWE SummerSlam on Premiere (German PayTV/PPV)In the “Biggest Party of the Summer”, as the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) advertised its big PPV SummerSlam last Sunday – which, in my opinion, was rather mediocre –, in his long-awaited return, Triple H, “The Game”, “King Of Kings”, appeared with a Latin sentence on the video wall:


which (also according to the official results page) 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. :mrgreen: )

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“.

An intentional Lorem Ipsum

Information about origin and meaning/translation of “Lorem Ipsum” can be found e.g. in the Wikipedia.

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