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“It Is Sort of a Monty Python-Latin”

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“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”.

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Eugene Volokh

Founded in 1968, Reason is the magazine of free minds and free markets. We produce hard-hitting independent journalism on civil liberties, politics, technology, culture, policy, and commerce. Reason exists outside of the left/right echo chamber. Our goal is to deliver fresh, unbiased information and insights to our readers, viewers, and listeners every day. Visit

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