The true meaning of “natalis” in the name Ameiurus natalis

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The true meaning of “natalis” in the name Ameiurus natalis

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Scharpf, C. (2020). Lost in translation: The true meaning of “natalis” in the name of the yellow bullhead Ameiurus natalis. American Currents, 45(2): 11-17.

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ch ... atalis.pdf
INTRODUCTION
The Yellow Bullhead Ameiurus natalis (Figure 1) is a catfish (Siluriformes: Ictaluridae) native to North American fresh waters from southern Canada and the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, west into the Great Plains and the Rio Grande, with nonindigenous populations throughout most of the contiguous United States and in the lower Colorado River system of México. The species was introduced to science under the name Pimelodus natalis by French naturalist Charles-Alexandre Lesueur in 1819. Since Lesueur did not explain the meaning of natalis, American ichthyologist David Starr Jordan attempted to explain the name in several publications, including the seminal four-volume Fishes of North and Middle America (1896-1900). Jordan claimed that natalis means “having large nates, or buttocks.” Jordan’s explanation has been repeated in many scientific and popular publications ever since.

Unfortunately, it is incorrect. Jordan based his explanation on a misinterpretation of the Middle English natal, which, depending on its derivation, can mean two widely different things: buttocks or Christmas. Jordan applied the anatomical version of natal to the catfish’s name, apparently unaware that Lesueur included in his description a French cognate of Pimelodus natalis in the form of “Pimelode Noël.” In naming this catfish natalis, Lesueur was in fact honoring a French fisheries inspector whose name means Christmas: Simon-Barthélemy-Joseph Noël de La Morinière (1765–1822).
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Re: The true meaning of “natalis” in the name Ameiurus natalis

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:) Thank you for this, Eric. I was indeed wondering. The best I could come up was the ichthyologist's heart belonged to a lady named Natalie and the catfish somehow reminded him of her... or he simply wanted to name a discovery after her in a romantic way, just like astronomers name newly discovered stars and mannequin designers name mannequins...
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Re: The true meaning of “natalis” in the name Ameiurus natalis

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ichthyologist's heart belonged to a lady named Natalie and the catfish somehow reminded him of her...
if this did happen to be true then it would be nataliei , I think thats how it would go.

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Re: The true meaning of “natalis” in the name Ameiurus natalis

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Birger wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:20 am
ichthyologist's heart belonged to a lady named Natalie and the catfish somehow reminded him of her...
if this did happen to be true then it would be nataliei , I think thats how it would go.
I would think nataliensis

As far as I know, -i is for male names and -ensis for female names. And as Natalie is a girl's name, it would grammaticalli be female. But then, I never had Latin in school.
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Re: The true meaning of “natalis” in the name Ameiurus natalis

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It would be natalieae as fictional Natalie is a girl. Natalie the name comes from Christmas anyway, the natal bit being rooted in the Latin for birth (Birth of Jesus presumably in this case).

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Re: The true meaning of “natalis” in the name Ameiurus natalis

Post by bekateen »

Lol, I debated about posting this article. Who woulda thunk it would generate so much interest?!? :)) :YMHUG:

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Re: The true meaning of “natalis” in the name Ameiurus natalis

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It’s high geekery indeed. But that’s what we do here. :-)

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Re: The true meaning of “natalis” in the name Ameiurus natalis

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Thank y'all for the lesson in naming. I for one appreciate it.
Birger wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:20 am
ichthyologist's heart belonged to a lady named Natalie and the catfish somehow reminded him of her...
if this did happen to be true then it would be nataliei , I think thats how it would go.
OK, we can take it up a notch.

The situation might have fathomably been a bit more complex wherein the romantic source for the naming inspiration, whether involving reciprocated feelings or not, had to be veiled a bit, as the object of the namer's desire named Natalie (or Natali, or Natalia, or Natasha, or else) wasn't his, couldn't be his, nor it'd be appropriate for anyone to think that it might be his... or this might have posed serious ill represuccions... Natalie could have even been married to aa fellow rival ichthyologist...

Hence, nataliei, nataliensis, or natalieae went out of the window and into the door came in still a Latin-sounding but ciphered version...
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Re: The true meaning of “natalis” in the name Ameiurus natalis

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

Viktor Jarikov wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:58 pm
Thank y'all for the lesson in naming. I for one appreciate it.
Birger wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:20 am
ichthyologist's heart belonged to a lady named Natalie and the catfish somehow reminded him of her...
if this did happen to be true then it would be nataliei , I think thats how it would go.
OK, we can take it up a notch.

The situation might have fathomably been a bit more complex wherein the romantic source for the naming inspiration, whether involving reciprocated feelings or not, had to be veiled a bit, as the object of the namer's desire named Natalie (or Natali, or Natalia, or Natasha, or else) wasn't his, couldn't be his, nor it'd be appropriate for anyone to think that it might be his... or this might have posed serious ill represuccions... Natalie could have even been married to a fellow rival ichthyologist...

Hence, nataliei, nataliensis, or natalieae went out of the window and into the door came in still a Latin-sounding but ciphered version...
Thebiggerthebetter

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