The Pittsburgh Penguins upped their St. Patrick’s Day game this year by putting Gaelic versions of their names on the backs of their green warmup jerseys. Some of the names were spot-on, while others were hilariously lost in translation.
Everyone likes to pretend they’re a little Irish around St. Patrick’s Day, but who expected the Pittsburgh Penguins to look more Irish than the Boston Bruins? The Pens took to the ice at home on Saturday wearing green warmup jerseys to commemorate the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day. But where most teams would simply go green and leave it at that, the Penguins went to the next level by putting Gaelic names on their jersey nameplates. Gaelic is the traditional language in Ireland, and if you’ve ever heard it, it sounds like someone speaking English in the thickest Irish accent you can imagine. That is, essentially, what the Pens’ jersey names sound like.
The Penguins tried to match the Gaelic names up to the real names of their players, though it’s hard to make Scandinavian surnames like Hornqvist sound proper natural. Other names sound completely different, but are actually better-suited to the player they were given to. Russian Evgeni Malkin became Maolchin, the Gaelic name for “mighty in battle.” Patric Hornqvist took the name Corncuar, which has the bizarre meaning “dwells on a horn-curved tract of land.” Yeah, there’s a word for that. Marc-Andre Fleury became Oblaith (of the flowers), Paul Martin became Mairtain (god of war) and Craig Adams got off easy with O’Adaim, which means “man of the red earth.” Even injured forward Pascal Dupuis got the Irish treatment.
But what about the top Piongain (Penguin), Sidney Crosby? He wore the name Crosbaigh, the Gaelic word for “dwells by the crossroads.” That’s right: Crosby’s Gaelic name essentially means “I play center.”
All jerseys will go up for auction online starting March 16, with proceeds benefiting the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and the Mario Lemieux Foundation. Head over to the Penguins’
website to see a full list of the names and their meanings.