Dictionary.com

What is a Celtic? And what lakes are the Lakers named after?

Game seven of the NBA Finals. A familiar rivalry that actually becomes more exciting because the teams have so much basketball history.

Let’s step back from the oomph and ebullience of the Finals for a minute. How much do you know about the basics behind the Celtics/Lakers battle?

What is a Celtic, and why the Boston Celtics?

The Celts were various peoples who lived across Europe when the Roman Empire was expanding. The common factor between the tribal groups was the Celtic family of languages.  The region where Celtic languages still have the strongest presence is Scotland, Wales, part of France, and Ireland.

NBA.com gives the following reason for how the Boston Celtics got their name: Team founder Walter Brown thought of an earlier basketball team from New York named the Celtics and figured since Boston had a large Irish population, the Celtics was a great name to use again. The moniker stuck.

As many commenters have noted, the pronunciation of “Celtic” is a messy thing. While we say the Boston “Celtics” with the C sounding like an S, when one talks about “Celtic” language or anything that refers to Celtic culture, the C sounds like a K. But if we talk about “the Celts” to describe the ancient people of that name, the C sounds like an S. Yet another demonstration that language can be as inconsistent as the world it describes.

Now, the Los Angeles Lakers. Los Angeles isn’t known for bodies of water besides the Pacific. The Los Angeles River is an infamously dry canal paved with concrete. So who put the lake in the Lakers?

Before the Lakers moved to arid Southern California, the team was known as the Minneapolis Lakers. As in Minnesota, “land of 10,000 lakes.” Why did the team owner, Bob Short, keep  the now oxymoronic name? One of the major rules of branding is “If people recognize it, keep it.” Plus, “the Los Angeles Lakers” is the epitome of awesome alliteration.

Do you have any burning questions about basketball names or meaning? (Like the etymology of dribble? Or the origin of foul?) Post your queries in the comments section and check back later for an answer.

Animals, plants and nature Send items to nbrcalendar@dailyherald.com.(Neighbor)

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) November 5, 2011 Events that involve pets and other animals, plants and nature, such as adoption days, nature walks, microchipping, nature photography exhibits, calls for volunteers for nature-related work days, etc. Deadline is two weeks before event date.

Greyhounds Only Meet & Greet: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. the first Saturday of the month, PetSmart, Hunt Club Road and Grand Ave., Gurnee. Come and meet retired racing greyhounds and learn about their need for loving caring homes. Information about other Greyhounds Only Meet & Greet locations, donations, volunteer opportunities and adoption and rescue needs can be found at www.greyhoundsonly.com or call (847) 421-9828. website astronomy for kids

Worm Bin workshop: 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, Knupper Nursery, 1801 N. Rand Road, Palatine. Don’t throw kitchen scraps into the landfill, feed them to your worms. Create a worm bin of your own. Materials and starter worms are included. $20 per bin. register at (847) 359-1080. in our site astronomy for kids

Lake County Audubon Society: 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, Libertyville Village Hall, 118 W. Cook St., Dr. Jeff Walk, director of science for the Illinois Chapter of The Nature Conservancy give a presentation on “Illinois Birds: a Century of Change.” All welcome. Chris, (847) 362-5134.

Volunteer at Stillman: Friday, Nov. 11 and 25, Stillman Nature Center, Penny Road, between Routes 59 and 62, South Barrington. Volunteer duties include clearing buckthorn, collecting seeds, planting trees, burning brush, cleaning raptor enclosures, and spreading chips on trails. Stillman has the tools; healthy, outdoor-loving volunteers are needed. Bring work gloves and wear clothes you don’t mind getting muddy. For information, (847) 428-6957 or stillnc@wildblue.net.

Astronomy for Kids: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, Harper College’s Karl G. Henize Observatory, 1200 W. Algonquin Road, Palatine. Students in third-sixth grade learn to identify planets, stars and constellations in Palatine’ night sky and observe deep-sky objects through telescopes. Free, open to the public. Visit, harperastronomy.org.

51 Comments

  1. wolf tamer and coal miner -  February 9, 2014 - 9:26 pm

    I thought they were pronounced:

    The Boston Keltics
    Keltic xyz
    The Kelts

    You learn something new every day!

    Reply
  2. tom -  August 23, 2011 - 3:05 pm

    the bulls were NOT named after the stock market! They were named (like the Chicago Packers) after the primary industry of Chicago: The Chicago Stockyards. They originally played in the same arena that the bulls were showed in. The image of the bull itself is taken from the original stockyards, which Upton Sinclair wrote at length about in “The Jungle.” The image of the bullish cow’s head hung over the area opening into the stockyards. It is an historical site and remains today. The two are identical for this reason. And, the guy who named them stated this. Who ever stated he named them after the stock market? That’s false. The (meat) Packers and the Bulls (and into contemporary times the Indoor Football League Chicago Slaughter) all have the same origin. It is what distinguishes the city from other cities historically.

    Reply
  3. John W. -  May 11, 2011 - 6:38 pm

    It should be pronounced “Selltic,” because that’s true to the rules of English pronunciation – when “C” is followed by “E,” it’s pronounced like an “S.” Saying it as “Keltic” is just a silly attempt to copy the rules of another language. We’re talking about the way it’s pronounced in English, not Gaelic.

    Reply
  4. Tammy D -  January 2, 2011 - 5:06 pm

    One of the paragraphs in this blog is:

    “As many commenters have noted, the pronunciation of “Celtic” is a messy thing. While we say the Boston “Celtics” with the C sounding like an S, when one talks about “Celtic” language or anything that refers to Celtic culture, the C sounds like a K. But if we talk about “the Celts” to describe the ancient people of that name, the C sounds like an S. Yet another demonstration that language can be as inconsistent as the world it describes.”

    That is not right. I’ve read many books about the ancient Celtic peoples of Europe, and it’s a hard C, like Kelts, when we talk about the ancient people of that name, not a soft C, like Selts. Obviously, whoever wrote the entry did not finish doing his research. More information, try the books by Miranda Greene, or seach “Celts” on Amazon.com if you want other books about the Celts.

    Reply
  5. DRIBBLE | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  August 18, 2010 - 9:50 am

    [...] The Boston Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakers and the CELTS No Kilts did they wear — though we could be wrong but never the less we enjoy a good CELTIC SONG. — We took Julia’s Mother Ruth to see the Lord of on the River Dance at the Lyric in B’More when she was alive — before the jealous son stepped in and no longer could Julia see her adopted Mother — He was big enough to touch the basket as were his very tall sons — but the Will and Courage were lacking — Though the Goliath was quite the thief — and everything else was a scribble. — A story way beyond reasonable belief. — Like so many things, first you learn the basics, envy not — and learn to dribble. –>>Rupert L.T.Rhyme [...]

    Reply
  6. Arock -  July 12, 2010 - 4:02 pm

    @John Mac And college is exempt from these “problems”? Why then, do so many college players quit college to play in the NBA? Weird…

    Reply
  7. virgil villaroman -  June 24, 2010 - 5:34 pm

    And why the Orlando Magic?

    Reply
  8. mhood1 -  June 21, 2010 - 6:31 am

    To jonascord – my apologies for mis-identifying Glasgow Celtic as “Celtic United”. Thank you for the correction. I do hope at least that I was correct on pronouncing Celtic (as in Glasgow Celtic) with a soft “C”.

    Reply
  9. 4SUMTHING2DO! -  June 20, 2010 - 6:24 am

    17, 2010 42 Comments Share Game seven of the NBA Finals. A familiar rivalry that actually becomes more exciting because the teams have so much basketball history.

    Let’s step back from the oomph and ebullience of the Finals for a minute. How much do you know about the basics behind the Celtics/Lakers battle?

    What is a Celtic, and why the Boston Celtics?

    The Celts were various peoples who lived across Europe when the Roman Empire was expanding. The common factor between the tribal groups was the Celtic family of languages. The region where Celtic languages still have the strongest presence is Scotland, Wales, part of France, and Ireland.

    NBA.com gives the following reason for how the Boston Celtics got their name: Team founder Walter Brown thought of an earlier basketball team from New York named the Celtics and figured since Boston had a large Irish population, the Celtics was a great name to use again. The moniker stuck.

    As many commenters have noted, the pronunciation of “Celtic” is a messy thing. While we say the Boston “Celtics” with the C sounding like an S, when one talks about “Celtic” language or anything that refers to Celtic culture, the C sounds like a K. But if we talk about “the Celts” to describe the ancient people of that name, the C sounds like an S. Yet another demonstration that language can be as inconsistent as the world it describes.

    Now, the Los Angeles Lakers. Los Angeles isn’t known for bodies of water besides the Pacific. The Los Angeles River is an infamously dry canal paved with concrete. So who put the lake in the Lakers?

    Before the Lakers moved to arid Southern California, the team was known as the Minneapolis Lakers. As in Minnesota, “land of 10,000 lakes.” Why did the team owner, Bob Short, keep the now oxymoronic name? One of the major rules of branding is “If people recognize it, keep it.” Plus, “the Los Angeles Lakers” is the epitome of awesome alliteration.

    Do you have any burning questions about basketball names or meaning? (Like the etymology of dribble? Or the origin of foul?) Post your queries in the comments section and check back later for an answer.

    Author: Hot Word | Posted in Uncategorized 42 CommentsImmanuel L. on June 17, 2010 at 11:38 pm
    Great work, thank you for the posting.
    Abbie on June 17, 2010 at 11:59 pm
    Cool trivia!
    Why is it called Utah Jazz?
    Thanks!
    Rafael on June 18, 2010 at 1:21 am
    Very enlightening!!
    Thanks!
    Di on June 18, 2010 at 2:42 am
    Coincidently my brother asked that same question about the Celtics a couple months ago. Just last night I was asking myself about the “lake” that could have had anything to do with the Lakers name. Your timing is super! thanks!
    Bobby Fawkes on June 18, 2010 at 3:32 am
    that information really tells me a lot about the history of basketball
    Connart on June 18, 2010 at 3:36 am
    good post, but I think you ment Scotland when you said England, there are only bare remnants of any celtic language in England. otherwise, good work
    whosdunnit on June 18, 2010 at 4:23 am
    What about Scotland?
    Paul Coyne on June 18, 2010 at 4:29 am
    You say “The region where Celtic languages still have the strongest presence is England, Wales and Ireland.”

    Aargh – apart from place names celtic has been almost totally obliterated from England.

    Celtic languages are strongest in Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, Isle of Man and Cornwall (where it is critically endangered). England should not be on this list and Scotland is a dreadful omission. Look at Scottish Government website and you’ll see plenty of Gaelic, our native celtic tongue.
    PattiLain on June 18, 2010 at 4:40 am
    But is the correct pronunciation keltic, or seltic? And I mean internationally, not just in the US. Because here in South Africa, I’ve heard both.

    Sigh, C is such an ambiguous letter.
    Jessica on June 18, 2010 at 5:14 am
    The pronunciation can go either way. The word originally derives from Greek, but came to English through French (by way of Latin). Both the Latin and Greek forms would be pronounced with a hard c (keltics) while the French would begin with the softe c (seltics). Either way, Celtic is not the original name of the people it describes, so pronounce it however your little heart desires.
    Ratima on June 18, 2010 at 5:16 am
    I think you mean Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France (Brittany) as the remaining Celtic nations. England is just the opposite of a Celtic country, a Germanic Anglo-Saxon country that was actually primarily responsible for the decline of the Celtic nations of Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The others (now Spain, Germany, Switzerland etc..) were largely destroyed during Roman era.
    Paul Coyne on June 18, 2010 at 5:27 am
    Patti – it should be pronounced with a hard K, though certainly most of the sports clubs that use it use a soft C. For example in glasgow we have Celtic Football Club – they are known (among other names) by something pronounced as “the sellick”. To give them a hard K sound would simply be wrong. It may be the same for clubs elsewhere. But if we’re talking ethnicicty or languages then it’s always a hard K
    TAPASH on June 18, 2010 at 5:38 am
    i want to know the origin of the word DRIBBLE
    Jenay on June 18, 2010 at 5:58 am
    The Celts were pronounced “kelts” but the Celtics are pronounced “selts”
    Bruce Burton on June 18, 2010 at 6:09 am
    Technically, the preferred pronunciation is the “K” sound for the C, not the “S” sound. I doubt basketball fans, at least American ones, will change anytime soon. A related issue is the pronunciation, at least in the U.S. of the name of Macedonia, which most people say with an S sound but historically has been a K sound with the name appearing on ancient Greek coins as Makedonia. There was no C in the alphabet used in that time and culture. The S sound would have been indicated by a sigma.

    BB
    EyEgOrE on June 18, 2010 at 6:10 am
    The correct pronunciation is /kel-tik/

    The Gaelic languages do not have a ’soft C’ – that is what ‘S’ is for.
    And the Gaelic alphabet has no ‘K’
    Sputnik on June 18, 2010 at 6:11 am
    Well I have never heard the singular use of Celtic as a Selt!! I think its just more Yanking the English language…after all it is Zed nit Zee!!LOL

    signed
    Mother Tongue
    Lee Shelton on June 18, 2010 at 6:13 am
    The correct pronunciation would be “Keltic,” and it would usually be used as an adjective in reference to something “of the Celts or their languages.” The only noun usage would be in reference to the language itself. The term “Celtic” would never be pluralized by adding an s, and it would certainly never be used as a noun in reference to a particular group of people. So, the question remains unanswered: Why does the team from Boston call themselves the “C(S)eltics”?
    DINAH on June 18, 2010 at 6:13 am
    I love the origin of words. This just feeds my passion. THANKS.
    Mutha Tung on June 18, 2010 at 6:15 am
    Seltic or Keltic…. well is it a Kelt or a Selt….Isn’t Selt what Kiwis put on their fesh and chops…and some venegar too!!!
    mhood1 on June 18, 2010 at 6:28 am
    Correction: The region where Celtic languages still have the strongest presence is SCOTLAND (not England), Wales and Ireland. I’ve also heard both the hard and soft “C” sounds. Usually when referring to a sports team, i.e. the Boston Celtics or Celtic United (Glasgow football club), the “C” is soft but when referring to people, countries, or culture the “C” is hard. I’m not sure if that is a valid rule of thumb but it’s what I’ve usually encountered.
    mhood1 on June 18, 2010 at 6:35 am
    Also, as for teams moving to new locations but keeping names that have nothing to do with their new cities: another example is the Utah Jazz, originally located in New Orleans. While one does not necessarily associate jazz music with Salt Lake City, Utah Jazz is a name that looks and sounds good, just as Los Angeles Lakers does. On the other hand, when the Seattle SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City, “Oklahoma City SuperSonics” would have been a mouthful. Hence, a name change to the Oklahoma City (or OKC) Thunder.
    Chad Ball on June 18, 2010 at 6:37 am
    I believe the pronunciation “Seltic”, is in reference to the basketball team from Boston. It’s a common confusion. The word itself is actually pronounced “keltic” or “kelt”, internationally.
    Bill Bradley on June 18, 2010 at 6:59 am
    England is not a Celtic Nation, nor does it have a language connection. The prominent Celtic Nations, along with Wales and Ireland, are Scotland and part of France
    Hall James on June 18, 2010 at 7:10 am
    Nice topic, love the historical references.
    Ryan on June 18, 2010 at 7:30 am
    Being of Scottish and Irish heritage, I’ve always heard family and others pronounce it with a ‘K.’ In other words, “seltic” is the American il-pronunciation of the term.
    Richard on June 18, 2010 at 7:34 am
    A lot of team names are obvious, like Dallas Mavericks (a reference to Texas’ cattle days) or Phoenix Suns. Others become obvious when you see hear the connection. The Indiana Pacers were named in reference to the Indy 500 back in their ABA day. The New Jersey Nets, another ABA team, were originally the New York Americans, but a new owner named them the Nets so it rhymed with the NFL Jets, MLB Mets, and even the old Sets of a now long-defunct team tennis league. The other two old ABA teams in the NBA are the Denver Nuggets and the San Antonio Spurs. The Nuggets were originally the Rockets; the first owner also owned Rocket Truck Lines. They later named themselves after an old pro team in town before the two teams merged. (What league needs two Rockets?) San Antonio started off as The Dallas Chapparals, who were named after a meeting room in a hotel in Dallas, according to Terry Pluto’s “Loose Balls”. The old ABA had some interesting team names: Oakland Oaks, San Diego Conquistadors, Anaheim Amigos, Virginia Squires, Memphis Sounds and Memphis Tams, Minnesota Muskies, Pittsburgh Condors, The Spirits of St. Louis, …

    IIRC, the Sacramento Kings started as the Rochester Royals and were named after a sponsor, Crown Royal. The Detroit Pistons started as the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons; their owner, Fred Zollner, owned the Zollner Piston Corporation. Oddly, the Houston Rockets were originally the San Diego Rockets, so they got that name before they moved to Houston, home of Johnson Space Flight Center. The Orlando Magic named themselves after Disney World, aka The Magic Kingdom. The Memphis Grizzlies started in Vancouver, BC, so the name made more sense. The NY Knicks were named after the Knickerbockers, a nickname for the Dutch settlers along the Hudson River. The Chicago Bulls were named after the Chicago stock market, like many teams in the city (Bulls, Bears, Cubs, …)

    Team names used to be more interesting; now they are too market driven. (ie Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, Miami Heat, …)
    Katy on June 18, 2010 at 7:43 am
    The Utah Jazz used to be the New Orleans Jazz
    Brandon shipero on June 18, 2010 at 8:00 am
    The Celtics WITH A SOFT C is the best basketball team in the league, even though they lost. Did you see the oop from peirce to kg, Originally from minnisota twolves. And did you see big baby davis play some hard ball of Kobe.
    Brandon shipero on June 18, 2010 at 8:02 am
    Where are all of you guys from anyway??
    John Mac on June 18, 2010 at 8:13 am
    Who cares what they are called they all are terrible. Gangsters and most of them should be in jail. They never try until playoffs then they can’t make a good pass or shoot a free throw. Why would anyone pay all that money when then can watch real basketball in college and high school so much better.
    thecrackin on June 18, 2010 at 8:33 am
    @Abbie – the Jazz began as the New Orleans Jazz; they moved to Salt Lake City in 1979.
    HG on June 18, 2010 at 9:27 am
    What about the term “seed”? Why is a team a top seed, for instance?
    J. on June 18, 2010 at 9:27 am
    Perhaps, Romans’ swords put an end to Kelts in Spain,
    but in Central Europe Kelts were “displaced” by Germanic tribes.
    Kelts were, who raided Rome (and also invented wheel, pants etc…).
    Romans called them Boii (Did it sound exactly like that & did it mean
    warriors?). That’s why region in Czech republic is called Bohemia.
    And bohemians, or bohems? … That’s another story.
    jonascord on June 18, 2010 at 9:37 am
    Celtic United ?

    A Celt (singular) ?

    I have been a Glasgow Celtic supporter for almost 50 years and would just like to make quick comments on two of the above posts from people who really should not post about matters they patently know little about.

    1. Who are Celtic United (in Glasgow ?), as I’ve never heard of them.

    2. A Celtic player is commonly referred to as Celt (pronounced Selt).
    Midnight on June 18, 2010 at 9:45 am
    On the contrary, Celtic is a actually a Celtic word which means ‘one who hides’. It was taken into Greek, then Latin, then French, Then English.

    It still remains in the Celtic languages themselves. I’m from Ireland, the Irish word for Celtic is ‘Ceilteach’. In the Celtic languages there is no soft c, the word is pronounced Keltic.

    The reason the word is sometimes pronounced Seltic is because in French, a C followed by an C makes an S sound, which is why it was pronounced as such by the English whose language comes from the Norman French. The reason both pronunciations survive today is because during the enlightenment English scholars tried returning words to their original form, and the Latin ‘Celtus’ had a Hard C, as in Keltic.
    the Baron on June 18, 2010 at 9:48 am
    To pronounciation–soft C is used for the basketball team, and otherwise, when referring to the people and languages, among scholars, for example, it’s more appropriate to use the hard C.

    @HG–”seeding” is used in placing teams in a competition bracket, following the image of casting or scattering seeds over the ground and letting them fall where they may. Of course, putting together a tournament bracket isn’t completely random, but that’s where that particular use of the term “seed” comes from.

    Reply
  10. Scott -  June 18, 2010 - 1:18 pm

    The Utah Jazz originally came from New Orleans, as you might guess.

    Reply
  11. Darrell Lee -  June 18, 2010 - 12:31 pm

    The Lakers won. This is probably the last place I would think of to look for the results, though!

    Reply
  12. alexi korunoska -  June 18, 2010 - 10:08 am

    who won the finals? i wanted to read this and find out BUT IT DIDN’T SAY IT!!!

    Reply
  13. the Baron -  June 18, 2010 - 9:48 am

    To pronounciation–soft C is used for the basketball team, and otherwise, when referring to the people and languages, among scholars, for example, it’s more appropriate to use the hard C.

    @HG–”seeding” is used in placing teams in a competition bracket, following the image of casting or scattering seeds over the ground and letting them fall where they may. Of course, putting together a tournament bracket isn’t completely random, but that’s where that particular use of the term “seed” comes from.

    Reply
  14. Midnight -  June 18, 2010 - 9:45 am

    On the contrary, Celtic is a actually a Celtic word which means ‘one who hides’. It was taken into Greek, then Latin, then French, Then English.

    It still remains in the Celtic languages themselves. I’m from Ireland, the Irish word for Celtic is ‘Ceilteach’. In the Celtic languages there is no soft c, the word is pronounced Keltic.

    The reason the word is sometimes pronounced Seltic is because in French, a C followed by an C makes an S sound, which is why it was pronounced as such by the English whose language comes from the Norman French. The reason both pronunciations survive today is because during the enlightenment English scholars tried returning words to their original form, and the Latin ‘Celtus’ had a Hard C, as in Keltic.

    Reply
  15. jonascord -  June 18, 2010 - 9:37 am

    Celtic United ?

    A Celt (singular) ?

    I have been a Glasgow Celtic supporter for almost 50 years and would just like to make quick comments on two of the above posts from people who really should not post about matters they patently know little about.

    1. Who are Celtic United (in Glasgow ?), as I’ve never heard of them.

    2. A Celtic player is commonly referred to as Celt (pronounced Selt).

    Reply
  16. J. -  June 18, 2010 - 9:27 am

    Perhaps, Romans’ swords put an end to Kelts in Spain,
    but in Central Europe Kelts were “displaced” by Germanic tribes.
    Kelts were, who raided Rome (and also invented wheel, pants etc…).
    Romans called them Boii (Did it sound exactly like that & did it mean
    warriors?). That’s why region in Czech republic is called Bohemia.
    And bohemians, or bohems? … That’s another story.

    Reply
  17. HG -  June 18, 2010 - 9:27 am

    What about the term “seed”? Why is a team a top seed, for instance?

    Reply
  18. thecrackin -  June 18, 2010 - 8:33 am

    @Abbie – the Jazz began as the New Orleans Jazz; they moved to Salt Lake City in 1979.

    Reply
  19. John Mac -  June 18, 2010 - 8:13 am

    Who cares what they are called they all are terrible. Gangsters and most of them should be in jail. They never try until playoffs then they can’t make a good pass or shoot a free throw. Why would anyone pay all that money when then can watch real basketball in college and high school so much better.

    Reply
  20. Brandon shipero -  June 18, 2010 - 8:02 am

    Where are all of you guys from anyway??

    Reply
  21. Brandon shipero -  June 18, 2010 - 8:00 am

    The Celtics WITH A SOFT C is the best basketball team in the league, even though they lost. Did you see the oop from peirce to kg, Originally from minnisota twolves. And did you see big baby davis play some hard ball of Kobe.

    Reply
  22. Katy -  June 18, 2010 - 7:43 am

    The Utah Jazz used to be the New Orleans Jazz

    Reply
  23. Richard -  June 18, 2010 - 7:34 am

    A lot of team names are obvious, like Dallas Mavericks (a reference to Texas’ cattle days) or Phoenix Suns. Others become obvious when you see hear the connection. The Indiana Pacers were named in reference to the Indy 500 back in their ABA day. The New Jersey Nets, another ABA team, were originally the New York Americans, but a new owner named them the Nets so it rhymed with the NFL Jets, MLB Mets, and even the old Sets of a now long-defunct team tennis league. The other two old ABA teams in the NBA are the Denver Nuggets and the San Antonio Spurs. The Nuggets were originally the Rockets; the first owner also owned Rocket Truck Lines. They later named themselves after an old pro team in town before the two teams merged. (What league needs two Rockets?) San Antonio started off as The Dallas Chapparals, who were named after a meeting room in a hotel in Dallas, according to Terry Pluto’s “Loose Balls”. The old ABA had some interesting team names: Oakland Oaks, San Diego Conquistadors, Anaheim Amigos, Virginia Squires, Memphis Sounds and Memphis Tams, Minnesota Muskies, Pittsburgh Condors, The Spirits of St. Louis, …

    IIRC, the Sacramento Kings started as the Rochester Royals and were named after a sponsor, Crown Royal. The Detroit Pistons started as the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons; their owner, Fred Zollner, owned the Zollner Piston Corporation. Oddly, the Houston Rockets were originally the San Diego Rockets, so they got that name before they moved to Houston, home of Johnson Space Flight Center. The Orlando Magic named themselves after Disney World, aka The Magic Kingdom. The Memphis Grizzlies started in Vancouver, BC, so the name made more sense. The NY Knicks were named after the Knickerbockers, a nickname for the Dutch settlers along the Hudson River. The Chicago Bulls were named after the Chicago stock market, like many teams in the city (Bulls, Bears, Cubs, …)

    Team names used to be more interesting; now they are too market driven. (ie Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, Miami Heat, …)

    Reply
  24. Ryan -  June 18, 2010 - 7:30 am

    Being of Scottish and Irish heritage, I’ve always heard family and others pronounce it with a ‘K.’ In other words, “seltic” is the American il-pronunciation of the term.

    Reply
  25. Hall James -  June 18, 2010 - 7:10 am

    Nice topic, love the historical references.

    Reply
  26. Bill Bradley -  June 18, 2010 - 6:59 am

    England is not a Celtic Nation, nor does it have a language connection. The prominent Celtic Nations, along with Wales and Ireland, are Scotland and part of France

    Reply
  27. Chad Ball -  June 18, 2010 - 6:37 am

    I believe the pronunciation “Seltic”, is in reference to the basketball team from Boston. It’s a common confusion. The word itself is actually pronounced “keltic” or “kelt”, internationally.

    Reply
  28. mhood1 -  June 18, 2010 - 6:35 am

    Also, as for teams moving to new locations but keeping names that have nothing to do with their new cities: another example is the Utah Jazz, originally located in New Orleans. While one does not necessarily associate jazz music with Salt Lake City, Utah Jazz is a name that looks and sounds good, just as Los Angeles Lakers does. On the other hand, when the Seattle SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City, “Oklahoma City SuperSonics” would have been a mouthful. Hence, a name change to the Oklahoma City (or OKC) Thunder.

    Reply
  29. mhood1 -  June 18, 2010 - 6:28 am

    Correction: The region where Celtic languages still have the strongest presence is SCOTLAND (not England), Wales and Ireland. I’ve also heard both the hard and soft “C” sounds. Usually when referring to a sports team, i.e. the Boston Celtics or Celtic United (Glasgow football club), the “C” is soft but when referring to people, countries, or culture the “C” is hard. I’m not sure if that is a valid rule of thumb but it’s what I’ve usually encountered.

    Reply
  30. Mutha Tung -  June 18, 2010 - 6:15 am

    Seltic or Keltic…. well is it a Kelt or a Selt….Isn’t Selt what Kiwis put on their fesh and chops…and some venegar too!!!

    Reply
  31. DINAH -  June 18, 2010 - 6:13 am

    I love the origin of words. This just feeds my passion. THANKS.

    Reply
  32. Lee Shelton -  June 18, 2010 - 6:13 am

    The correct pronunciation would be “Keltic,” and it would usually be used as an adjective in reference to something “of the Celts or their languages.” The only noun usage would be in reference to the language itself. The term “Celtic” would never be pluralized by adding an s, and it would certainly never be used as a noun in reference to a particular group of people. So, the question remains unanswered: Why does the team from Boston call themselves the “C(S)eltics”?

    Reply
  33. Sputnik -  June 18, 2010 - 6:11 am

    Well I have never heard the singular use of Celtic as a Selt!! I think its just more Yanking the English language…after all it is Zed nit Zee!!LOL

    signed
    Mother Tongue

    Reply
  34. EyEgOrE -  June 18, 2010 - 6:10 am

    The correct pronunciation is /kel-tik/

    The Gaelic languages do not have a ‘soft C’ – that is what ‘S’ is for.
    And the Gaelic alphabet has no ‘K’

    Reply
  35. Bruce Burton -  June 18, 2010 - 6:09 am

    Technically, the preferred pronunciation is the “K” sound for the C, not the “S” sound. I doubt basketball fans, at least American ones, will change anytime soon. A related issue is the pronunciation, at least in the U.S. of the name of Macedonia, which most people say with an S sound but historically has been a K sound with the name appearing on ancient Greek coins as Makedonia. There was no C in the alphabet used in that time and culture. The S sound would have been indicated by a sigma.

    BB

    Reply
  36. Jenay -  June 18, 2010 - 5:58 am

    The Celts were pronounced “kelts” but the Celtics are pronounced “selts”

    Reply
  37. TAPASH -  June 18, 2010 - 5:38 am

    i want to know the origin of the word DRIBBLE

    Reply
  38. Paul Coyne -  June 18, 2010 - 5:27 am

    Patti – it should be pronounced with a hard K, though certainly most of the sports clubs that use it use a soft C. For example in glasgow we have Celtic Football Club – they are known (among other names) by something pronounced as “the sellick”. To give them a hard K sound would simply be wrong. It may be the same for clubs elsewhere. But if we’re talking ethnicicty or languages then it’s always a hard K

    Reply
  39. Ratima -  June 18, 2010 - 5:16 am

    I think you mean Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France (Brittany) as the remaining Celtic nations. England is just the opposite of a Celtic country, a Germanic Anglo-Saxon country that was actually primarily responsible for the decline of the Celtic nations of Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The others (now Spain, Germany, Switzerland etc..) were largely destroyed during Roman era.

    Reply
  40. Jessica -  June 18, 2010 - 5:14 am

    The pronunciation can go either way. The word originally derives from Greek, but came to English through French (by way of Latin). Both the Latin and Greek forms would be pronounced with a hard c (keltics) while the French would begin with the softe c (seltics). Either way, Celtic is not the original name of the people it describes, so pronounce it however your little heart desires.

    Reply
  41. PattiLain -  June 18, 2010 - 4:40 am

    But is the correct pronunciation keltic, or seltic? And I mean internationally, not just in the US. Because here in South Africa, I’ve heard both.

    Sigh, C is such an ambiguous letter.

    Reply
  42. Paul Coyne -  June 18, 2010 - 4:29 am

    You say “The region where Celtic languages still have the strongest presence is England, Wales and Ireland.”

    Aargh – apart from place names celtic has been almost totally obliterated from England.

    Celtic languages are strongest in Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, Isle of Man and Cornwall (where it is critically endangered). England should not be on this list and Scotland is a dreadful omission. Look at Scottish Government website and you’ll see plenty of Gaelic, our native celtic tongue.

    Reply
  43. whosdunnit -  June 18, 2010 - 4:23 am

    What about Scotland?

    Reply
  44. Connart -  June 18, 2010 - 3:36 am

    good post, but I think you ment Scotland when you said England, there are only bare remnants of any celtic language in England. otherwise, good work :)

    Reply
  45. Bobby Fawkes -  June 18, 2010 - 3:32 am

    that information really tells me a lot about the history of basketball

    Reply
  46. Di -  June 18, 2010 - 2:42 am

    Coincidently my brother asked that same question about the Celtics a couple months ago. Just last night I was asking myself about the “lake” that could have had anything to do with the Lakers name. Your timing is super! thanks!

    Reply
  47. Rafael -  June 18, 2010 - 1:21 am

    Very enlightening!!
    Thanks!

    Reply
  48. Abbie -  June 17, 2010 - 11:59 pm

    Cool trivia!
    Why is it called Utah Jazz?
    Thanks!

    Reply
  49. Immanuel L. -  June 17, 2010 - 11:38 pm

    Great work, thank you for the posting.

    Reply

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked (required):

Related articles

Back to Top