English clubs · Esoteric · European football · Sociology & community

What’s In A Name?


Continuing from here, the descriptive name of European clubs generally do not extend beyond each country. United, Town, City, Rovers, County, Wanderers and Rangers are all particularly British, even though I imagine that they could each be translated into other European languages. Albion and Celtic probably wouldn’t translate as well.

The Spaniards like their “Real” (which translates into “Royal”), but share Athletic / Atletico with the English and Racing with the French. The English influence on the choice of “Athletic” or “Atletico” in Spain is historical.

The French prefer “Olympique”. Has Olympic been used in England since the demise of Blackburn Olympic?

“Borussia” (Latin for Prussia?) and “Bayern” (Bavaria) of Germany are geographical/cultural, and wouldn’t be applicable outside of Germany.

AS AC, SC, VfB or VfL used variously in Western Europe are the equivalent of FC or AFC.

The one name I think would translate well across Europe is Dynamo, but it is not used much outside of the old Soviet bloc.

Perhaps once Milton Keynes Dons accept that they are a new club that took the place of WimbleDON, and are not a continuation of WimbleDON, they will change their name to Milton Keynes Dynamos!

(Article first posted on Tony Kempster’s Non-League Forum)

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2 thoughts on “What’s In A Name?

  1. In reply to

    The one name I think would translate well across Europe is Dynamo, but it is not used much outside of the old Soviet bloc.

    probably to no suprise, those Dynamo`s in the former GDR (East Germany) got financed by the Volkspolizei (people`s police) and even more by the infamous Staatssicherheit or Stasi in short…

    And Dynamo Moscow were the KGB’s team. On the other hand, while Dynamo Kiev was also associated with the KGB, they remain the most successful club from the former Soviet Union in Europe, and represented Ukrainian pride in the face of Russian hegemony.

    Dinamo Bucharest were also affiliated with the Romanian Interior Ministry.

    And then there’s Dinamo Zagreb, whose recently history is tied up with Croatian independence.

    Probably too much Eastern European nationalism tied up with the name “Dynamo” or “Dinamo”, more so than association with instruments of communist oppression.

    Hasn’t stopped Loughborough Dynamo and Shepshed Dynamo though.

    “Well, Loughborough Dynamo have this season been promoted from the MFA to the NPL Division One South where they will be joined by their neighbours Shepshed Dynamo.”

    Or Houston Dynamo, current and back-to-back MLS champions.

    Carolina Dynamo, a US amateur club, have a crest influenced by Nottingham Forest!

    There is also a Real Salt Lake in MLS, although I cannot understand why an American club would want to use the term “Royal” (whether in Spanish or English). Of course, if the intention is to state there is a genuine salt lake in the vicinity, that would be a different matter.

    (Merger of two posts on Tony Kempster’s Non-League Forum – 1st & 2nd)

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