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  #1  
Old 04-19-2005, 04:06 PM
jimmmy jimmmy is offline
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What does Ratzinger mean?

What does the German name mean in English?
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  #2  
Old 04-19-2005, 04:11 PM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmmy
What does the German name mean in English?
It's the traditional German name given a small, iced, rat-filled pastry cake. Usually sold in threes, with a picture of Pigpen on the packaging.






Okay, seriously, not sure, but maybe "Advisor"?
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  #3  
Old 04-19-2005, 04:15 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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At a glance I would say it means "Man from the town of Ratzingen". I don't know if such a town exists, but typically one adds -er to mean a (male) citizen of a town. If the town name ends in -en, that syllable is usually dropped before adding the -er.
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  #4  
Old 04-19-2005, 05:46 PM
Rusalka Rusalka is offline
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The name has about as much of a meaning in german as it does in english. Like many english names it's probably the name of a town or the bastardization of something.
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  #5  
Old 04-19-2005, 06:07 PM
Captain Amazing Captain Amazing is online now
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There is a town in Lower Bavaria called Ratzing.
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  #6  
Old 04-19-2005, 06:13 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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You know that bunch of kids that used to go "M-I-C-see you real soon!"? They were Rat-singers!
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  #7  
Old 04-19-2005, 07:03 PM
CynicalGabe CynicalGabe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Amazing
There is a town in Lower Bavaria called Ratzing.
AFAIK, Benedict XVI is Bavarian.
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  #8  
Old 04-19-2005, 07:06 PM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShibbOleth
It's the traditional German name given a small, iced, rat-filled pastry cake. Usually sold in threes, with a picture of Pigpen on the packaging.
"Ich bin ein Ratzinger!"
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  #9  
Old 04-19-2005, 07:14 PM
Eurograff Eurograff is offline
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Ratz-Ingwer would mean something like "rat ginger" but that doesn't sound very likely origin... On the other hand, there's at least one place called Ratzing not too far from Marktl am Inn where he was born.
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  #10  
Old 04-19-2005, 11:13 PM
Askance Askance is offline
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Apparently he is now to be commonly known as Papa Ratzi
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  #11  
Old 04-20-2005, 03:47 AM
EvilGhandi EvilGhandi is offline
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I dunno, but this morning I actually groaned.

The kid asked if a rap singer was now pope.

I started to explain, but somewhere between common sense and idiocy,

This came out.

Go popey it's your birthday.

Really and I pray to the almighty that I am the only idiot to post that.
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  #12  
Old 09-19-2010, 02:04 AM
sharktacos sharktacos is offline
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Originally Posted by jimmmy View Post
What does the German name mean in English?
Most German names refer to occupations. The word "Rat" in German means either "counsel" either in terms of advice (a verb) or of a body of government (a noun). So a Rathaus is the governmental building in the city center. The term Zinger is I believe a variant of the German "Sänger" meaning "singer". So a Ratzinger would presumably be the town crier. All that is just an educated guess. One would need to trace the etymological development to be sure.

Also keep in mind that last names in German mean as little as they do in English. Native speakers do not often think about what a person's name means literally. So for a German his name is just some name. Far more significant is the name he chose for himself: Benedict ("good speaker" in Latin). It is interesting that these two names (Rat-zinger and Bene-dict) do seem to have related meanings tho.
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  #13  
Old 09-19-2010, 02:22 AM
sharktacos sharktacos is offline
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Another possibility is that it simply means (as someone said above) "a person from the city of Ratzing." In that case Ratzing could be a variant spelling of Ratsing so that the word would break up as Rats-ing rather than Rat-sing meaning "place of counsel" as the name of town. Rats (counsel) + ing (a place name suffix similar to "ville").

A bit less meaningful, but more likely I think.
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  #14  
Old 09-19-2010, 02:28 AM
astro astro is offline
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Originally Posted by sharktacos View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmmy View Post
What does the German name mean in English?
Most German names refer to occupations. The word "Rat" in German means either "counsel" either in terms of advice (a verb) or of a body of government (a noun). So a Rathaus is the governmental building in the city center. The term Zinger is I believe a variant of the German "Sänger" meaning "singer". So a Ratzinger would presumably be the town crier. All that is just an educated guess. One would need to trace the etymological development to be sure.

Also keep in mind that last names in German mean as little as they do in English. Native speakers do not often think about what a person's name means literally. So for a German his name is just some name. Far more significant is the name he chose for himself: Benedict ("good speaker" in Latin). It is interesting that these two names (Rat-zinger and Bene-dict) do seem to have related meanings tho.
Help me out here. I thought Germans had "Birth name" + "Surname" just like the English and most of the western cultures. Are you saying there is some American Indian type secret name a Geman gets to choose for himself?
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  #15  
Old 09-19-2010, 02:35 AM
Kobal2 Kobal2 is online now
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Originally Posted by astro View Post
Help me out here. I thought Germans had "Birth name" + "Surname" just like the English and most of the western cultures. Are you saying there is some American Indian type secret name a Geman gets to choose for himself?
Popes get to choose a new name for themselves when they're elected. Ratzinger's "real" first name is Joseph.

ETA : although I have it on good authority that his real real first name is "Darth"

Last edited by Kobal2; 09-19-2010 at 02:37 AM..
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  #16  
Old 09-19-2010, 05:33 AM
Alka Seltzer Alka Seltzer is offline
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It's a nickname, given to him in the days he was a Nazi AA gunner. At the end of WW" the Germans were running low on ammo, so loaded their 88s with live rats.

Rat-zing
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  #17  
Old 09-19-2010, 06:08 AM
rayman5321 rayman5321 is offline
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Originally Posted by jimmmy View Post
What does the German name mean in English?
It means an"Old German Fart" who's unhappy because he's never been laid.
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  #18  
Old 09-19-2010, 11:22 AM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Originally Posted by rayman5321 View Post
It means an"Old German Fart" who's unhappy because he's never been laid.
[Moderator Note]

Let's refrain from religious jabs in GQ. No warning issued.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator
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  #19  
Old 09-19-2010, 11:29 AM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobal2 View Post

ETA : although I have it on good authority that his real real first name is "Darth"
Party on, Darth!
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  #20  
Old 09-19-2010, 12:52 PM
DaveRaver DaveRaver is offline
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Why Darth Vader?

Last edited by DaveRaver; 09-19-2010 at 12:55 PM.. Reason: woopsy
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  #21  
Old 09-19-2010, 12:54 PM
DaveRaver DaveRaver is offline
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OK
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  #22  
Old 09-19-2010, 12:58 PM
Jenaroph Jenaroph is offline
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Originally Posted by astro View Post

Help me out here. I thought Germans had "Birth name" + "Surname" just like the English and most of the western cultures. Are you saying there is some American Indian type secret name a Geman gets to choose for himself?
Only in very special cases.

Like being named Pope.
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  #23  
Old 09-19-2010, 01:05 PM
Mops Mops is offline
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There are two villages named Ratzing in Bavaria, both now part of larger municipialities, Ampfing and Waldkirchen, respectively. As you can see on the maps accompanying the articles, both are not far from Marktl, Ben XVI's birthplace, so the most likely explanation is that one of his ancestors moved from one of those Ratzings and got dubbed Ratzinger i.e. the one from Ratzing.
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  #24  
Old 09-19-2010, 03:51 PM
constanze constanze is offline
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Originally Posted by sharktacos View Post
Most German names refer to occupations. The word "Rat" in German means either "counsel" either in terms of advice (a verb) or of a body of government (a noun). So a Rathaus is the governmental building in the city center. The term Zinger is I believe a variant of the German "Sänger" meaning "singer". So a Ratzinger would presumably be the town crier. All that is just an educated guess. One would need to trace the etymological development to be sure.
I haven't looked at the etymological origin of his name - if there is a certain one, which is not given - but I see a problem with your theory, since Rat (counsel) is pronounced with a long "a", as would be combinations, but Ratzinger is spoken with a short "a" and the stress on the "tz".
Also, I have never heard the term of "Ratsänger"; a towncrier would be Stadtschreier.

Quote:
Also keep in mind that last names in German mean as little as they do in English. Native speakers do not often think about what a person's name means literally. So for a German his name is just some name.
Well, it does allow the abbreviation to "Ratte" (rat), though - although I picked that up more from Rat here on the Dope. Common here is "Ratzi", not as endearment, just shorter.

Quote:
Far more significant is the name he chose for himself: Benedict ("good speaker" in Latin). It is interesting that these two names (Rat-zinger and Bene-dict) do seem to have related meanings tho.
Well, benedict means not only "well said" or "speaking well" in Latin, it also means blessing "Benediction". But since we don't know what Ratzinger means, how can it be related to Benedict??
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  #25  
Old 09-19-2010, 04:06 PM
constanze constanze is offline
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German Wikipedia, citing a book on the meaning of German names, agrees that the last name of Ratzinger comes from the town of Ratzing (or as patronymic to the first name Ra(t)zo, but in this case, that sounds unlikely).

Since both villages of Ratzing have now become part of bigger towns, as Mops notes, Wikipedia doesn't explain where that name comes from.

The -ing suffix is from the time of the big Migration period, and is a genetive/ possesive form referring either to a place or a person (again) - so some guy named Rats or similar settled down and the village Ratzing was named after him.
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  #26  
Old 09-19-2010, 07:12 PM
asterion asterion is offline
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Originally Posted by DaveRaver View Post
Why Darth Vader?
Not Darth Vader, but Darth Sidius.

He's also known on the web as Pope Palpatine.
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