Alcatraz

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I read that Alcatraz Island was originally name Isle de los Alcatraces by Spaniards, meaning the island of the pelicans. If that is true, why can I not find a translation for the word "alcatraces"? Does anyone know what Alcatraz means in Spanish? Thanks.

20842 views
updated MAY 14, 2008
posted by Joe-Dickey

6 Answers

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Thank you, Heidita.

updated MAY 14, 2008
posted by Joe-Dickey
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Thank you, James.

updated MAY 14, 2008
posted by Joe-Dickey
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Thank you, Vernic.

updated MAY 14, 2008
posted by Joe-Dickey
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I know you are talking of animals, but in another context "alcatráz" is a spanish name for a flower, which are named calas o cartuchos in another places.

updated MAY 13, 2008
posted by Vernic
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As others have said, alcatraces is just the plural of alcatraz. The Z changes to C because of Spanish orthography rules. The original name was indeed Isla (not Isle) de los Alcatraces, and you can still see the huge birds skimming the surface of the bay. I live a few blocks from the beach, and love to watch the pelicans flying in formation.

Alcatraz Island is just south-east of Tiburon (shark) and Sausalito. The latter name is a corruption of saucelito, or little willow, but the willow trees are long gone. The original name of San Francisco was Yerba Buena, which was founded as part of Mexico in 1776, the same year the US became an independent nation.

Probably more San Francisco Bay trivia than you wanted...

updated MAY 13, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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Alcatrces is the plural of Alcatraz.

Look at the interesting origin:

albatros
El alcatraz o piquero es un ave pelecaniforme (del orden de los pelícanos) que vive en las regiones tropicales y subtropicales de todo el planeta. Se cree que su nombre en español se deriva del árabe gattâs (águila marina) o de árabe qadus (balde), debido a la forma de recipiente que tiene la parte inferior del pico de los pelícanos. Hacia el siglo xvii, alcatraz pasó al inglés como alcatras, pero como nombre de otra ave, de plumaje blanco, bastante diferente del pelícano. Por el influjo del color de esta última ave, la palabra se alteró en inglés a albatross, por asociación con el latín albus (blanco). Y como ocurre con frecuencia en la historia de las palabras, albatros acabó por ingresar al castellano en la segunda mitad del siglo xix, para designar a este pájaro diferente del alcatraz, según podemos ver en este texto de Morsamor, de Juan de Valera, editado en 1864.

The word: alcatraz is actually Spanish:

alcatraz.

  1. m. Ave marina pelecaniforme de color predominantemente blanco cuando adulta, pico largo y alas apuntadas y de extremos negros. Es propia de mares templados.
updated MAY 13, 2008
posted by 00494d19