Monday, September 29, 2008

Katai Research

People seem to be a fan of my last name. I'm a fan of my last name too. Which is why I like researching it.

That's why I know what it means in three languages:
*Hindi - small bush with purple flowers
*Japanese - hard or strong
*Hungarian - from the town of Nagykata

It's also why I know a few places to find it on a map:
*Katai, Democratic Republic of the Congo
*Katai, Togo
*Katai, India
*Nagykata, Hungary (Which is its significance to my family. Two fun facts about this: Nagykata means "Big Kata," but it's a very small town. This is fun for me because I was born in Reno, NV - the biggest little city in the world. The second fun fact is that it's so small and out of the way that it's used in Hunagry's colloquialism for being out of one's way - "Far as Kata," i.e. "Timbucktu," "in the boonies, or "BFE" a.k.a. "butt-fuckin' Egypt." Which is a stupid, stupid phrase.)
*possibly related to the medieval Islamic city in Egypt, Al-Qatta'i, or what used to be the ancient Alexandria (for Alexander the Great) and would be today's Cairo? (Which I would really, really like to look into.)

I have several spidery, crackpot, based on zero knowledge, purely speculative theories about the Katai name setting out from either the Congo or Al-Qatta'i, making its way through all those other places. Because I have learned that there is no basis for Katai in the Hungarian language. Nagykata was named for its previous incarnation, Kata, which was, in turn, named after the Kata family that was its arisocracy. So where did it come from to begin with? I would have a lot of fun trying to figure this out. Do people give grants for this sort of thing?

Anyway, today I stumbled upon possibly the greatest bit of Katai gold yet, namely, a World of Warcraft Altar of Storms alliance . . . which means next to nothing to me.

But what's even more awesome than the awesome nerdiness of the site?


Thank you, Internet.

UPDATE: Here's a possible new one. would have me believe that Katai means "dwarf" in Indonesian. That's fantastic. Except if The West Wing has taught me anything, it is that there is no such language as "Indonesian."

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