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  • Gnats?

    Whats the story behind this "nickname" for the Giants? When I first noticed it withing the last year or so I thought it might be a reference to the Senators or Nationals teams.

    The reason I ask is Senators and Nationals teams in D.C. have been dubbed the "Nats" going back possibly 100 years or more. Obviously a shortened and affectionate form of Senators or Nationals.

    They are also referred to as "gnats" in not so affectionate terms, most recently by Orioles loyalists harboring ill will toward the D.C. team. As a kid in the '60s you only saw this term used by the media in cartoons or in printed articles when the team did especially poor (even for the Senators of the '60s!).

    I notice a lot of the LA Dodger fans refer to the Giants as "Gnats", so I guess its intended as a derogatory term, right? How long has SF been labeled with the term? Whats the meaning behind it? Is the intentional misspelling a sign of disrespect, does it refer to the pesky insect?

    This gnat thing bugs me.

  • #2
    I personally dont get it, I think its lame considering its not an abbr. of the word. I think its as lame as the " team name" sucks that they do too.
    "Yes, he offended everyone in the Bay Area."
    --Giants manager Felipe Alou, when reminded that A.J. Pierzynski is a more offensive catcher than the defensive-minded Mike Matheny (Sacramento Bee)
    :gt

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    • #3
      It's because Dodger fans can't spell.
      "Hall of Famer Whitey Ford now on the field... pleading with the crowd for, for some kind of sanity!"

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      • #4
        I personally don't even want to try to figure out why those people use that term. Kind of like the old belief that it's useless for a guy to try to figure out what goes through the mind of a girl. Just impossible and not worth it.
        sigpic

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        • #5
          although i really really really like ipod's assessment, actually it was a pejorative used by hated brooklyn dodger fans years ago. those who currently use it probably do so while fantasizing about the better days of that club.
          "you don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. just get people to stop reading them." -ray bradbury

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          • #6
            I've only heard "Gnats" since the 2001 season when Bonds hit 73. Growing up deep in Dodger territory, all I heard was "Jints." The sophomoric Dodger fans have gotten more vocal. That's all.
            SOUVENEZ-VOUS LES EXPOS!!!
            "The future's uncertain and the end is always near" - Jim Morrison

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            • #7
              Originally posted by west coast orange and black
              although i really really really like ipod's assessment, actually it was a pejorative used by hated brooklyn dodger fans years ago. those who currently use it probably do so while fantasizing about the better days of that club.
              The same can be said about the Giant fans who use "Bums" as a derogative term regarding the team at the south end of the 101.
              SOUVENEZ-VOUS LES EXPOS!!!
              "The future's uncertain and the end is always near" - Jim Morrison

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mojorisin71
                I've only heard "Gnats" since the 2001 season when Bonds hit 73. Growing up deep in Dodger territory, all I heard was "Jints." The sophomoric Dodger fans have gotten more vocal. That's all.
                I thought of "Jints", too, but really can't reconcile it with San Francisco. I can't reconcile the LA Dodgers as "Bums", either. Those names just don't fit on the West Coast.

                Gnats has got me stumped, just can't think of a reason for the name.

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                • #9
                  Funny thing, after all of these years following the team, I can't recall anyone referring to the team as "Gnats".

                  KH14
                  “Well, I like to say I’m completely focused, right? I mean, the game’s on the line. It’s not like I’m thinking about what does barbecue Pop Chips and Cholula taste like. Because I already know that answer — it tastes friggin’ awesome!"--Brian Wilson

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KHenry14
                    Funny thing, after all of these years following the team, I can't recall anyone referring to the team as "Gnats".

                    KH14
                    I've read it (never heard the term) in reference to the Giants, and only at BBF, almost exclusively from one or two LA Dodger fans, it turns out.

                    I ran a general search of open forums at BBF and came up with this:

                    http://www.baseball-fever.com/search...earchid=365217

                    Using it to refer to the Giants is quite recent. Some search references are to the Nationals (from the Phillies forum and an Expo fan), one to a Nationals farm club, the Savanah Sand Gnats, and one reference to swarm of the insects.

                    Maybe I'm just attuned to the name, because when I see it in use I associate it a Washington team, not SF.

                    Maybe iPod is right after all.

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                    • #11
                      mojo, it's true that giant fans use "bums" as a derogative aimed at the team in tha land of so. but the term was created by hated-dodger lover and sports cartoonist willard mullin, and the brooklyn fans quickly adopted the nickname themselves.

                      in this case, a giants fan did not create "gnats", and giants fans have not warmed to it.
                      "you don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. just get people to stop reading them." -ray bradbury

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bob Hannah
                        Whats the story behind this "nickname" for the Giants? When I first noticed it withing the last year or so I thought it might be a reference to the Senators or Nationals teams.

                        The reason I ask is Senators and Nationals teams in D.C. have been dubbed the "Nats" going back possibly 100 years or more. Obviously a shortened and affectionate form of Senators or Nationals.

                        They are also referred to as "gnats" in not so affectionate terms, most recently by Orioles loyalists harboring ill will toward the D.C. team. As a kid in the '60s you only saw this term used by the media in cartoons or in printed articles when the team did especially poor (even for the Senators of the '60s!).

                        I notice a lot of the LA Dodger fans refer to the Giants as "Gnats", so I guess its intended as a derogatory term, right? How long has SF been labeled with the term? Whats the meaning behind it? Is the intentional misspelling a sign of disrespect, does it refer to the pesky insect?

                        This gnat thing bugs me.
                        Until I met Jake83 on this board I had never ever heard the Giants referred to as the Gnats. And I've been a Giant's fan since 1978.
                        Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 01-24-2006, 08:07 PM.
                        Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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                        • #13
                          check. which brings us back to ipod's "it's because dodger fans can't spell."
                          "you don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. just get people to stop reading them." -ray bradbury

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules
                            Until I met Jake83 on this board I had never ever heard the Giants referred to as the Gnats. And I've been a Giant's fan since 1978.

                            What is up with the Name dropping I thought it was a LA thing.

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                            • #15
                              jake, would you rather be reffered to with one of the names used when we are not in public?
                              "you don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. just get people to stop reading them." -ray bradbury

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