Rocinante is the name of Don Quixote's horse, in the novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra.
in Spanish means work-horse or low-quality horse ("nag"), but also illiterate or rough man. There are similar words in French (roussin; rosse), Portuguese (rossim) and Italian (ronzino). The etymology is uncertain. The name is, however, a pun. On the first order, the Spanish ante means "before" or "previously". On the second order, it also translates as 'in front of'. On the third order, the suffix -ante in Spanish is adverbial; rocinante refers to functioning as or being a rocín reflexively. As such, Cervantes establishes a pattern of ambiguous interpretations present in many instances of verbiage in the novel.
As the narration of the novel reads at the beginning of the book, Don Quixote thinks of a name to give to his steed in order to set out on his adventures, and chooses 'Rocinante' to establish the horse as no longer a nag.
Other uses in literatureElsewhere in literature, Rocinante refers to:
- The name John Steinbeck gives to the modified camper truck in which he travelled the country in his book Travels With Charley
- The interstellar vessel piloted into a black hole in the two part mini-saga Cygnus X-1 by Canadian progressive rock band Rush
- Julia de Burgos's description of herself in her 1938 poem 'A Julia de Burgos': "que yo soy Rocinante corriendo desbocado" (trans. by Grace Schulman: "I am Rocinante, bolting free, wildly").
- The ship flown by Cervantes Quinn, a colorful freelance trader, in "Harbinger," the first volume of the Star Trek Vanguard novel series.
- The name "Rocinante" is also the name given to a captured alien ship in Marathon 2: Durandal.
- Rocinante is the name of a horse in the Inside Track Betting in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
- Rosinante is the name of a defunct publication from Chile.
- Rocinate - a music album
rosinante in Spanish: Rocinante
rosinante in French: Rossinante
rosinante in Norwegian: Rocinante
rosinante in Portuguese: Rocinante
rosinante in Finnish: Rosinante