METAFILTRVM: NOLI ILLEGITIMI CARBORVNDVM
January 29, 2013 2:22 PM   Subscribe

We've all been there: you need a portentous motto for your new liberal arts college, crack military unit, or world-encompassing secret society, but you just don't speak Latin. No problēma! If the grand list of Latin phrases doesn't have what you're looking for, there's always the Latin Motto Generator.

And for those dreams in which you're a viking: the Old Norse Motto Generator.
posted by Iridic (67 comments total) 43 users marked this as a favorite

 
Metafilter: hoc finietur bene
posted by yoink at 2:28 PM on January 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


ótti þegir "fear keeps silent"
posted by mkb at 2:30 PM on January 29, 2013


FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC
posted by kmz at 2:32 PM on January 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


Omnia praesumuntur contra spoliatorem.
posted by exogenous at 2:33 PM on January 29, 2013


In glacie Deus. (Ia! Ia!)
posted by ellF at 2:33 PM on January 29, 2013


Back in my pirate days, a bunch of knitterly friends and I (including MeFi's Own jacquilynne) were constantly making crap to share with each other.

The Kniterati motto was TEXTILIS NON ANILIS ("Fabric-like, not old-lady-like.")

We made a flag out of a sweater. (The crossbones are knitting needles.)
posted by Madamina at 2:34 PM on January 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


By Odins Beard.. I am glad this did not exist, or at least was undiscovered.. back when I pillaged about the countryside with folk metal bands. I'd probably have like 20 ill advised tattoos in various historically inaccurate scripts..
posted by mediocre at 2:34 PM on January 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


What we desperately need is an old french translator. After extensive google searching I'm still unable to figure out exactly what "Honi soit qui mal y pense" means.
posted by anewnadir at 2:35 PM on January 29, 2013


I have a tiny Latin phrase hidden in my freelance logo that reads, "Sine Labore Nihil." ("Without Work, Nothing"), and I've always felt kind of smart about that. Now however, I just feel pretentious. :(
posted by Pecinpah at 2:37 PM on January 29, 2013


This one cropped up awhile back and I've held onto it ever since:

Melius in latrina legere quam in bibliotheca cacare.

"Better to read in the loo than to shit in the library." (source)
posted by jquinby at 2:40 PM on January 29, 2013 [23 favorites]


"In repulsa, malitia. In victoria, vindicta."

Yes, Prime Minister once had a joke saying that Jim Hacker's motto was "In defeat, malice. In victory, revenge".

The above is Google's crack at translating this into Latin.
posted by Paul Slade at 2:49 PM on January 29, 2013


@anewnadir

Honni soit qui mal y pense is a french idiom. Honi should be honni, from honnir (so maybe the misspelling is what threw off your efforts, old french diverges mostly from modern french in spelling and vocabulary). It means "Shameful is the one who thinks ill of it" or something like that.

You can find a long discussion of it on wordreference.com here.
posted by dis_integration at 2:49 PM on January 29, 2013


In the middle of winter, dreaming of my beloved pool, lake and watersports: Ex aqua gaudium. (From water, joy.)
posted by NorthernLite at 2:51 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, if you need a band name, ask Eric Andre.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:52 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


what "Honi soit qui mal y pense" means.

Literally: "Shamed be [he] who ill of it thinks."

In the context of a king chiding his court for snickering at a girl's wardrobe malfunction: "All y'all assholes if you think that's funny."
posted by Iridic at 2:54 PM on January 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


The Bungie slogan is NON FACETE NOBIS CALCITRARE VESTRUM PERINÆUM (don't make us kick your ass)
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:54 PM on January 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


""Honi soit qui mal y pense"

Literally "Shame upon him who thinks evil of it", but Old French was very idiomatic, and knowing the exact sense Edward the III meant is probably impossible.

Honi should be honni, from honnir

In Modern French, yes. In older forms of French, which the line was spoken in, no. Thus, the motto of the Order of the Garter is rendered "Honi soit qui mal y pense."
posted by eriko at 2:54 PM on January 29, 2013


NorthernLite - Watersports is a word that whose meaning has been fully degraded by the existance of the internet. From the current cultural perspective, Ex qua gaudium, would probably be the motto of a club of whole different sort.
posted by mediocre at 2:55 PM on January 29, 2013


In the context of a king chiding his court for snickering at a girl's wardrobe malfunction: "All y'all assholes if you think that's funny."

The best part was his next line -- Tel qui s'en rit aujourd'hui, demain s'enhorera de la porter.

"Those who laugh at this today, tomorrow will be proud to wear it"
posted by eriko at 2:55 PM on January 29, 2013


My favorite is the Car Talk motto.
Non impediti ratione cogitationis: Unencumbered by the Thought Process.
posted by Sunburnt at 2:57 PM on January 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


My family's is "rectus in curvo". I've always felt a bit shortchanged by the College of Arms for that one.
posted by bebrogued at 2:58 PM on January 29, 2013


Honi soit qui mal y pense

I have always translated this as "check thyself lest ye wreck thyself".
posted by elizardbits at 3:01 PM on January 29, 2013 [14 favorites]


I have a tiny Latin phrase hidden in my freelance logo that reads, "Sine Labore Nihil." ("Without Work, Nothing"), and I've always felt kind of smart about that. Now however, I just feel pretentious. :(

It really should be "Sine Pecunia Nihil" if you are a freelancer... or "ostende mihi pecuniam"
posted by ennui.bz at 3:05 PM on January 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


There are always Terry Pratchett's dog-Latin mottoes from the Discworld, which are handily collected (with translations) at The L-Space. My favorite: "FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC."
posted by mcoo at 3:08 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm really sort of disappointed that "Ex ultione ignoscentia" (From vengeance forgiveness) hasn't been used by some really cheesy fantasy novel's warrior class.

Though a quick Google search does let me know that "From Vengeance to Forgiveness" is the name a documentary of a Japanese bomber turned missionary. What a difference a preposition makes.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:10 PM on January 29, 2013


Te occidere possunt sed te edere non possunt nefas est
posted by COBRA! at 3:12 PM on January 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: Ventus et Ventus
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:19 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


COBRA! beat me to my personal favorite. They can kill you but they cannot eat you, from the Enfield Tennis Academy.

or rather in stricter translation, They are able to kill but they are not able to eat you.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:22 PM on January 29, 2013




reddit delenda est?
posted by hellojed at 3:35 PM on January 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


My very first Ask Metafilter question was about translating a motto into Latin.
posted by usonian at 3:39 PM on January 29, 2013


EGO iustus occurrit vobis, et hoc est rabidus, sed hic 'mea numerus. Voca me, fortasse?
posted by stenseng at 3:40 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Omnia Extares dudes
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 3:43 PM on January 29, 2013


Nah, I don't any motto generator, I already got my pretentious motto figured out.

LINGVAM LATINAM LOQVOR ( I speak Latin)
posted by Carius at 3:46 PM on January 29, 2013


sator
arepo
tenet
opera
rotas

posted by jenkinsEar at 3:47 PM on January 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


says it right at the top of the page: Communitas Textum Lignum (per Google Translate)
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:50 PM on January 29, 2013


I was hoping for Terra but it insists on Tellus. Bummer.
posted by francesca too at 4:07 PM on January 29, 2013


faba laminas custodi me pervigilat.
posted by arcticseal at 4:24 PM on January 29, 2013


Deum rogare, sed de petra navigare.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 4:40 PM on January 29, 2013


HOC APPROBO.
posted by 3mendo at 4:40 PM on January 29, 2013


I love that the Wikipedia article title is, "List of Latin phrases (full)". Reminds me of the guy in Hitchhiker's Guide who they gave the truth drug to, and then asked him tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
posted by iotic at 4:48 PM on January 29, 2013


This thread made me google "illegitimis non carborundum," to see what people were saying about it these days, and I found this demented page. So thanks, I guess.
posted by BibiRose at 4:48 PM on January 29, 2013


I also get a lot of use out of SIC SEMPER DOUCHEBAGGIS
posted by elizardbits at 5:08 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel it is my public duty to remind that Carborundum is a pun.
posted by klangklangston at 5:18 PM on January 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


The fuck is a clavdivs?
posted by symbioid at 5:22 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ex glacie aqua
posted by clvrmnky at 5:27 PM on January 29, 2013


it's actually illigitimi that's the pun, or maybe they both are?
posted by OHenryPacey at 5:28 PM on January 29, 2013




VILLA EST VILLA ROMANA! VILLA NON EST PARVA; VILLA EST MAGNA!!!
posted by Sebmojo at 5:41 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Might as well ask here. No ink wasted etc. What is the translation for, "You never see a dead cat in a tree" in actual Latin?

It doesn't matter for my tattoo -- I'm perfectly good with Aeno expus updere -- I'd just like to know in case my scholarly relatives ask.
posted by vers at 5:41 PM on January 29, 2013


it's actually illigitimi that's the pun, or maybe they both are?
posted by OHenryPacey at 2:28 PM on January 29 [+] [!]


A bastard is an illegitimate child, so not really. Carborundum is the joke epicentre.

As to the cat in the tree, my Latin is super rusty but maybe something like 'non vides felis in arbor'? But that's almost certainly wrong with the cases and whatnot.

Google suggests: catus numquam mortui in arbore videris
posted by Sebmojo at 5:42 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


FELICE NAVIDAD LVDENTIBVS IN CAPVT TVVM
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:53 PM on January 29, 2013


This is where I mention my former University's motto, Tuum Est? Always, at least by me, translated as "tumescent"? Because it's just obvious, really.
posted by jokeefe at 6:01 PM on January 29, 2013


Pfft. The Norse translator doesn't even include the word sleep!
posted by Room 641-A at 6:10 PM on January 29, 2013


ROMANES EVNT DOMVS
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 6:11 PM on January 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Cuius testiculos habes, habeas cardia et cerebellum.
posted by jenkinsEar at 6:26 PM on January 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Pterry's dog Latin continues to be better than the real thing. Nil mortifi sine lucre, as far as I'm concerned.
posted by ocschwar at 6:43 PM on January 29, 2013


Law Latin is often not real Latin. Same with Law French (and some would say the same of legal English.)
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:58 PM on January 29, 2013


Ex mari aqua.

From the sea, water. I'm not big on metaphor.
posted by russm at 3:15 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


In foco ignis.

In the hearth, fire.
posted by russm at 4:09 AM on January 30, 2013


Cuius testiculos habes, habeas cardia et cerebellum.

What kind of soup are you making, exactly?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:33 AM on January 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


A girl I used to know had quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur as the inscription on the title page of her PhD thesis: "Anything said in latin sounds profound".
posted by metaBugs at 6:07 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bumbulum supérbiam.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:32 AM on January 30, 2013


I still like the patch with the grey alien eating a bomber and the dog-latin phrase gustatus similis pullus.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:16 PM on January 30, 2013


My fire department's unofficial motto is "Circumdare et Imergere" -- "Surround and Drown"!

Goes well with "When Disaster Strikes, We're There!"
posted by Standeck at 1:31 PM on January 30, 2013


This is where I mention my former University's motto, Tuum Est? Always, at least by me, translated as "tumescent"? Because it's just obvious, really.

Almost thirty years since I started at UBC, and I never thought of that. Damn.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:53 PM on January 30, 2013


Nulla est magna scientia absque mixtura dementiae.
posted by Pallas Athena at 5:40 PM on January 30, 2013


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