Latin Quotes, Sayings, Tattoos, Phrases & Mottos

Most texts and materials on this site have to do with the Latin language, including its perception in popular culture: movies, tattoos, inscriptions, engravings, bits of ancient philosophy, online Latin resources and company names. There is also information about learning Latin and Greek: textbooks, dictionaries, DVDs and software that can be used in a homeschooling environment.


Secret Voyage

 
Friday, June 13, 2008, 13:13 - Poetry, Literature, Music, Reviews
Posted by Administrator
This is a blatant off-topic, but hey, don't I decide what's right and what's wrong around here? "Blackmore's Night" will release their new album, "Secret Voyage" on July 15. If this news leaves you wondering about who they are and what they do, I am willing to offer a quick explanation.

If you are into Latin, chances are you are a little bit into Middle Ages. And if you are into that sort of thing, there is a 60% chance that you're in for a treat, and that you will enjoy the music of Blackmore's Night. They do not painstakingly recreate medieval music, instead the band creates modern arrangements of old-time tunes, as well as their own material. Their music is very well-spirited, their melodies are captivating, and the performance is superb. All of this is to be expected, because apart from the excellent vocals by Candice Night the group features the talent and expertise of Ritchie Blackmore, of the greatest guitar players of all time. You may remember him from such projects ad "Deep Purple" and "Rainbow".

It would only be fair (no pun intended) to offer some critical notes. At times they seem a little bit too Renaissance fair (hence the unintended pun). The excursions into Ritchie's rock past may occasionally seem a little out of place. On the whole, this is solid enjoyable music with a medieval flare. I must add that when I tried to find something that even came close to Blackmore's Night, my efforts were unsuccessful.

Tutela Valui and "Adjectives in Past Tense"

 
Another example of an odd Latin tattoo. A certain Ashley Dupre, Governor Spitzer's acquaintance, bears it on her belly:

Tutela Valui

An article in NY Daily News quotes several translations, including what I think is the most fair and grammatically meaningful:

Daniel Nodes, a classics professor at Ave Maria University in Florida, translated it as "I've been well and remain that way because I have protection."

An odd saying, if you ask me. Maybe the happy owner of the belly that features this tattoo could elaborate on its meaning? The world is holding its breath. It has been my observation that is such cases things can be clarified very easily once you know the English phrase people were trying to translate and the exact Latin dictionary that they used in their failed attempt to produce a meaningful phrase in Latin. On the whole, this is a worthy enterprise. Just don't use these translations for tattoos and engravings!

What's more interesting, Helen Kennedy, a staff writer at Daily News gave her readers a taste of how erudite modern journalism can be:

Tutela, which is related to tutor, has to do with a protector or guardian. Valui appears to be a past form of the word strong.

I admit, there may be languages somewhere that conjugate adjectives in the past sense. You would use one form to say 'strong' in a present tense statement, and an altogether different form to say 'strong' in a past tense sentence. It is more likely, however, that the Daily News journalist has a very poor understanding of some basic principles of grammar. And that's ok, folks. As long as she does not tattoo statements like that on her belly.

For the curious. Valui is Perfect active of the verb valeo 'to be strong.' Tutela means care, support, protection, and also guardian and keeper. The key to understanding this phrase (as long as it was translated by someone who has at least some knowledge of Latin) is to take Tutela as an Ablative.

A word of advice to people who are visible in the world of politics and entertainment. Before you commit to a specific tattoo, why not try a fake one first? Have the media pick it up. If no expressions of utter bewilderment follow, go ahead and make it permanent.


  permalink   |  related link

Names for Businesses: Never Boring!

 
As I sat down to ponder what Latin words can be used for naming a business it did not take long before an actual company name came to my attention as a good example of, let's say, dubious appropriateness of a business name...

I decided to come up with a few ideas for companies that take pride in delivering goods or services very promptly. Some good suggestions would be to use such words as celer, velox, rapidus (fast). Then there is a nice verb "festinare". A sonorous name. There is even something festive about it:) Lo and behold, there is a company that is called "Festina" ("make haste!", an imperative). Well, the problem is that this company manufactures watches. Would you really want to have a watch that is fast? The only appropriate way of using this word in this context would be in the slogan "Festina lente" (make haste slowly). Now, that would be a clever way to describe what a good mechanism for keeping time is supposed to do! Also, this was a motto used by the famed Aldus Manutius, one of the greatest Renaissance book publishers.

In general, it seems that all good Latin names for businesses are already taken (and not used wisely, I must add). My advice would be to have a good look at Greek words. In fact, I may do some research in this area myself.

See also:
Restaurant Name Suggestions

Latin Quotes About Life (and inevitably about death...)

 
Due to increased demand, here is a fairly representable selection of Latin quotes about life. Naturally, the ancients rarely thought of life without brining death into the equasion.


Ad vitam paramus - We are preparing for life
Amor est vitae essentia - Love is the essence of life. (Robert B. Mackay)
Ampliat aetatis spatium sibi vir bonus; hoc est vivere bis vita posse priore frui The good man extends the period of his life; it is to live twice, to enjoy with satisfaction the retrospect of our past life. (Martial)
Aqua vitae - Water of life
Ars longa, vita brevis - Art (work) is long, but life is short
Avarus, nisi cum poritur, nil recte facit A miser, until he dies, does nothing right
Bis vivit qui bene vivit - He lives twice who lives well
Brevis ipsa vita est sed malis fit longior - Our life is short but is made longer by misfortunes. (Publilius Syrus)
Conveniens vitae mors fuit ista suae That was a death conformable to his life. (Ovid)
Credula vitam spes fovet et melius cras fore semper dicit - Credulous hope supports our life, and always says that tomorrow will be better. (Tibullus)
Cum dubia et fragilis sit nobis vita tributa, in morte alterius spem to tibi ponere noli Seeing that life has been given us precarious and full of uncertainty, fix not your hopes on the death of another. (Cato)
Curriculum vitae - The course of one's life
Dum inter homines sumus, colamus humanitatem - As long as we are among humans, let us be humane. (Seneca)
Dum spiramus tuebimur - While we breathe, we shall defend
Dum spiro, spero - While I breathe, I hope. (Cicero)
Dum tempus habemus, operemur bonum - While we have the time, let us do good
Dum vita est spes est - While life is, hope is. / While there is life there is hope
Dum vivimus, vivamus - While we live, let us live (Epicurean philosophy)
Fama semper vivat - May his/her fame last forever
Historia est vitae magistra - The history is the tutor of life
Integer vitae scelerisque purus - Blameless of life and free from crime
Luctor et emergo - I struggle but I'll survive
Memento vivere - A reminder of life (literally remember that you have to live)
Nec possum tecum vivere, nec sine te - I am able to live / I can live neither with you, nor without you. (Martial)
Non ignara mali, miseris succurrere disco - No stranger to misfortune [myself, F.] I learn to relieve the sufferings [of others
Non scholae sed vitae discimus - We do not learn for school, but for life. (Seneca)
Primum viveri deinde philosophari - Live before you philosophize, or Leap before you look
Quod differtur, non aufertur - That which is postponed is not dropped. Inevitable is yet to happen. (Sir Thomas More)
Quod incepimus conficiemus - What we have begun we shall finish
Tamdiu discendum est, quamdiu vivas - We should learn as long as we may live. (We live and learn.) (Seneca Philosophus)
Victoria et pro victoria vita Victory, and for victory life
Victoria, et per victoriam vita Victory, and through victory life
Vita mutatur, non tollitur - Life is changed, not taken away
Vita non est vivere sed valere vita est - Life is more than merely staying alive
Vita sine libris mors est - Life without books is death
Vita turpis ne morti quidem honestae colum relinquit A life of shame leaves no room even for an honorable death. (Cicero)
Vitam impendere vero - To risk one's life for the truth
Vitam regit fortuna, non sapientia - Fortune, not wisdom, rules lives. (Cicero)
Viva enim mortuorum in memoria vivorum est posita The life of the dead is retained in the memory of the living. (Cicero)
Vivat, crescat, floreat! - May he/she/it live, grow, and flourish!
Vive hodie - Live today (not tomorrow)
Vive ut vivas - Live that you may live
Vivere commune est, sed non commune mereri - Everybody lives; not everybody deserves to
Vivere disce, cogita mori - Learn to live; Remember death. (sundial inscription)
Vivos voco, mortuos plango- I call the living, I mourn the dead. (church bell inscription)
Vixit - He/she has lived


<<First <Back | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | Next> Last>>





Privacy Policy