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December 13, 2008 12:02 PM   Subscribe

Help me come up with a Latin motto for a fake college.

My fourteen year old cousin wants college hoodie for Christmas. Any college. There's plenty of colleges and hoodies around me, but I've got different ideas. I'm going to make her up a logo for a fake college and get it printed on a hoodie.

I think I can get it printed well enough that I'll be able to insist that it's a real college “outside Montreal.” I'm working on a classy and academic looking emblem for the school, and I've come up with a list of real sounding college names to choose from. What I need is a Latin motto for the school to incorporate into the emblem.

My idea is that the Latin should be the only clue that it's not a real college. The problems are one: I don't know a damned thing about Latin, and two: I haven't yet come up with a funny, silly, or clever phrase to use.

I need to get the order in this weekend to get the hoodie done in time, so I need the hivemind's help. What's a good motto, in Latin, for my fake Canadian college?
posted by The Man from Lardfork to Writing & Language (37 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't know Latin, but how about whatever's Latin for "Fake Latin Motto for Fake School"?
posted by Flunkie at 12:18 PM on December 13, 2008


Non cogitum, ergo nihil summum. From A Canticle for Leibowitz.

Et lacrimatus est Iesus. John 11:5 from the Vulgate.

Wikipedia
posted by Bruce H. at 12:28 PM on December 13, 2008


Some options. I like "In hunc intuens" - look at this.
posted by milkrate at 12:30 PM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Back when the National Lampoon was funny, they did a National Honor Society 'keystone' emblem with the motto 'LVII VARIETATES' on it.
posted by gimonca at 12:34 PM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Illegitimi non carborundum ?

It's not real Latin, but then this isn't a real school.
posted by Justinian at 12:40 PM on December 13, 2008


POST HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC would be funny as a coat of arms motto.
posted by Countess Elena at 12:41 PM on December 13, 2008 [6 favorites]


I found a very simplistic Latin Motto Generator. From the options there, I'd recommend "glacies et scientia" meaning "ice and knowledge" seeing how it's, ya know, Canada.
posted by piratebowling at 12:42 PM on December 13, 2008 [4 favorites]


Semper Ubi Sub Ubi- Usually translated as "Always Wear Underwear"
posted by piedmont at 12:43 PM on December 13, 2008


There seems to be a good few here.

I like this one:
Estne tibi forte magna feles fulva et planissima? - Do you by chance happen to own a large, yellowish, very flat cat?
posted by b33j at 12:43 PM on December 13, 2008


Wait, I'm silly, there are much more options in terms of using verbs and such if you scroll down on the site I listed. Play around with it a while.
posted by piratebowling at 12:46 PM on December 13, 2008


hahahahaha.

per milkrate's suggestion.

i really like "Rhinoceros nunquam victus ab hoste cedit". --The rhinoceros never turns away defeated from the enemy.

posted by slograffiti at 12:46 PM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


>> John 11:5 from the Vulgate.

Sorry, I meant John 11:35, Jesus wept.
posted by Bruce H. at 12:48 PM on December 13, 2008


Die dulci freure. Have a nice day.
Purgamentum init, exit purgamentum. Garbage in, garbage out.
Quidquidne latine dictum sit, altum viditur. Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound.
Diem perdidi. Another day wasted.
Facilis descensus Averno. The descent to hell is easy.
Malum in se. Inherently bad.
Mundus vult decipi. The world wants to be deceived.
Non semper ea sunt quae videntur. Things aren't what they appear to be.
Otium cum dignitate. Leisure with dignity.
Parva leves capiunt animas. Small things occupy light minds.
Plures crapula quam gladius. More people die partying than fighting wars.
Raram facit misturam cum sapientia forma. Beauty and wisdom are rarely found together.
Saturnalia. Unrestrained revelry.
Stillicidi casus lapidem cavat. Slow and steady does it. (Dripping moisture hollows out a stone).
Vae victis. It's tough to be a loser.
Vis inertiae. The power of inactivity.
Volo, non valeo. I am willing but unable.
posted by terranova at 12:53 PM on December 13, 2008 [16 favorites]


From the Kevin Kline comedy "In and Out" Bob Newhart as the school principal stated the following as the school motto: (apologies for spelling)

Studare, Imapre, Partire

Or

Study, Learn, Leave
posted by Nick Verstayne at 12:56 PM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


From the same site:

Bene, cum Latine nescias, nolo manus meas in te maculare Well, if you don't understand plain Latin, I'm not going to dirty my hands on you

Her: So what does it say?
You: "Well, if you don't understand plain Latin, I'm not going to dirty my hands on you"

Endless fun.
posted by b33j at 12:57 PM on December 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


Or you could pull a phrase out of this venerable verse:

Lucat bene derdego
Honit busis inero
Honomo demis trux
Summit causin summit dux.

(this is the internet version. I remember the last line as
Summit gisan summit dux.
or the second line could be
Fortibus es inero
but it doesn't make a lot of difference)
posted by hexatron at 1:02 PM on December 13, 2008


Mundus vult decipi (see James Branch Cabell, The Silver Stallion)
posted by bad grammar at 1:02 PM on December 13, 2008


By the way, not sure if you've already taken this into consideration- If you're thinking about saying it's a "college outside of Montreal", you'd better remember to make it a University. College does not mean the same thing up here in Canada, and it means even less in Quebec.
posted by sunshinesky at 1:10 PM on December 13, 2008


Non serviam, "I will not serve." Attributed to Lucifer, used in James Joyce, and generally handy as the Latin "See you in hell, fuckers!"
posted by steef at 1:43 PM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo
posted by I_pity_the_fool at 1:43 PM on December 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


Seconding Illegitimi non carborundum

(Don't let the bastards grind you down)
posted by triggerfinger at 1:45 PM on December 13, 2008


This is great. Now I need another ask.metafilter question to help me decide which one to use.
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 1:50 PM on December 13, 2008


Hey, here's a wacky idea:

Given that the questioner said "I don't know a damned thing about Latin", how about maybe whenever you answer, you also provide translations for your suggestions?

I know, I know, it's probably crazy... I'm just throwing it out there to think outside of the box.
posted by Flunkie at 1:54 PM on December 13, 2008 [3 favorites]


What's your fictional school like?

In vino veritas would work for some schools.
posted by Jahaza at 2:22 PM on December 13, 2008


Here's one from the indispensable Latin Quips at Your Fingertips:

Quidquid praecipies, esto brevis.

(Whatever you want to teach, be brief.)

Horace, Ars Poetica, 333
posted by Jahaza at 2:28 PM on December 13, 2008


Quidquidne latine dictum sit, altum viditur. Anything said in Latin sounds profound.
posted by niles at 2:39 PM on December 13, 2008


I don't know the Latin for this, and wouldn't trust an online translator, but I once saw a window sticker that said "Your University Sucks" in a collegiate looking font. If you like that one, maybe someone could translate to Latin.
posted by peep at 2:52 PM on December 13, 2008


Am I too late to suggest Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo?
posted by Countess Elena at 3:11 PM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why not Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet itself?

It's fake Latin and it's a placeholder for text, so it kind of works on several levels..
posted by Maias at 4:12 PM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


"It's all Greek to me" in Latin? (Somebody help me out here.)
posted by parudox at 4:32 PM on December 13, 2008


"HABETISNE LAC" - "Got milk?"

Alternately, "ATINLAY OTTOMAY"
posted by The White Hat at 5:01 PM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


"melior quam plures verus academies"

lit: Better than many real academies."
posted by Navelgazer at 5:06 PM on December 13, 2008


si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes

"If you can read this, you are overeducated."
posted by Demogorgon at 5:44 PM on December 13, 2008


Please note that many of these are very loose translation of the actual Latin. A few of them to the point where the actual meaning in Latin is pretty divorced from the English it aims to translate.

~Diem perdidi. Another day wasted.

This is my favorite: pithy, short, and funny.

~ Et lacrimatus est Iesus.

This is my other favorite, though I feel like it might not fit your purpose as well, partly because it is such a famouse line, and partly because it has Jesus right there in in; that's a bit of a give-away, unless you make your fake school also explicitly religious. If you made it the University of St. Somebody-or-Another, though, then this would be perfect. I vote for Ignatius.
posted by paisley henosis at 7:28 PM on December 13, 2008


From American flyers: RES FIRMA MITESCERE NESCIT - literally-A firm resolve does not know how to weaken or "once you've got it up keep it up"
posted by filmgeek at 10:10 PM on December 13, 2008


Fatum Iustum Stultorum: the fate of the stupid is just.
posted by Freen at 4:56 PM on December 14, 2008


From David Foster Wallace's "Infinite Jest":
Te occidere pussunt, sed te edere non possunt, nefas est.

roughly translates to: they can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are quite a bit dicier.

On preview: Oooh boy, Countess Elena, you have surely made my day. I had no idea catullus could be so nasty. Now I know why we always got handouts of his poems, and not any of his full poetry books!
posted by Freen at 5:03 PM on December 14, 2008


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