More Latin tattoofilter
November 16, 2011 10:03 AM   Subscribe

Tattoo filter: Latin motto that means "always weird" or "strange"?

I was thinking about how crests often have Latin mottos and have been kicking around the idea of a tattoo that means basically "forever weird" or "always strange" or something along those lines. Essentially, a reminder to myself to keep things weird. The closest motto I've been able to gin up on my own is "Semper Insolitus" but alas my school never offered me Latin and I don't want to look like an illiterati. Is this motto close to what I'm trying to express? Bonus points for a small image that might go with these words. I'm wanting the tattoo to be more text than imagery, but I have a few text tattoos already and I fear that eventually, I'm going to look like a scratch pad. What's a symbol of the weird or strange?
posted by Kitty Stardust to Writing & Language (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Semper prodigiosum?
posted by musofire at 10:11 AM on November 16, 2011

Semper Insolitus
Semper Fatum
posted by brand-gnu at 10:13 AM on November 16, 2011

How about not translating 'always weird' directly and instead having a Latin translation of something weird or nonsensical, like 'always purple cheeseboards'?
posted by corvine at 10:16 AM on November 16, 2011

Maybe a Mobius strip for the image? It's simple, but forever weird!
posted by argonauta at 10:19 AM on November 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

This is tricky, because Latin has a wealth of adjectives that could be used here, but the connotations of each would be obscure. Latin isn't exactly widely spoken. Also, adjectives have to agree with the nouns they modify, so you'd have to decide what the subject is (we? I? what gender?).

"Pecularis" seems like a good choice since English-speakers will probably understand the intended meaning quickly. If you're going for more abstruse, consider looking for the adjective in context: e.g., find a reference in the Aeneid to strange people and use that adjective.
posted by clockzero at 10:37 AM on November 16, 2011

Maybe a Γνώθι Σεαυτόν (gnothi seauton-- know thyself)? Still text, but a different alphabet.

I'd steer clear of using either prodigiosum (which has more the meaning of "monstrous") or peculiaris (which colloquially meant a slave's pocket-money).
posted by oinopaponton at 10:49 AM on November 16, 2011

I'd advise against "semper fatum" because if I saw that tattoo, I'd probably assume you meant to say "semper fatuum."
posted by milk white peacock at 10:54 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Semper Austinium ;-)
posted by jacob at 11:09 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

I was just looking through old xkcd, and here's an image of strange.
posted by garlic at 11:21 AM on November 16, 2011

Given that this will be engraved on your body for (potentially) eternity, I wouldn't screw around with us amateurs. I would go straight to the professionals. The Latin Translator.
posted by schrodycat at 11:40 AM on November 16, 2011

If you want something that looks like "Semper Fidelis", I'd go for "semper mirabils" - always to be wondered at. That would, however, be descriptive - it would be saying that you would always be surprising, just as "semper fidelis" means "the bearer of this tattoo will always be faithful".

If you want something more general or abstract - Pliny said "semper aliquid novi Africa affert" - "Africa always brings something new" (usually glossed as "Always something new out of Africa"). "semper aliquid novi" could stand alone, and reference that...
posted by running order squabble fest at 12:02 PM on November 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

« Older Why are there big lakes along the edge of the...   |   What services are there for making custom items? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.