Tattoo Be kind. Be humble. Don't be stupid.

By ArborAndrew, in 'English to Latin Translation', May 10, 2019.

  1. ArborAndrew New Member

    Looking to potentially get a tattoo saying "Be kind. Be humble. Don't be stupid". The translation doesn't have to be exact as long as the essential meaning is the same.

  2. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

    • Civis Illustris
    For "be kind", I would say Esto comis/benignus.

    "Humble" is a bit of a problem; the Latin word humilis, unlike English "humble", has almost entirely negative connotations ("lowly, mean, of no account"). I'm not sure there really is a Latin word with the same connotations as the English. Any thoughts from others?

    "Don't be stupid" = Noli stultus esse.

    Note that the translations given above are for someone who is male or of undefined gender. If you want it to be for a female, benignus will become benigna and stultus will become stulta.
  3. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    in orbe lacteo
    superbus ne esto for be humble?

    (future imperatives, like esto, can be negated by just ne)
  4. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

    • Civis Illustris
    I guess that's the best we're probably going to get.

    Comis/benignus esto, superbus ne esto, stultus ne esto.

    Kind of clunky, but I'm not sure we can make it any better.
  5. syntaxianus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Massachusetts, USA
    I wonder if this would be best in motto form:

    humanitas - reverentia - sapientia

    kindness -respectfulness - wisdom

    The maxims would be implied. I think that humilitas as the virtue of humility has a good long Latin history too, and I would not hesitate to use it. It is also fairly transparent for English speakers.

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