'Don't let the b******s grind you down'

John Boyle

New Member
Hiya, years ago when I was a teenager I remember my mother had a desk plaque, given to her by a colleague which had the (supposed) Latin phrase of " Iligitimus non tatum carborundum" , and on the back of the plaque was the English translation of " Don't let the bastards grind you down".
I've always liked the jist of this statement and in Latin it just seems to sound good. I have been considering for some time, having the text tattoo'd on my lower arm, however I wanted to be entirely sure of the translation and correct use of Latin. Over the years some people I've come across have questioned the translation and in all probability they are right. However those who commented had little more proficiency in Latin than I do and mine amounts to the snippets collected from a catholic education and the occasional times I paid attention as a child when Latin was used extensively during the catholic mass. They never covered phrases like this though. I would greatly appreciate any help on this as I very much want to have it tattoo'd, but don't want to spend the rest of my life having debates about whether or not it says what I think and if the grammer is correct.
Thank you very much, i hope you can help.

John Boyle
Glasgow
Scotland
 

Nikolaos

schmikolaos
Staff member
The way I heard it was illegitimi non carborundum. It's not real Latin, but sort of a joke - you can find information on it here .
 

Adrian

Homo Romanticus
Salve (Hello) John,
In addition to Nick's answer. I came across these translations, which I find both more suitable and grammatically correct than "pseudo-latin illegitimi non carborundum"
Noli sinere malos insolentesque te vexare - literally "do not let the evil and insolent (people) grind you down".
Noli iniurias arrogantium pati - literally "do not suffer/bear the unjustice/charm (unjust/charmful deeds) of the arrogant/insolent/scoundrels.
Hope to have been of any assistance to you.
Cura ut valeas ! (Take care so you are well!)

EDIT: John, since you are from Scotland, perhaps you will also find the mottos of The Order of the Thistle and Charles II, King of Scots worth considering:
Nemo me impune lacessit - No one attacks/harasses/provokes/challenges me with impunity
 

John Boyle

New Member
Thank you very much for the help, its a pity its not real Latin, I always liked the sound of it. I must admit adrian, I gave the Scottish motto some considerable consideration. However its a quote which is a bit over used in Scotland, particularily by political parties along with its various versions and purported origin of Old Scots dialect " Wha daurs meddle wi me" which is quite different to how English is used. The threat of no impunity is contained within the word 'daurs' (dares) along with an assumption in that word that you will be punished. Also while English needs the definition of attacks/harasses/provokes/challenges, as with the Latin, the one word 'meddles' means all those things and more eg 'interferes with'.
Thanks again though for your help, I'll go back to the drawing board, I had a couple of other ideas.

John
 

gorintfo

New Member
"Don't let the Bastards grind you down"

Meant to be used as a motto for a heraldic device.


Meant to express a similar concept as:

"Never let them see you sweat" or "Haters gonna hate"

Female perspective.


Thank you all very much for offering your knowledge for projects like these. You all are a unique resource!
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
The literal translations of "bastard" weren't really used as general terms of abuse in Latin, as far as I know at any rate. Using a Latin term of abuse, you could get the following, with, instead of literally "bastards", something along the lines of "villains" or "scoundrels":

Ne siris a scelestis te opprimi.

Maybe different Latin insults will come to others' minds, or to mine later; that was all that came to my mind now.

Edit: Another term came to mind: ne siris a furciferis te opprimi.
 

cinefactus

Censor
Staff member
Is it supposed to be ne sinis rather than ne siris?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
No. Siris is a contraction of siveris, the perfect subjunctive, needed here for the negative command. Sinis is the present indicative and would be wrong here.
 

cinefactus

Censor
Staff member
I didn't think you would get it wrong ;) I just didn't recognize siris...
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Indeed, no. It's a variant of a pseudo-Latin phrase supposed to mean "Don't let the bastards grind you down", which even has a Wikipedia page.
 
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