Ego Puta in Nihilum

A

Anonymous

Guest
Hey, what's up. I'm a member of the military, and I was wondering if you could help me make fun of my friend!

One of our friends recently decided to get a tatoo in latin because he thought it would be cool. He, however, didn't do very good research beforehand, and though it is a fairly simple phrase he got tatooed, one of my friends, who knows a bit of latin, says he may have got it wrong. This has been a bit of a dispute for a while, and I'd love to get a definite 'yes or no' so I can either give it up or rag on him mercilessly.

The phrase he got was:

Ego Puta in Nihilum

Which he says translates to-

I believe in nothing

What's the verdict?
 

QMF

Civis Illustris
Indeed, it is wrong. A correct way to do it (not necessarily the only way to do it) would be:
credo nihilo
 

cinefactus

Censor
Staff member
BTW, do you have a photo?

I would like to make a sticky with photos of garbled tattoo's from internet translators...
 

Decimvs

Aedilis
Staff member
Given the relative permanence of a tattoo, one should always check and re-check with multiple sources before proceeding.

May I ask how large the tattoo is and where on his body it is located?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Hahahahaha, awesome! I'll try to snap a photo, but it might be hard because he'll likely be unwilling. Better get him drunk first.

Anyway, it's on his arm running down. It's not very big, but very noticeable.
 

cinefactus

Censor
Staff member
I think that we could only use it with his permission.

At least this one is relatively small. I have seen a proud post of an entire forearm covered in gibberish...

This is actually a serious problem, and I would like to be able to do something about it...
 

cinefactus

Censor
Staff member
Ah, finally found it www.ratemyink.com

In fact, I managed to find a number of other mistranslations, but I guess I shouldn't post the links to avoid humiliating the victims...

Interestingly, all of the ratings on them were very positive ;)
 

Decimvs

Aedilis
Staff member
Wow. Nice find Cinefactus. In the little box in the upper left, if you type in Latin and search it brings them all up on one page.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
Re: Help me make fun of my friend!

oh my gosh
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Indeed, it is wrong. A correct way to do it (not necessarily the only way to do it) would be:
credo nihilo
Not really. That would rather mean "I trust nothing". Rather credo in nihilum, calquing on credo in unum deum...
 

Nikolaos

schmikolaos
Staff member
As I understand it, aliquid credere is classically "to believe in something", and credere in aliquem with the same meaning is a later development.

Let me check my sources on that.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
As I understand it, aliquid credere is classically "to believe in something"
I think it's "to believe something", as in "to believe that something is true", rather than "to believe in something (as in a god)".
 

Nikolaos

schmikolaos
Staff member
The OLD confirms that "to believe in something" uses the accusative, and L&S marks the "in aliquem" version as Ecclesiastical.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Right, "to assume the reality or existence of, believe in". There is even an example of deos credere. I've learnt something today.

But I would rather use the ecclesiastical construction here - because such a phrase is clearly intended as an "opposed paralel" to "I believe in god", so I'd sooner keep the construction in paralel as well - well, I know that no op needs it anyway, but I'm talking for the principle. :p
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Btw, how could we translate "ego puta in nihilum"? "I, imagine, (imp. am turning?) to nothing"? Lol. Untranslatable. But it could be part of a larger sentence... Ego, puta, in nihilum redigor...
 
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