Tattoo Fear None

marume

New Member
Hello!
First off, thank for reading this, and thank you to those who give an answer. I hope to get a tattoo in the future with the words "fear none" in latin. My mother always told me that I shouldn't be afraid to be myself and that I shouldn't fear what others thought of me when I was younger. I've shortened the proverb to fear none because it speaks to me more and sounds nice to the ear.
 

Michael Zwingli

Active Member
Here are a couple of options:

If you want to say "fear no man", then you might say nemo time,
If you want to say "fear nothing" or "fear no one", then perhaps nullum time.

You should look up these words to obtain the proper diacritics (I can't provide...typing on my phone).
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
If you want to say "fear no man", then you might say nemo time,
Nemo is in the wrong case. You need the accusative there, since it's the direct object.
If you want to say "fear nothing" or "fear no one", then perhaps nullum time.
Nullum is OK for "none"/"no one", as is neminem (accusative of nemo). "Nothing" is nihil, but that is not what the OP is asking for anyway.

The imperative (here, time) is rarely used in negative commands, though it does occur in poetry. The most classical option here would be the perfect subjunctive timueris, but Adrian's present subjunctive timeas is also OK in a later-Latin style. All in all, timueris, timeas and time are all acceptable in their own way, though time would arguably be the least common, with the most common being timueris.
 

Michael Zwingli

Active Member
Marume, you now have it from the horses mouth. You usually won't find better advice than Pacifica can give.
Thanks for the "case check", Pax.
 

Michael Zwingli

Active Member
Actually, I have an idea about the verb in this.

From a semantic viewpoint, paveo might be a better verb than timeo for rendering what marume is trying to say. While timeo means "I am afraid/I fear", paveo carries more the meaning "I am terrified/I am struck by fear/I am incapacitated by fear". The reason that I think this, is that fear is an involuntary, uncontrollable emotion which will come to all of us. Over the visitation by fear we have no control. However, we can, perhaps, control our reaction to the experience of that fear, specifically whether or not we let it terrify or terrorize us. We will feel afraid at times, but we need not be rendered helpless by our fear. I think that the use of paveo in this case might help to convey the sense of marume's refusal to be "struck down" or "incapacitated" by his fears.

If you choose to use paveo rather than timeo, the form might be:

nullum paveris, nullum paveas,
neminem paveris,
or neminem paveas

What does everyone think about this?
 
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Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I think a form of timeo is perfectly fine to translate the original phrase, but if the OP likes the idea of referring to terror/paralysing fear, why not.
 

Michael Zwingli

Active Member
I think that what marume is trying to say, is that one should not let one's actions or behaviors be effected by the thoughts or opinions of others. Since the object of the fears is not so much the other people and what they might do (physically) to him, but rather, their thoughts and opinions (which are things), I think that he should use nullus rather than nemo. To go along with nullus, I feel that the present subjunctive renders a more pleasing metrical (poetic) effect than does the perfect subjunctive.

So, marume, with those thoughts in mind, the following options appear best to me (now that I am in front of a proper keyboard, I can render the proper diacritics, as well):

nūllum timeās = "(may you) fear none" (or more literally "may you not fear any")
nūllum paveās = "(may you) be terrified by none" (or more literally "may you not be terrified by any")

I hope that helps. Be sure to get many opinions before you ink-up.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Nemo and nullus mean the same. "No one" or "none"; these are synonyms in this context, both referring to people.

If you wanted to say "nothing", that would be nihil, as I said above. But that wouldn't convey the intended meaning. To refer explicitly to "what people think of you", you'd translate that literally. But there's probably no need to make the translation more precise than the original.
 

Michael Zwingli

Active Member
I normally wouldn't think to argue any point in Latin with you, Pacifica, but I don't see nemo and nullus as being but partially synonymous, with nemo having a much narrower semantic field. Maybe you can help me with my understanding. Nemo means "none" only in the sense of "no human". Nullus, rather, is rather broader in meaning and is analogous to ne "not" + ullus "anyone" or "anything" (as used in negative statements and corresponding to aliquis in positive statements), and so means "not anyone"/"noone", or "not anything"/"nothing". Is this not true? Perhaps nullus was only ever used to mean "noone" in the corpus...that you would have to advise me on...
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Nullus in agreement with a noun means "no", and the noun it agrees with can be a person or a thing. E.g. you can say nullus miles, "no soldier", or nullum templum, "no temple".

When used on its own, though, just nullus, it is understood to refer to an implied homo, kind of. Therefore it means "none", "no one", "nobody".

The neuter nullum is not usually used this way to refer to "nothing".* "Nothing" idiomatically translates to nihil.

So if you say nullum timueris/paveris, nullum is naturally understood as the accusative of nullus, masculine, meaning "none", "no one", "nobody".

*There are some exceptions, especially in medieval Latin, but it isn't the usual way to go and it should generally be avoided, especially in the absence of any context that would make it clear that "nothing" was meant, since the default interpretation will be "no one". If it were the subject of the sentence here, it would be clear enough (though I still wouldn't recommend it), since the nominative differs from that of the masculine. But in the accusative there's no difference.
 
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Bitmap

Civis Illustris
The corresponding equivalent for nothing would be nulla res, which is commonly used to fill in for the missing cases of nihil.
 

Michael Zwingli

Active Member
Okay, thank you for that. I learned at least one or two things today. Even with nullum and neminem being considered synonymous, though, I still feel that the pairing of nullum with any of : timeas, timueris, paveas, or paveris results in a more pleasing cadence/meter (2-3) than does neminem with same (3-3), do you see what I mean? I mean, Large Canine and Big Dog are synonymous, but (though I am not) if I was the type of guy to get something inked into my skin, well... (Maybe that's just me...) Here is a better example: temet nosce and nosce te ipsum are synonymous. Nosce te ipsum is probably the better form from a strictly grammatical perspective, but temet nosce has a better cadence, a better rhythm, better balance, (just sounds better as a stand alone statement, with the stress falling on the "o" rather than the slender "i") which is why that form was used for the oracle's digs in the film "The Matrix". Also, as a separate but related consideration, a tattoo is often meant to be like a motto: oblique and somewhat mysterious, letting the reader make of it what he will and causing him or her to desire explanation, so grammatical clarity is often a secondary consideration, so long as the statement is not grammatically incorrect.
 
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