Never forgive nor forget


New Member
Hello :) Thankyou for your time.

The translation is for a tattoo. To remind myself of past hurt done to me and to be wary of being hurt again in the same manner.

It is not a specific someone I do not want to forgive, nor is it a specific someone's actions I don't want to forget.


[I will] Never forgive [whoever hurts me], nor forget [the actions of that person]

So he/she is not relevant here.

I had read a similar translation on this board from 5 years ago and would like to validate the translation and/or receive a more appropriate translation.

The translation provided on these forums was "numquam ignoscas neve obliviscare"
Here: viewtopic.php?f=2&p=14540

Kind thanks.
Hey, fatboy

Firstly, I can appreciate that you probably want to get the translation perfect before inking yourself, so I'll do my best to help but it is unfortunately quite a difficult thing to translant and depends on exactly what you want to say.

The translation previously given: "numquam ignoscas neve obliviscare" reads "may you never forgive nor forget" which works but I'm not sure if it is exactly what you were hoping to say.

You have a choice here, you can either go with:
(1) - May you never forgive nor forget = numquam ignoscas neve obliviscare
(2) - I shall never forgive nor forget = numquam ignoscam nec obliviscar
(3) - I do not forgive nor do I forget = nec ignosco nec obliviscor
(4) - (commanding) Do not forgive. Do not forget. = noli ignoscere, noli oblivisci.

I would personally modify what you have already been suggested but make it so that it is more personal (using "I" in place of "you")

(5) - May I never forgive, nor forget = "numquam ignoscam nec obliviscar" which coincidentally translates the same as (2).

You might want to run this by someone more senior however as I haven't been a member of this board for very long... would hate for you to have a typo under your skin :roll:


Staff member
Actually, I don't think what he has works. I've not look into the syntax of neve, but I'm sure an infinitive following isn't correct.
Yeah, obliviscaris is more common/conventional but obliviscare can also mean "you may forget" and not just "to forget" I think


Civis Illustris
The infinitive is oblivisci.

Edit: obliviscare is rare, but other forms are better attested, such as loquare, e.g.:
cum aliter sentias ac loquare (Cicero, De oratore, 2, 269);
Ventus cercius, cum loquare, buccam implet (Gellius, NA 2, 22);
Illam respicias, illam mirere licebit, Multa supercilio, multa loquare notis; Et plaudas (Ovid, Ars am., 1, 499ff).


New Member
First of all thank you for your relies and discussions. Especially Homo-Invictus who sought to clarify the meaning of the tattoo to me.
I would say that option (2) was the intended meaning.

And now if I could throw you all a curve ball. If I wanted the tattoo to read:

"Forgive but never forget" what would be the most appropriate translation?


[I will] Forgive [you] but [I will] never forget [what you have done]

And the "you" is not gender specific.

I have searched through these forums for previous requests for this translation. There appears to be many ways to translate it but the ones I have found seem to mean "Forgive me but never forget me" which is NOT the intended meaning of the tattoo.

As my knowledge of Latin is nil, please forgive me (no pun intended), and consider:

"Ignoscam sed numquam obliviscar" as my attempt.

If you could correct me I would be very grateful. Thank you.


Vemortuicida strenuus
Actually, there is nothing to forgive you because the phrase happens to be correct. You could insert tibi to indicate to whom the forgiving is to be done. tibi ignoscam sed numquam obliviscar