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Encyclopedia > Illegitimi non carborundum

Illegitimi non carborundum is a mock-Latin aphorism jokingly taken to mean "don't let the bastards grind you down". There are many variants of the phrase, such as The phrase Dog Latin refers to the creation of a phrase or jargon in imitation of Latin, often by directly translating English words (or those of other European languages) into Latin without conjugation or declension. ... An aphorism (literally distinction or definition, from Greek αφοριζειν to define) expresses a general truth in a pithy sentence. ...

  • Non illegitimis carborundum.
  • Illegitimi nil carborundum.
  • Non illegitimi carborundum.
  • Nil bastardo carborundum.
  • Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.
  • Illegitimis non carborundum.

None of the above is correct Latin. Carborundum is not a Latin word but the name of a mineral which is extremely hard and used for grinding. (see silicon carbide article). The ending -undum suggests either a Latin gerund or gerundive form--and the idea of obligation ("Don't let ...") is more suggestive of the gerundive--but the word is actually a portmanteau of "carbon" (from Latin), and "corundum" (from Tamil kurundam). Silicon carbide (SiC) or moissanite is a ceramic compound of silicon and carbon. ... Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 Â°C, 100 kPa) Infobox disclaimer and references Silicon carbide (SiC) is a ceramic compound of silicon and carbon that is manufactured on a large scale for use mainly as an abrasive but also occurs in... In linguistics, a gerund is a non-finite verb form that exists in many languages. ... This article is about blends. ... For other uses, see Carbon (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... Corundum (from Tamil kurundam) is a crystalline form of aluminium oxide and one of the rock-forming minerals. ... Tamil ( ; IPA ) is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamils in India and Sri Lanka, with smaller communities of speakers in many other countries. ...

Illegitimi suggests illegitimate to the English speaker, or bastardo likewise, but the Latin for bastard is actually nothus (from the Greek word notho (νόθο) meaning not-pure, and used when referring to a bastard whose father is known) or spurius (for a bastard whose father is unknown). The forms with nil may be formed partly on the pattern of the genuine Latin phrase Nil desperandum. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Legitimacy (law). ... This page lists direct English translations of common Latin phrases, such as veni vidi vici and et cetera. ...

The phrase originated during World War II. Lexicographer Eric Partridge attributes it to British army intelligence very early in the war (in the plural illegitimis). The phrase was adopted by US Army general "Vinegar" Joe Stillwell as his motto during the war.[1] It was later further popularized in the US by 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater.[2] The United States Submarine the USS Tunny (SSN-682) Ships Motto see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Tunny_(SSN-682) Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... A lexicographer is a person devoted to the study of lexicography, especially an author of a dictionary. ... Eric Honeywood Partridge (February 6, 1894-June 1, 1979) was a noted lexicographer of the English language, and particularly of its slang. ... Joseph Warren Stilwell (March 19, 1883 – October 12, 1946) was a United States Army four-star general best-known for his service in China. ... Also Nintendo emulator: 1964 (emulator). ... Barry Morris Goldwater (January 1, 1909 – May 29, 1998) was a five-term United States Senator from Arizona (1953–1965, 1969–87) and the Republican Partys nominee for president in the 1964 election. ...

Henry Beard in his 1991 book Latin for Even More Occasions (chapter I) offered some correct Latin for the sentiment, but did so in a section Dopey Exhortations Are More Forceful in Latin, which might be his comment on the merit of the expression. Year 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the 1991 Gregorian calendar). ... Latin for All Occasions (Lingua Latina Occasionibus Omnibus) is a 1990 book by Henry Beard, and Latin for Even More Occasions (Lingua Latina Multo Pluribus Occasionibus) is a 1991 sequel. ...

Don't let the bastards wear you down.
Noli nothis permittere te terere.
  • The correct Latin word for 'bastard', often used as a cognomen for those of illegitimate birth is 'spurius'. The correct Greek is 'nothos' not 'notho'. 'Illegitimus' is a typical use of Later latin to make the language look more like English. It is noble idea, but erroneous.

Other uses

  • Nil Carborundum, title of a 1962 play and TV comedy by Henry Living [1].
  • "Illegitimi non carborundum", in Lucifer's Hammer (1977) by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, page 29.
  • "Illegitimi non carborundum" was the motto of the (now decommissioned) submarine USS Tunny (SSN 682).

Year 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Loompanics Yellow Cover combined 4th & 5th Edition Principia Discordia, (1979). ... Year 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1965 Gregorian calendar. ... The Handmaids Tale is a dystopian novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood, first published by McClelland and Stewart in 1985. ... This article is about the year. ... Margaret Eleanor Atwood, OC (born November 18, 1939) is a Canadian writer. ... Lucifers Hammer is a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, first published in 1977. ... Also: 1977 (album) by Ash. ...

See also

The phrase Dog Latin refers to the creation of a phrase or jargon in imitation of Latin, often by directly translating English words (or those of other European languages) into Latin without conjugation or declension. ... This page lists direct English translations of common Latin phrases, such as veni vidi vici and et cetera. ...


  1. ^ Why Do We Say ...?, Nigel Rees, 1987, ISBN 0-7137-1944-3
  2. ^ Illegitimi Non Carborundum page, at Santa Cruz Public Libraries ready reference, quoting William Safire, Safire's New Political Dictionary

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Tunny_(SSN-682) Nigel Rees (born June 5, 1944, near Liverpool) is a British author and presenter, best known for devising and hosting the Radio 4 panel game Quote Unquote and for his keen interest in the use and misuse of the English language. ... Year 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays 1987 Gregorian calendar). ... William L. Safire (born December 17, 1929) is an American author, semi-retired columnist, and former journalist and presidential speechwriter. ...

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