Posts Tagged ‘Illegitimi nil carborundum’

Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down

January 7, 2010

I always liked the faux latin translation of illegitimi non carborundum.

I seem to recollect that the first time I saw the phrase was in an article I read about Soapy Smith,. Smith was a con-man, and crook who began his criminal career in Texas and eventually worked his way up to the goldfields in Skagway, Alaska where his luck eventually ran out. As I recall, the article said that Smith used the term during his time in Alaska. That was a disgustingly long time ago (when I read the article) and my memory may be shaky on that, but the fact that the Whitehorse Daily Star and The Nome Nugget use the phrase on their masthead makes me think there may be some historical basis there.

All of which is totally irrelevant to anything.

Wikepedia notes that in real latin the phrase would read as “operor retineo non forensis liberi attero vos” which would literally translate as “do not let the not legal children erode you.”

It doesn’t have quite the same ring.