ProZ.com global directory of translation services
 The translation workplace
Ideas
KudoZ home » Latin to English » Education / Pedagogy

Illigitimus non carborundum

English translation: don't let the bastards grind you down

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
14:31 Apr 3, 2006
Latin to English translations [Non-PRO]
Education / Pedagogy
Latin term or phrase: Illigitimus non carborundum
phrase was recived in a message that began in English "Remember the life long lessons you've learned during your baseball years but most of all .... then the greek phrase
Paul Lambert
English translation:don't let the bastards grind you down
Explanation:
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

* Non illegitimis carborundum.
* Illegitimi nil carborundum.
* Nil bastardo illegitimi carborundum.
* Nil bastardo carborundum.
* Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.

None is correct Latin. Carborundum is not a Latin word but the brand name of a commercial abrasive originating in the 19th century (see silicon carbide article). The ending -undum suggests a Latin gerund form, but the word "carborundum" is a portmanteau of "carbon" (from Latin), and "corundum" (from Tamil kurundam).

Illegitimi suggests illegitimate to the English speaker, or bastardo likewise, but the Latin for bastard is actually nothus. The forms with nil may be formed partly on the pattern of the genuine Latin phrase Nil desperandum.

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.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 mins (2006-04-03 14:35:47 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

It is not Greek...
Selected response from:

Betty Revelioti
Greece
Local time: 08:25
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.



Summary of answers provided
4 +4don't let the bastards grind you down
Betty Revelioti


  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
Illigitimi non carborundum
don't let the bastards grind you down


Explanation:
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

* Non illegitimis carborundum.
* Illegitimi nil carborundum.
* Nil bastardo illegitimi carborundum.
* Nil bastardo carborundum.
* Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.

None is correct Latin. Carborundum is not a Latin word but the brand name of a commercial abrasive originating in the 19th century (see silicon carbide article). The ending -undum suggests a Latin gerund form, but the word "carborundum" is a portmanteau of "carbon" (from Latin), and "corundum" (from Tamil kurundam).

Illegitimi suggests illegitimate to the English speaker, or bastardo likewise, but the Latin for bastard is actually nothus. The forms with nil may be formed partly on the pattern of the genuine Latin phrase Nil desperandum.

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.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 mins (2006-04-03 14:35:47 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

It is not Greek...


    Reference: http://www.answers.com
Betty Revelioti
Greece
Local time: 08:25
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in GreekGreek
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
3 mins

agree  Nick Lingris: Ha ha! This is precious!
11 mins

agree  Can Altinbay: ...and quoted in The Handmaid's Tale.
37 mins

agree  Joseph J. Brazauskas
7 days
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


Changes made by editors
Apr 3, 2006 - Changes made by Daphne Theodoraki:
Language pairGreek to English » Latin to English


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also: