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Semper Fidelis

English translation: "Always faithful" / "To hell with you (it)!"

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06:28 Dec 1, 2001
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: Semper Fidelis
Someone told me Semper Fidelis, and I have no idea what it means or really even what language it is.
Amber
English translation:"Always faithful" / "To hell with you (it)!"
Explanation:
As has been noted by others, "semper fidelis" is Latin for "always faithful," and it is the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps.

As the motto of the USMC, "semper fidelis" (and more often, the shorter form "semper fi") is frequently used in a pejorative sense when employed in casual speech, especially among Marines (but not exclusively). Since nobody in their right mind usually goes around uttering short, pithy Latin mottoes to bystanders, it may well be that the person who said this to you meant it in this pejorative sense.

Examples:

"Private, I've just volunteered you for the dirtiest detail in the world."
"Semper fi, Sarge."

"I hear we're not getting resupplied until after the Army gets theirs."
"Yeah, well... semper fi."

Other, more scatological formulations for "semper fi" are possible, too.
Selected response from:

Alex Lane
Local time: 12:26
Grading comment
Thank you for your detail. I found it to mean "always faithful" but didn't know that it also meant "to hell with you (it)" either way it was meant, both make sense to me in the context it was used in. Thanks again, Amber
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +5always faithfulFuad Yahya
5 +2"Always faithful" / "To hell with you (it)!"
Alex Lane
5 +2Always Faithful
Marija Stojanovich
5 +1always faithfulDan McCrosky
5Always faithfulyolanda Speece
5loyalxxxp.verboom


  

Answers


7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
always faithful


Explanation:
It is a Latin phrase. Take a look at this page:


    Reference: http://www.consultsos.com/pandora/fidelity.htm
Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 893

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  John Guchemand: Simple. Straightforward; I like.
32 mins

agree  Tania Marques-Cardoso: That's it.
33 mins

agree  Kateabc
35 mins

agree  Greta Holmer: that's it - there is a little book by Robin Langley Sommer called Nota Bene with a lot of well-known Latin phrases and quotations.
1 hr

agree  athena22
1 hr
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8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
loyal


Explanation:
Semper fidelis is Latin and literaly means always loyal (faithful).

xxxp.verboom
Local time: 20:26
Native speaker of: Native in DutchDutch
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9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
always faithful


Explanation:
"semper fidelis" is Latin and means "always faithful", which could apply to almost any relationship between persons or animals but it is most well known as the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps. This is confirmed by NODE – The New Oxford Dictionary of English.

HTH

Dan


Dan McCrosky
Local time: 20:26
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 18

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ulrike Lieder: semper fi!
2 hrs
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22 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Always Faithful


Explanation:
It's Latin, meaning "always faithful"
It is also the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps

Marija Stojanovich
Serbia
Local time: 20:26
Native speaker of: Native in SerbianSerbian

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Yuri Geifman: an important point that everybody else missed or neglected to mention... I believe this motto has been used in the past (some Christian knight during the Crusades... remember Dumas' Fidelis et Fortis?)
1 hr

agree  Milana_R: In 1880 - The United States Marine Corps Band named a new director, John Philip Sousa. He composed the Marine Corps hymn, "Semper Fidelis".
7 hrs
  -> Thanks :)
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
"Always faithful" / "To hell with you (it)!"


Explanation:
As has been noted by others, "semper fidelis" is Latin for "always faithful," and it is the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps.

As the motto of the USMC, "semper fidelis" (and more often, the shorter form "semper fi") is frequently used in a pejorative sense when employed in casual speech, especially among Marines (but not exclusively). Since nobody in their right mind usually goes around uttering short, pithy Latin mottoes to bystanders, it may well be that the person who said this to you meant it in this pejorative sense.

Examples:

"Private, I've just volunteered you for the dirtiest detail in the world."
"Semper fi, Sarge."

"I hear we're not getting resupplied until after the Army gets theirs."
"Yeah, well... semper fi."

Other, more scatological formulations for "semper fi" are possible, too.



    Ex-jarhead
Alex Lane
Local time: 12:26
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 8
Grading comment
Thank you for your detail. I found it to mean "always faithful" but didn't know that it also meant "to hell with you (it)" either way it was meant, both make sense to me in the context it was used in. Thanks again, Amber

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Milana_R: what a great catch, you are absolutely right
2 hrs
  -> Thanks.

agree  Liv Bliss: And who would dare contradict a reference like that?
22 hrs
  -> I don't know...maybe the Commandant? :^)
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2 days 1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Always faithful


Explanation:
I may not be a former jarhead but I was in ROTC in High school and I never heard the end of that phrase

yolanda Speece
Local time: 13:26
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 31
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