definition of Wikipedia
Illegitimi non carborundum is a mock-Latin aphorism meaning "Don't let the bastards grind you down". Carborundum, also known as silicon carbide, is an industrial abrasive material, but its name resembles a Latin gerundive.
The phrase originated during World War II and is attributed to British army intelligence. It was a motto of US Army general "Vinegar" Joe Stillwell and was further popularized in the US by 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. It is also the first line of the Harvard fight song Ten Thousand Men of Harvard.
There are number of versions for the phrase referenced in popular culture.
The phrase originated during World War II. Lexicographer Eric Partridge attributes it to British army intelligence very early in the war (using the plural dative/ablative illegitimis). The phrase was adopted by US Army general "Vinegar" Joe Stillwell as his motto during the war. It was later further popularized in the US by 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater.
Generations of Harvard students have taken the phrase into the world, as it is the first line of an unofficial school song Ten Thousand Men of Harvard, the most frequently played Fight song of the Harvard Marching Band. This is, to some extent, a parody of more solemn school songs like "Fair Harvard thy sons to your Jubilee throng" etc. The first verse goes:
There are many variants of the phrase, such as
Only two of these are possible Latin phrases, Illegitimis non carborundum [est] and Nil carborundum ab illegitimati. However these are possible only under certain assumptions, such as that the verb carborundum is a Latin gerundive within a passive periphrastic construction, carrying the connotation "should" or "ought".
"Bastards" is often used in English as a generic derogatory term, not necessarily relating to the marital status of one's parents.
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Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Each square carries a letter. To make squares disappear and save space for other squares you have to assemble English words (left, right, up, down) from the falling squares.
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