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definition - illegitimi non carborundum

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Illegitimi non carborundum

                   

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.

Contents

  History

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.[1] It was later further popularized in the US by 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater.[2]

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:

Illegitimum non carborundum;
Domine salvum fac.
Illegitimum non carborundum;
Domine salvum fac.
Gaudeamus igitur!
Veritas non sequitur?
Illegitimum non carborundum—ipso facto!

  Variants

There are many variants of the phrase, such as

  • Nil illegitimi carborundum
  • Non illegitimis carborundum
  • Illegitimi nil carborundum
  • Nil bastardo carborundum
  • Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
  • Nil carborundum ab illegitimati
  • Illegitimis non carborundum
  • Nil illegitimo in desperandum carborundum
  • Nil carborundum illegitamae
  • Nolite Illegitimos Conterere Vos
  • Non carborundum bastardum

Only two of these are possible Latin phrases,[citation needed] 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.[3]

  Use as a motto

  In popular culture

  See also

  References

  1. ^ Why Do We Say ...?, Nigel Rees, 1987, ISBN 0-7137-1944-3
  2. ^ Illegitimi Non Carborundum page[dead link], at Santa Cruz Public Libraries ready reference, quoting William Safire, Safire's New Political Dictionary
  3. ^ See the discussion in Hugh Rawson, Wicked Words (New York: Crown, 1989), pp. 36f
  4. ^ Nil Carborundum (TV 1962) - IMDb
  5. ^ Cory Doctorow. "Makers". Tor Books. http://www.tor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=blog&id=49181. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  6. ^ Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster. "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 7 Jun 1993". Publications.parliament.uk. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199293/cmhansrd/1993-06-07/Debate-1.html. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  7. ^ Terry Roberts (20th February 2009). "Williams hopes Harper takes a few tips from Obama". TheWesternStar.com. http://www.thewesternstar.com/index.cfm?sid=224324&sc=506. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 

  External links

   
               

 

All translations of illegitimi non carborundum


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