Tattoo Ideas With Latin Phrases


Latin may be an ancient language, but that has not stopped it from having an appeal that most other languages don’t have. Because Latin is not spoken by many people, it has a mysterious, unknown element that can bond a person with his ink. Several famous phrases, sayings and philosophies can be traced back to their Latin origins, and many celebrities have tattoos bearing Latin sentiments. Here are some ideas for Latin tattoos if you are planning to get your own.

Latin Phrases

  • Latin phrases are usually a few words long and relate to a specific topic--for example, family, law or friendship. Latin phrases can be general declarations or personally significant. Some famous Latin phrases include “Castigat Ridendo Mores” (One Corrects Custom by Laughing at Them), “Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam” (I Will Either Find a Way or Make One) and “Non Omnis Moriar” (Not All of Me Shall Die). See the References section for some useful links to more famous Latin phrases.

Latin Philosophies

  • Latin philosophies, unlike phrases, are usually more famous and widely known. Many were spoken by famous scholars or thought up by renowned thinkers. Quite possibly the most famous Latin philosophy is Descartes’ “Cogito Ergo Sum” (I Think Therefore I Am), lending itself to the existence of humanity and the questions of reality. Other famous Latin philosophies are “Errare Humanum Est” (Too Err Is Human), “Facta Non Verba” (Deeds, Not Words or Actions Speak Louder Than Words) and “Nosce Te Ipsum” (Know Thyself). See the References section for even more Latin philosophies.

Modern Latin Phrases

  • Even famous modern quotes and phrases have been translated into Latin. For example, Martin Luther King’s immortal line “I Have a Dream” has become “Habeo Somnium” in the Latin language. In a similar vein, the famous exclamation from "A Christmas Carol," “Bah! Humbug!” has become “Phy! Fabulae!” and “Beam Me Up, Scotty” is “Me Transmitte Sursum Caledoni.”

Translate Your Own Latin Tattoo

  • The Internet is a great place to translate any English phrase or saying into a language of your choice. Latin is no different. Web sites such as World Star Free Dictionaries Translators Encyclopedias and The Translation Guide can transform any English words or sentences into Latin. Using these Internet sites, you can convert any saying of your choice into a Latin-phrased tattoo. For example, if you want to find out what “God Is Love” would look like if it was your tattoo, type the words into the converter, and you will find out that your tattoo would read: “Deus Est Diligo.” See the Resources section for links to these conversion Web sites.

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