noli illegitimi carborundum

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Pseudo-Latin.

This saying was popularized by US General "Vinegar Joe" Stillwell during World War II. He is reputed to have learned it from British army intelligence. In politics, the saying became motto for 1964 Republican nominee Senator Barry Goldwater, who hung a sign in his office. The word "carborundum" in particular was not of Latin origin. Carborundum is often represented as meaning grind, resulting in Don't let the bastards grind you down. The correct translation is noli nothis permittere te terere.

Phrase[edit]

noli illegitimi carborundum

  1. Don't let the bastards wear you down.

Alternative forms[edit]

  • illegitimis non carborundum
  • nil illegitimi carborundum
  • non illegitimi carborundum
  • nil carborundum illegitimi
and others

References[edit]