Illegitimi non carborundum

I’ve been gradually working my way through all of the Heinlein corpus, and a year or so back I ran across his list of “things every adult should know” and one that I wasn’t close on was a foreign language. I’m confident that my two years of High School Spanish wouldn’t cut the mustard. So, I chose Latin.

It’s been slow slogging, mainly due to distractions and inertia, but I’m making a little progress, so I thought that I should have been able to make more sense of “illegitimi non carborundum” than I did. “Illegitimi” and “non” were easy, but “carborundum” while familiar as a brand name didn’t appear in any form in any of the Latin dictionaries or word lists that I could find.

Google saved the day – it’s a joke, and one apropos today for any of us old-fashioned folk.

“Don’t let the bastards grind you down.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *