Latin Quotes, Sayings, Tattoos, Phrases & Mottos

Most texts and materials on this site have to do with the Latin language, including its perception in popular culture: movies, tattoos, inscriptions, engravings, bits of ancient philosophy, online Latin resources and company names. There is also information about learning Latin and Greek: textbooks, dictionaries, DVDs and software that can be used in a homeschooling environment.


Without being known; in disguise; in an assumed character, or under an assumed title.

Here is an article about an Australian lady who is a "self-confessed word nerd, fluent in Latin, ancient Greek and Esperanto, and a scholar of linguistics and Shakespeare". She runs a company that helps people pick company and brand names. A worthy enterprise, to be sure. Heaven forbid someone decided to name their company using some word that would turn out to have a meaning very offensive to a native Esperanto speaker... ... 37,00.html

Naturally, one would expect to see her own company have a name that would exude creativity, precision and a strong image of a linguistic expertise. And the name of the company is... Ta-da: Incognito Sum:

"Ms Engeler-Newbury, director of Incognito Sum, believes people about to take the plunge into small business should take note.

"I tend to follow overly simplistic principles. One of the most important things is ease of use, being able to get your tongue around it. There is no point having something that is too hard to pronounce," she said.

"It is also about making it relevant and meaningful. If you are dealing with a sophisticated audience they would probably prefer a name (with) more sophisticated pronunciational spelling."

All right, I guess it's ok that not everybody will know how to pronounce "Incognito sum". But shouldn't the phrase at least becorrect in Latin? Why Ablative/Dative with "sum"? Someone who does not know Latin might think that "sum" is used here in a math sense (and pronounced accordingly). Someone who knows Latin, even on a very rudimentary level. would be surprised to see 'incognito', not 'incognitus'. In English, incognito is used adverbially, but this phrase is Latin (at least purportedly so). Besides, the 'incognito' used in modern languages properly comes from Italian. So, mixing Italian with Latin, are we? Besides, what does this mean, anyway? And why is this a good name for a company that creates names for other companies? Or for any company, for that matter?

It is possible that I just totally missed some very important point that justifies, nay, demands that this company be named precisely this way. But if something is not quite right on the surface who has any desire to dig any further? Isn't that also a self-evident rule of naming companies?

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