Sat 3 Nov, 2007 07:53 pm
I would like to translate the following: Nec timeo, nec sperno.
It is part of an Irish family crest, but I'm pretty sure it's in Latin. What I could find online doesn't seem to translate directly, so I was hoping someone could help fill in the blanks.
The "nec [...] nec" construction in Latin is equivalent to the English "neither [...] nor".
Timeo is the first person singular of the Latin verb timere which means "to fear", that is, it refers to "I", the speaker, so it means "I fear".
Similarly, "sperno" is the 1st person singular of the verb spernere, - "I despise" or "I spurn". In the context we are discussing here, namely mottos, "despise" is the translation commonly given.
Putting it all together, we get "I neither fear nor despise".
This well known motto is the family motto of (among others) the O'Connors, and, rearranged, "Nec sperno nec timeo", it is the motto of the Cogswell family, and, I daresay, plenty of others.
I looked up the same motto as another family member said "I neither fear nor spurn " but my Grandfather told me "I neither fear nor despise". It is on our family coat of arms and some of our ancestors came from county Wexford. We are probably kin from way back ??!!
Hello my great grandmothers maiden name was Hawkins. I just received my coat of arms flag.if possible I'd like to keep in contact