Family crest translation

Reply 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.
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Reply Sun 4 Nov, 2007 04:02 am
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.
Reply Thu 7 May, 2015 04:11 pm
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 ??!!
Reply Thu 24 Nov, 2016 12:14 pm
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
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Reply Tue 16 Apr, 2019 02:04 pm
This is a family crest for many families. I am a "Daniels" and this is our family motto as well. I was told the translation is : "I neither fear, nor despise", I have done extensive family history and our family is from Cheshire originating in Scotland with an interesting pedigree along the way.
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