Latin Phrase: When all else fails

by Mansoor
(Mississauga, Ontario Canada)

Dear Latin Teacher,

Does the phrase "Quando omni flunkus, moritati" in fact mean "when all else fails, play dead"?

Thank you, Mansoor

Dear Mansoor,

The short answer is no, it does not.

In fact, this phrase appears to be part a Canadian sketch comedy show called The Red Green Show. It might be funny, but it is definitely fake Latin.

First, the Latin word quando is always in a question. It is never used in a circumstantial clause.

Second, Latin has no letter K, except in the word Kalendae, meaning the first of the month - and possibly in words borrowed from Greek. So flunkus is simply not a Latin word.

Omni means "all", but it is singular dative or ablative.

Moritati makes no sense to me at all.

To really say in Latin, "When all else fails, play dead", try the following.

Cum omnibus cecidisti, concidisse simula.

Which translates back to English as "Whenever you have failed/lost in all efforts, pretend to have fallen/died."

Hope this helps, and thanks for asking a Latin teacher.

Sincerely,

John

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Thanks
by: Anonymous

I had the same question. Now I know my T-shirt
makes no sense. Darn.

Difference
by: Anonymous

What's the difference between palydea abd fabulosus?

I want to get the phrase "dreamer and romantic" translated to Latin.

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