State Motto Activity

Latin Sayings and Snippets From States!

Try your best to translate the following state mottoes, all of which are written in Latin.  For words that you don’t know, I provide the vocabulary.  Other words we have had before and you can look up in Ecce if you don’t remember.


Arkansas:  regnat populus –  _____________________


regnare – to rule (reign, regent, regal, etc)

what is the subject?


Virginia:  sic semper tyrannis – _______________________


sic – thus

tyrannus, tyranni – tyrant

HINT: Tyrannis is dative plural. How is the dative case translated? Look in the Ecce glossary if you cannot remember!


South Carolina:  Dum spiro spero –  _________________


dum – while

spirare – to breath (perspiration, inspire, spirit)

sperare – to hope (does anyone know the spanish word for hope?)  🙂


Alabama:  audemus iura nostra defendere – __________________________


audere – to dare (the english adjective audacious means daring)

iura, iurorum – neuter, only in the plural, “rights”

nostrus, a, um: our  (compare spanish nosotros and italian nostro, nostra)

defendere – what do you think?  to defend!

(note, iura is neuter plural ACCUSATIVE!)


Arizona:  Ditat Deus – ____________________


deus, dei – god

ditare – to nourish

what is the subject?


Oklahoma:  Labor omnia vincit – ____________________


omnia – all things  (neuter)

vincere– to conquer

Adjectives are often used as Nouns (substantively), the masculine usually to denote men or people in general of that kind, the feminine women, and the neuter things

Thus, boni sunt rari = good men are rare.  (notice – we don’t need the word for men!)  Or:  Bonae sunt rarae = good women are rare.       SO: if you see an adjective and you don’t see a noun that it modifies….it’s probably substantive.

The state that holds a special place in my heart…


Maine:  Dirigo – ____________________


dirigere– to direct

Credit to Gabe, because I basically just took his activity and made it look pretty, with a few additions like my favorite state of Maine.   🙂