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15 Unusual College Mottos

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This graduation season, students will lovingly inspect their hard-earned diplomas and come across something they never gave much thought to before: their school motto. The standard school motto is a Latin platitude about truth, knowledge, honor, duty and stuff like that, but some mottos do things a little differently. Here are 15 college mottos that go beyond the ordinary.

1. SI QUAERIS PAENINSULAM AMOENAM CIRCUMSPICE

The motto of Lake Superior University is part of the seal of the state of Michigan: “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look around you.” With coasts on four of the five great lakes, peninsulas are indeed not hard to come by in Michigan.

2. OMNIA EXTARES

At The Evergreen State College, a liberal arts college founded in the swinging '60s in Washington state, the motto fits the laid-back attitude: Omnia Extares, “let it all hang out.”

3. VOX CLAMANTIS IN DESERTO

Dartmouth College goes with “the voice of one crying out in the wilderness” as its motto. The phrase was taken from the Bible, but it fit the college well when it started in 1769 in the rough wilds of New Hampshire.

4. IN MONTIBUS, EX MONTIBUS, PRO MONTIBUS

“In the mountains, of the mountains, for the mountains.” Lees-McRae College, in the heart of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, not only has great mountain views, it also has a focus on Appalachian culture and history.

5. 'EN CHA HUNÁ

Not many colleges have mottos in Dakelh, a native language of Canada, but the University of Northern British Columbia does. It translates as “respecting all forms of life.” According to the school website, it is a phrase that “would be used when reminding someone, critical of another, that that person was also a living being, with a voice and a viewpoint.”

6. HAZARD ZET FORWARD

There are also not many college mottos in a combination of Norman French and Old English. Hazard Zet Forward had been part of the Seton family crest for centuries before it came to Seton Hall. It means “hazard yet forward” or “despite the danger, keep going.”

7. IN PULVERE VINCES

Nova Scotia’s Acadia University tells us, “In dust, you win.” In other words, you gotta get a little dirty with hard work to succeed.

8. DIE LUFT DER FREIHEIT WEHT

“The wind of freedom blows” at Stanford University, but why does it do it in German? It’s a long story that starts when Leland Stanford was impressed by the phrase in a speech on a 16th century German humanist.

9. BE ASHAMED TO DIE UNTIL YOU HAVE WON SOME VICTORY FOR HUMANITY

It’s a bit long to fit on the seal of Antioch College, but this quote from Horace Mann is the school’s no-beating-around-the-bush motto. Better get to it kids.

10. NON INCAUTUS FUTURI

Washington and Lee takes a gentler approach with “not unmindful of the future.” As in, we like to study history and the classics and all that, but not to the point where we don’t think about the future too. We’re not not thinking about it.

11. NUMEN LUMEN

The motto of the University of Wisconsin, Madison is not that unusual in terms of sentiment. Many schools reference religious notions of divinity and light, as does Numen Lumen, translating as “God, our light” or “The divine within the universe, however manifested, is my light.” But no one beats this one for simplicity, meter, and rhyme.

12. FACIO LIBEROS EX LIBERIS LIBRIS LIBRAQUE

The motto of St. John’s College is longer and harder to say, but it’s a beautiful play on Latin roots for language lovers. It takes advantage of the similarity between the adjective liber (free), the noun liber (book), the noun liberi (children), and the noun libra (scale). It says "I make free adults out of children by means of books and a balance."

13. I WOULD FOUND AN INSTITUTION WHERE ANY PERSON CAN FIND INSTRUCTION IN ANY STUDY

Cornell University’s motto is also a mouthful, but it plainly sums up the intentions of founder Ezra Cornell.

14. PRODESSE QUAM CONSPICI

While some school mottos go to town crowing about excellence and greatness, the motto of Miami University of Ohio takes a modest approach. “Achieve without conspicuousness.” Y’know, just go along doing great things, no need to brag about it.

15. FORTITER, FELICITER, FIDELITER

Cheerfulness is not a typical feature of school mottos, but the University of Louisiana at Lafayette has it in the melodious alliteration of the Latin as well as the jaunty English translation: “Boldly, Happily, Faithfully."

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Animals
Sploot 101: 12 Animal Slang Words Every Pet Parent Should Know
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For centuries, dogs were dogs and cats were cats. They did things like bark and drink water and lay down—actions that pet parents didn’t need a translator to understand.

Then the internet arrived. Scroll through the countless Facebook groups and Twitter accounts dedicated to sharing cute animal pictures and you’ll quickly see that dogs don’t have snouts, they have snoots, and cats come in a colorful assortment of shapes and sizes ranging from smol to floof.

Pet meme language has been around long enough to start leaking into everyday conversation. If you're a pet owner (or lover) who doesn’t want to be out of the loop, here are the terms you need to know.

1. SPLOOT

You know your pet is fully relaxed when they’re doing a sploot. Like a split but for the whole body, a sploot occurs when a dog or cat stretches so their bellies are flat on the ground and their back legs are pointing behind them. The amusing pose may be a way for them to take advantage of the cool ground on a hot day, or just to feel a satisfying stretch in their hip flexors. Corgis are famous for the sploot, but any quadruped can do it if they’re flexible enough.

2. DERP

Person holding Marnie the dog.
Emma McIntyre, Getty Images for ASPCA

Unlike most items on this list, the word derp isn’t limited to cats and dogs. It can also be a stand-in for such expressions of stupidity as “duh” or “dur.” In recent years the term has become associated with clumsy, clueless, or silly-looking cats and dogs. A pet with a tongue perpetually hanging out of its mouth, like Marnie or Lil Bub, is textbook derpy.

3. BLEP

Cat laying on desk chair.
PoppetCloset, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If you’ve ever caught a cat or dog poking the tip of its tongue past its front teeth, you’ve seen a blep in action. Unlike a derpy tongue, a blep is subtle and often gone as quickly as it appears. Animal experts aren’t entirely sure why pets blep, but in cats it may have something to do with the Flehmen response, in which they use their tongues to “smell” the air.

4. MLEM

Mlems and bleps, though very closely related, aren’t exactly the same. While blep is a passive state of being, mlem is active. It’s what happens when a pet flicks its tongue in and out of its mouth, whether to slurp up water, taste food, or just lick the air in a derpy fashion. Dogs and cats do it, of course, but reptiles have also been known to mlem.

5. FLOOF

Very fluffy cat.
J. Sibiga Photography, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Some pets barely have any fur, and others have coats so voluminous that hair appears to make up most of their bodyweight. Dogs and cats in the latter group are known as floofs. Floofy animals will famously leave a wake of fur wherever they sit and can squeeze through tight spaces despite their enormous mass. Samoyeds, Pomeranians, and Persian cats are all prime examples of floofs.

6. BORK

Dog outside barking.
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According to some corners of the internet, dogs don’t bark, they bork. Listen carefully next time you’re around a vocal doggo and you won’t be able to unhear it.

7. DOGGO

Shiba inu smiling up at the camera.
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Speaking of doggos: This word isn’t hard to decode. Every dog—regardless of size, floofiness, or derpiness—can be a doggo. If you’re willing to get creative, the word can even be applied to non-dog animals like fennec foxes (special doggos) or seals (water doggos). The usage of doggo saw a spike in 2016 thanks to the internet and by the end of 2017 it was listed as one of Merriam-Webster’s “Words We’re Watching.”

8. SMOL

Tiny kitten in grass.
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Some pets are so adorably, unbearably tiny that using proper English to describe them just doesn’t cut it. Not every small pet is smol: To earn the label, a cat or dog (or kitten or puppy) must excel in both the tiny and cute departments. A pet that’s truly smol is likely to induce excited squees from everyone around it.

9. PUPPER

Hands holding a puppy.
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Like doggo, pupper is self-explanatory: It can be used in place of the word puppy, but if you want to use it to describe a fully-grown doggo who’s particularly smol and cute, you can probably get away with it.

10. BOOF

We’ve already established that doggos go bork, but that’s not the only sound they make. A low, deep bark—perhaps from a dog that can’t decide if it wants to expend its energy on a full bark—is best described as a boof. Consider a boof a warning bark before the real thing.

11. SNOOT

Dog noses poking out beneath blanket.
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Snoot was already a dictionary-official synonym for nose by the time dog meme culture took the internet by storm. But while snoot is rarely used to describe human faces today, it’s quickly becoming the preferred term for pet snouts. There’s even a wholesome viral challenge dedicated to dogs poking their snoots through their owners' hands.

12. BOOP

Have you ever seen a dog snoot so cute you just had to reach out and tap it? And when you did, was your action accompanied by an involuntary “boop” sound? This urge is so universal that boop is now its own verb. Humans aren’t the only ones who can boop: Search the word on YouTube and treat yourself to hours of dogs, cats, and other animals exchanging the love tap.

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News
From Camreigh to Kayzleigh: Parents Invented More Than 1000 New Baby Names Last Year
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Look out Mercedes, Bentley, and Royce—there's a new car-inspired name in town. The name Camreigh was recorded for the first time in the U.S. last year, according to Quartz’s take on data released by the U.S. Social Security Administration.

The name was given to 91 babies in 2017, making it the most popular of the 1100 brand-new names that cropped up last year. However, the Social Security Administration only listed names that had been given to at least five babies in 2017, so it's possible that some of the names had been invented before 2017.

An alternate spelling, Kamreigh, also appeared for the first time last year, as did Brexleigh, Kayzleigh, Addleigh, Iveigh, Lakeleigh, and Riverleigh. Swapping out “-y” and “-ey” for “-eigh” at the end of a name has been a growing trend in recent years, and in 20 years or so, the workforce will be filled with Ryleighs, Everleighs, and Charleighs—names that all appeared on a list of the 500 most popular names in 2017.

Following Camreigh, the second most popular new name, appearing 58 times, was Asahd. Meaning “lion” in Arabic, Asahd was popularized in 2016 when DJ Khaled gave his son the name. The American DJ is now attempting to trademark the moniker, which is an alternate spelling of Asad and Assad.

Other names that were introduced for the first time include Iretomiwa (of Nigerian origin) and Tewodros (Ethiopian). The name Arjunreddy (given 12 times) possibly stems from the 2017 release of the Indian, Telugu-language film Arjun Reddy, whose title character is a surgeon who spirals out of control when he turns to alcohol and drugs.

Perhaps an even bigger surprise is the fact that 11 babies were named Cersei in 2017, or, as Quartz puts it, "11 fresh-faced, sinless babies were named after the manipulative, power-hungry, incestuous, helicopter parent-y, backstabbing character from Game of Thrones."

Below are the top 20 most popular new names in 2017.

1. Camreigh
2. Asahd
3. Taishmara
4. Kashdon
5. Teylie
6. Kassian
7. Kior
8. Aaleiya
9. Kamreigh
10. Draxler
11. Ikeni
12. Noctis
13. Sayyora
14. Mohana
15. Dakston
16. Knoxlee
17. Amunra
18. Arjunreddy
19. Irtaza
20. Ledgen

[h/t Quartz]

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