A few pithy words painted on a flowing scroll beneath a brightly colored shield express ideals and ambitions: the motto is a familiar part of a heraldic achievement. Yet, despite its popularity, the origin and status of the heraldic motto remains obscure. Today, different Colleges of Arms treat mottoes with wildly different degrees of formality: in Scotland , a motto can be registered at the same time as a coat of arms, while in England mottoes are not protected. Neubecker, p. Though mottoes are often adopted informally, once adopted, they can be passed down through a family along with a coat of arms. Since mottoes are not consistently recorded, and even antique families may use more recent mottoes, it can be difficult to distinguish medieval and Renaissance mottoes from later innovations.
Learn the Latin to English translation of all of the famous Latin Mottos used in family crests and also by the military, colleges, schools and the state. Mottos are also often used by sporting associations such as football clubs. Click a link on the menu bar for articles providing the English-Latin translations of famous Latin mottos, such as 'E pluribus unum', 'Carpe diem' and 'Semper Fidelis' together with their translation, definition and meanings. Mottos are short phrases or sayings that summarize the values or ideals of groups of people. Mottos, generally in Latin, are adopted by kings, the nobility, countries and states and express words that convey an intention of a group or their prime motivational force. Mottos are also adopted by families, businesses, companies, colleges and schools.
Armorial Gold's Family Mottoes. This is a Free Motto resource center containing approx. This Family Mottoes database may not be reproduced in any way without the expressed written permission of Armorial Gold Heraldry Services. A Link to the Armorial Gold home page is required. Members have access to search the full database.
Family crests and coats of arms are powerful family symbols passed down through generations. They were commonly used throughout the 11—17th centuries, and they can still be meaningful reminders for families past, present, and future. Heraldry is a system used to design, display, and record coats of arms and family crests. These symbols were often used to differentiate knights in tournaments—picture the brightly emblazoned shields carried by medieval knights in shining armor.