I came up with legio apsconditus defensorius patriae, but it doesn't really suit my need (and is not quite correct). For certain project of mine it has to be acronymable to "PLDN" (preferred) or "PALDN" or "PLADN". It doesn't have to be four- or five-word name - if I can torture it so that I get what I need anything goes.

EDIT: Should put the following in answer at the beginning: the name should convey the meaning similar to "Secret National Guard Regiment".

Explanation (sort of):

  • "Secret" like in "Black Ops Disavowed if exposed",
  • "National Guard" as in "unit tasked with protecting the country (understood as a legal entity, not linked to ethnicity whatsoever) and not deployable outside borders", hence "defense" part requirement,
  • "Regiment" as in the best traditions of British Army: independent, self-sufficient etc.

Weird, I know, but that what my project needs. And I do understand the problems of matching the letter of the translation with the spirit of the original, so I may settle for cooler name if more precise will happen to be a mouthful.

Generally, I'm trying to come up with a name for modern military unit of brigade size. I would prefer having "Legio" in name, as it is a military unit and has it's structure with rank and functions. Which I think I may use in my project - the structure I mean (decurion, centurion, tribune etc).

I did some research but seems that I sort of can't order the words so that I get the P letter in front. Or can I?

  • 2
    Actually, Patriæ Legio Defensoria Nova would work fine. It means "new defensive legion of the fatherland." It's not the most elegant Latin, perhaps, but it's grammatically correct and gives you what you need. Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 9:41
  • @JoelDerfner Sounds and looks nice except for the nova part. Would nostris from Joonas' answer fit instead? And please see Edited question - maybe there will be something better still? Thank you.
    – AcePL
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 13:56
  • 1
    Nostrae and nostra would both work (nostrae would give you "our fatherland's defensive legion"; nostra, "our defensive legion of the fatherland." The suggestions in Joonas's edited answer are also good. Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 15:37
  • One thing that should make your job easier is that word order is very free in Latin—not infinitely so, but if you need to put a word in a particular position, chances are good you'll be able to. Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 15:38
  • You can also insert an abscondita (not absconditus) into Joel's answer if you want an A and you want to say hidden away.
    – Figulus
    Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 20:56

1 Answer 1


How about praetorium laribus defendendis nostris, or "the body guard for defending our homes"? The word order in Latin is quite free, so the key problem is to find the words you want to use. It would be more natural to put nostris before defendendis, but the version I propose is not wrong.

Here are some words that can be used to compile such a name:

  • P: patria (fatherland), praetorium (body guard), praetorianus (member of body guard), pervigiliare (to stay awake or on guard through the night)
  • L: legio (legion), lar (household god, home)
  • D: defendere (to defend, with many derived words), dedicatus (dedicated (to indicate the purpose of the unit))
  • N: natio (nation), noster (our)
  • A: absconditus or abditus (hidden, secret), arcanus (secret, mysterious)

These give rise to many options, such as:

  • praetorium laribus dedicatum nostrum, "our body guard dedicated to homes (=homeland)"
  • praetorianorum legio (arcana) defensiva nationalis, "national (secret) defensive legion of body guards"

Does any of these sound good to you? Is there some word that you would like to see used but I didn't use?

Edit (in response to edits in the question): The praetorian guard also had some internal structure, but a legion has richer structure. For brigade size, legio sounds appropriate. The word praetorium, "praetorian guard", can be understood to mean "national defense guard". If we go with patria, the tone is a bit different. If initial letters are constrained to PLDNA, then the word "secret" only fits A.

With these constraints, I offer these options:

  • praetorianorum legio arcana defensoria nostra/nationalis, "our/national secret defensive praetorian legion"
  • patriae legio arcana defensoria nostrae, "our fatherland's secret defensive legion"
  • Thank you for really nice answer. It definitely gives me a lot of options and wiggle room. But if you see my edited question to try and narrow down or modify it to better fit into requirements? Thank you.
    – AcePL
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 13:59
  • @AcePL, I edited the answer.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 15:00
  • 2
    I'm going with slightly modified version of your answer (patriae legio defensoria nostrae), so this will be the one marked as accepted. Point of order though: @JoelDerfner was closer to my choice the first time he answered in comment (but not quite what I wanted yet) and him being slower than you whopping 40 seconds you get ticked. ;)
    – AcePL
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 22:20
  • It's okay, @JoonasIlmavirta's Latin is better than mine anyway (AND I left my response as a comment, not an answer), so he deserves it more than me. Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 23:46

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