I am contemplating a run of tee shirts for the Bicycling SE site. One of the phrases for confident cycling is to know when to "take the lane" which means that sometimes you have to ride in such a way that a 4 wheeled vehicle cannot pass in that lane.

I'm looking for a phrase that visually appears like "Carpe Diem" and the various copycat phrases like "Carpe Omnia", "Carpe Noctem", or the various silly ones.

Does "Carpe Via" make sense as a translation of "take the lane" ?

There doesn't appear to be a literal translation for the word "lane" either.

Google translate suggests "accipere strada " which looks more like "accept" as in "to be given the lane" and doesn't have the same immediate recognition.

Or would it be acceptable to use a more modern word like "Carpe Strada" meaning "seize the street"? This seems a bit much - only want to sieze a lane and not the entire roadway.

  • Another point for "strada" is that its very close visually to the word "strava" which is a ride/cycle tracking and comparison website.
    – Criggie
    Feb 5 '20 at 5:17

Close! You'll want Carpe Viam, with an M at the end.

Via isn't a perfect translation of "lane", and carpe doesn't actually mean "seize" (it's closer to "harvest"), but the saying is well-enough-known in English and the meanings close enough that it'll be easily understandable, and the pun works better with viam than with any more-precise word.

  • Perfect thank you - Now I search with that phrase, a lot of hits match my intention.
    – Criggie
    Feb 5 '20 at 3:04
  • @Criggie Please remember to accept an answer. You can of course wait in case something else appears, but I doubt there's much more to say about this specific question. And welcome to the site!
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Feb 6 '20 at 12:31

There is, also "carpe iter" = "take one's (your) way" (Pock. Ox. Lat. Dict.). This "iter" is a neuter noun, therefore, the accusative is the same as the nominative. Definitions include: journey; march; route; road; foot-way.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.