I am nearly certain that this is off-topic for being too specific, but I have no idea where else on the wide internet to even go.


Affectionately written on a piece of jewelry, given to a graduating student by a parent. Supposedly it means something like "My beautiful mind", with 'my' in this case referring to the parent.

As a side note, would the construction be any different had this been given by one of the student's teachers?

1 Answer 1


Your question appears to me to be entirely appropriate for this site. Mottos and dedications (and tattoos) are regularly featured here.

That said, your phrase is not correct, as the adjective you're looking for is splendidus, -a, -um and not splendidis. It should therefore be:

Splendida mens mea

(You asked if your proposal was “a proper construction.” Well, technically it is. It is a bit of a habit of Latin fans to figure out theoretically feasible meanings for everything, and you could read splendidis mens mea as “my mind for brilliant people” or something like that. It is much more plausible that someone thought the adjective was splendidis, -e.)

It does then mean what you suppose it means, although I find it puzzling why someone would put that on a graduation gift. I do not immediately see any reason why the construction would be different for a teacher. (Mea does not depend on the gender of the speaker, in case you are suspecting something like that – that can happen in Latin, but not here. It does depend on the number, if referring to several people you would write nostra instead. You could also write nostra in case of a single person, but that's another story.)

  • 1
    Thank you very much. That was a far more welcoming and detailed answer than I could have hoped for. I think the sentiment is meant to reflect back upon the person who nurtured the mind, and I agree it comes off as a bit self-congratulatory.
    – Weckar E.
    Feb 3, 2021 at 2:16
  • My knowledge of Latin is near to zero, and I imagined there might be referential honorifics for teachers and mentors in a way similar to Japanese.
    – Weckar E.
    Feb 3, 2021 at 2:19

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