My heraldic motto is: ut vivas viglia. Does it literally translate from the Latin to English as, watch and you shall live? Help! Arnold is my last name if you need to research the Heraldic crest i saw this phrase on. I am trying to get a translation that is absolutely correct and I have no real language education other than Texas English.

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    Welcome to the site! Are you absolutely sure about the spelling of the third word? If you have a picture of the crest where you saw the motto, that'd be a great addition to the question.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Apr 16, 2022 at 10:16
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    ut vivas vigila! Thanks to all of you for the help! Jan 15, 2023 at 5:40

1 Answer 1


You have two letters transposed, which might be why it's been difficult to find. The phrase is actually ut vivas vigila.

The third word, vigila, is the imperative of the verb vigilare, which means "stay awake / keep watch / be vigilant." It is in fact the verb from which our "vigilant" is derived.

The first two words together form what's called a purpose clause, and the verb means "to live." So putting it all together you got:

Be vigilant so that you may live


In order to live, stay watchful.

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    Apparently inspired by Hor. Sat. II, 3, 152: Ut vivas igitur, vigila. Apr 16, 2022 at 21:34

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