Please help us translate our family motto. Having Fun, Spreading Joy. Thank you for your help!

1 Answer 1


I would suggest lūsitāns / laetificāns, with two (active singular) present participles.

The first is from the admittedly non-Classical lūsitō 'to play habitually', which is relatively transparent as a frequentative form of lūdō. 'Having fun' is a slightly tricky concept to translate and I'm not immediately aware of any Latin idioms that are an exact match for it; my choice here is motivated as much by the resemblance to the second participle and the pleasing syllable count as it is by the semantics.

The second is from laetificō 'to cheer, make happy'. Post-Classically the present participle used as an adjective can also just mean 'joyous', but the construction is transparent and will be readily understood, I feel, especially with the other participle there.

Translated back very literally this means "habitually playing / making happy". The macra (the lines over the vowels) indicate long vowels but are usually omitted. For pronunciation, the accents are on the lu and the ti.

  • Are present participles able to stand alone; don't they describe what the nouns, they agree with, are doing?
    – tony
    Commented Dec 22, 2022 at 12:46
  • @tony If it makes you feel better you can imagine these participles as part of a construction like "ego sum lusitans" (i.e. agreeing with "ego") expressed elliptically, but there is absolutely nothing remarkable about using participles non-adjectivally.
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented Dec 22, 2022 at 15:30

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