Could people suggest a good Latin translation for the school motto "Growing Stronger" Our school name and logo etc are all related to oak trees. Any suggestions would be great, so we can put them to the students to decide. Thank you

2 Answers 2


New Suggestion

Edit: I have a better idea. (And now, Sebastian has beat me to the punch.)

I would actually recommend using robur as your root, which means "hard wood", including that of an oak. The natural verb, roboro, is chiefly transitive, and there's no medio-passive infinitive in Latin, so roborans means "making strong" rather than "growing strong." There is the verb roborascens "growing strong", but it's very rare (listed only once in a late Latin source), so it's not a good candidate.

What you could do instead is play a little loose with the verbal aspect, and only have robustior (which is well attested, too), which could mean either "stronger" or, if you take it too literally, "more oaken."

The bonus for robustior is that it looks similar to other mottoes, like New York's Excelsior, which they loosely translate as "ever higher."

Edit 2: Sebastian's ideas are also good, but despite his answer, I wanted to highlight robustior, giving your school yet another good answer to choose.


You could go with a participle from valescere, which means "to grow strong."

For singular, e.g. if "the school" were the subject, you would just use valescens.

For plural, e.g. if "we" or all the students individually were meant instead, then you would use instead valescentes.

I think the singular is more typical of mottoes, so I would go with the former.


If your school is all oak-themed, it seems apt to find a translation based on the adjective robustus, which means “firm, strong, robust” etc., but in the most literal sense, “made of oak, oaken.”

So if we want to take cmw's advice and use an inchoative verb, why not irroborascere (also spelled inroborascere). So you could say: irroborascen(te)s. Even Latin-minded visitors of your institution will probably do a double-take: the verb shows up only two times in all of classical literature – once in Varro, once in Gellius – so it's pretty rare, but the meaning is not difficult to guess, and the connection to the oak-theme is also pretty clear.

In my opinion, a lone present participle usually does not make a good Latin motto. I would prefer a personal form like Inroborascimus (we are growing stronger); you could also throw in a semper (always), or use the adjective robustus more directly by saying (Semper) robustiores fimus. Alternatively, how about something like: In dies robustior (stronger day by day).

By the way, the motto of the Bismarck family (whose arms show a trefoil with additional oak leaves) was In trinitate robur. You might be able to adapt this for your purposes; e.g. if you want to say “Strength in wisdom,” you could say In sapientia robur.

  • I was typing up my edit on my way home when you beat me to it! I didn't even think about looking at inrobor-.
    – cmw
    Oct 31, 2023 at 0:30
  • @cmw To be honest, I can't say I was familiar with this word before either ;-) Nov 2, 2023 at 4:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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