I would like help modifying the famous phrase nil satis nisi optimum to lower expectations somewhat to "nothing but seventh place is good enough". Google Translate creates a suspicious range of different suggestions, so I thought I'd ask the experts.

1 Answer 1


To parallel optimum ("best", singular neuter nominative), I would go with septimum ("seventh", same form). Therefore I suggest nil satis nisi septimum. Funnily enough, it sounds very similar to the original, which is always a good bonus for an analogy.

As brianpck comments below, optimum means "the best [thing]". Similarly, my septimum means "the seventh [thing]", not so much "the seventh place". But I think the message is clear enough in this form, and the word play would be diluted by additional words.

  • Hmm...my reservation is that optimum means "the best [thing]" whereas septimum doesn't lend itself to that kind of abstraction. Do you know of any examples where ordinal numbers stand for "X place"?
    – brianpck
    Aug 7, 2017 at 19:24

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