I'm looking for a modification of the famous slogan E pluribus unum which translates to Out of many, one and is the traditional motto of the United States. Instead I want to say Out of few, many. What would be the correct translation for that? How about

E paucis pluria


paucis -> from pucum,pauci -> ablative plural neuter -> few
pluria -> from plus, pluris -> accusative plural neuter -> many


1 Answer 1


Your suggested translation is good! The only correction is that I would change pluria to plura. (See this unanswered question for a brief discussion of the two.) I like your word choices paucus and plus, so I would go with e paucis plura.

The plural plures/plura is a good translation for "many". The singular plus is close to "much". The Latin and English words don't match exactly, but this rule of thumb should take you to the right direction.

It is worth noting that plura is neuter, meaning that the "many" are things. If you want to refer to many people insted, use plures. The ablative paucis looks the same in all genders. The words paucus and plus do not seem to refer to any specific nouns in this use, so the distinction is between things and people. The actual US motto has the neuter unum, so plura is the most analogous choice.

Another joke variant of the US motto was discussed in an earlier question.

  • 1
    I can't find plura in this declination table. What form should it be? accusative? Also I'm unsure if one needs singulum or plural. I would not even know how to translate the plural of many to English so it's hard to say what's needed...
    – mcExchange
    Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 14:21
  • 1
    @mcExchange When it comes to classical Latin, that table is unfortunately wrong. Corpus searches (see the linked question) show that pluria is only used when discussing the choice plura/pluria, but otherwise it's only plura. (There is also a possibility that this is an editorial choice, but my impression is that plura is by far more common.) These are two variants of the same form, neuter plural nominative/accusative/vocative. I would translate "many" as the plural plures/plura, whereas the singular plus is closer to "much".
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 14:27

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.