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I am just curious what a phrase "e pluribus smart assimus" means.

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    I am curious: Where did you come across that phrase?
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Aug 19, 2018 at 8:36
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    @JoonasIlmavirta Twitch.tv chat :D, someone joked on this topic and everyone seemed like they know what it is all about. I didnt want to look stupid, so I asked here. Aug 20, 2018 at 9:59
  • Thanks! Can you edit your question to add that background in? No matter how unreliable, unscientific and unanything it is, the source of the phrase does make a question more interesting.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Aug 20, 2018 at 17:27

2 Answers 2

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This is dog Latin for "out of many come smartasses" (or "a smartass"). It's modelled off the phrase ē pluribus unum, "out of many [comes] one", which is printed on American currency, plus the fake Latin smart-assimus for "smartasses". The -us is typically a singular ending, but is also commonly used to create dog Latin in general.


As a side note, while "smart" of course isn't Latin, assimus is a real word: it's the first person plural present active subjunctive of adsum/assum, "to be present". So assimus means "let's go be there!" But that's certainly not what the author of this phrase intended.

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  • This is right; except why do you translate smart assimus as plural? If it's a noun, as it's intended to be, it looks more like a singular (2nd decl.).
    – LarsH
    Aug 19, 2018 at 9:49
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    @LarsH Mostly because the plural seems to make more sense in the context of the joke; I'm not sure the writer knew second-declension endings. (If they did, I wouldn't expect -imus as the ending at all.)
    – Draconis
    Aug 19, 2018 at 15:43
  • Maybe, but a lot of people who know practically no Latin know that -i is the plural of -us in Latin loan words. Also I don't see why the singular makes less sense in the context of this joke.
    – LarsH
    Aug 20, 2018 at 2:50
  • @LarsH Fair, added a note
    – Draconis
    Aug 20, 2018 at 2:56
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In the "National Sarcasm Society" plate, it's written: Like we need your support

below that, the complement:

E pluribus Smart Assimus

among so many smartasses.

See the plate at: https://www.amazon.com/National-Sarcasm-Society-Support-Poster/dp/B018F3Y3MY

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