In the TV series Fallet, some of the upper class of the fictional town of Norbacka use the phrase

supra se servitium

as a sort of salutation. Its meaning is never elaborated upon.

My attempt

I tried and failed to understand this phrase with my rusty Latin:

  • supra means over, before, or similar and takes the accusative.
  • se is the reflexive pronoun in the accusative or ablative, i.e., roughly himself, herself, etc.
  • servitium means servitude or servantry and is in the nominative or accusative case.

My ideas so far are:

  • The object of supra is se. This would yield a meaning like

    servitude over oneself

    which I fail to make sense of in this context (or any other).

  • The object of supra is servitium. This would yield something like

    over the servitude/servantry

    which makes more sense, but leaves the se dangling.

  • It is false Latin whose intended meaning may be appreciated with some knowledge of Swedish. This would be consistent insofar as the entire town of Norbacka is oozing with incompetence.


What’s the meaning or intended meaning of this phrase?


3 Answers 3


I suspect it means

[Put] service above [attending to] oneself.

[I posted this as a comment, because it was just a guess, but two people have asked me to post it as an answer].


There was a reference to Rotary in one of the early episodes. Rotary International’s motto is “Service Above Self.” Possible connection?


It's a fake military motto, probably from their time in service (lumpen). It would mean something similar to "The service (of others) before oneself" or "Put service above yourself".

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.