Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Live Long and Prosper

Mark Liberman at Language Log traces the history of the Star Trek expression "Live long and prosper" back to an 1826 play by John Kerr entitled Rip van Winkle, or The Demons of the Catskill Mountains. When I tried to think of a Latin equivalent, "Ad multos annos" first came to mind. Henerik Kocher's indispensable dictionary of Latin proverbs doesn't reveal a source for the phrase, but he does give a variation that neatly and accurately renders "Live long and prosper," and that is "Ad multos et faustissimos annos," literally "To many and very prosperous years."

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