why do we use the french language in our mottos?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by jason_2000x, Jan 27, 2007.

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  1. after posting that, it got me thinking... all british motto's military and overseas territories are french... most of these being put in place in the 1600's - 1800's when france was out greatest enemy...
     
  2. Because we beat them quite a bit and used their puffy language. The height of taunting the cheese eating surrender monkeys I suppose. Plus it sounds more 'exotic' than if it was in English. After all, what would your average RLC officer have to use to try and sound superior to his chav men?
     
  3. It's actually based on medieval French, not modern, and therefore the true translation is "God and my Duty", not "God and my Right" It's all about service.

    But fair comment on the language, no idea why it would be in French, except so they could read it on the colours as they marched towards them? ?
     
  4. It's actually based on medieval French, not modern, and therefore the true translation is "God and my Duty", not "God and my Right" It's all about service.

    But fair comment on the language, no idea why it would be in French, except so they could read it on the colours as they marched towards them? ?
     
  5. I always thought it had something to do with that small outing in 1066 when someone said "Let's have a beach party with that chick with big bristols!" and Willie misheard it and crossed the channel. I could be mistaken about that though. A bit.
     
  6. Most of the translations in our motto's are Latin.
     
  7. Because it confuses the Americans.
     
  8. I am confused, all of those soldiers dead fighting frogs... and our motto is in frog-lingo.

    Mabey a few years down the line TCB will change the motto to Arabic or Persian?
     
  9. Tadaaa! My point proved.
     
  10. Its quite simple, french was THE global language of culture, refinement and most importantly military science from the 1600's to about 1815, all European high society spoke it usually in preference to their native language - as an example many of the Russian Nobility mostly could only speak french, they could order their coach man about in pidgin Russian but that would be about it. If you couldn't speak french in Europe your career was not going anywhere.

    As most Regiments were either raised by Royalty or aspirant gentry froggish mottos were used.

    The fact that we eventually crushed them on the Global battlefields and the World became ours does not mean that we cannot be generous and keep the french mottos, especially as their language is fast losing its prestige and is being relegated into the realms of dead languages like latin.
     
  11. Most of our mottoes are (and were) in Latin, eg, Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt; Spectemur (or Spectamur) Agendo; Nec Aspera Terrent; Veteri Frondescit Honore; Quis Separabit. A number of regiments (most of the cavalry it seems) used the royal cypher which includes the medieval French referred to our the Garter cypher which includes Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense. However, some, such as the 29th Foot, used the Garter Star with the Honi Soit ... and a regimental motto, Firm in this case. German could also be found - Ich Dien - and Gaelic - Faugh A Ballagh!; Guidich'n Righ; Caber Fiedh; Tulloch Ard; Erin Go Bragh. More recently the RAF has made great use of Latin mottoes for its squadrons and, of course, the service motto is Per Ardua Ad Astra which means struggling to get to the cinema (or so I'm told by a light-blue friend who claims to speak fluent Latin; but he also claims to speak Klingon!).
     
  12. Most of our mottoes are (and were) in Latin, eg, Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt; Spectemur (or Spectamur) Agendo; Nec Aspera Terrent; Veteri Frondescit Honore; Quis Separabit. A number of regiments (most of the cavalry it seems) used the royal cypher which includes the medieval French referred to our the Garter cypher which includes Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense. However, some, such as the 29th Foot, used the Garter Star with the Honi Soit ... and a regimental motto, Firm in this case. German could also be found - Ich Dien - and Gaelic - Faugh A Ballagh!; Guidich'n Righ; Caber Fiedh; Tulloch Ard; Erin Go Bragh. More recently the RAF has made great use of Latin mottoes for its squadrons and, of course, the service motto is Per Ardua Ad Astra which means struggling to get to the cinema (or so I'm told by a light-blue friend who claims to speak fluent Latin; but he also claims to speak Klingon!).
     
  13. Some squadrons who operated in the Middle East have arabic mottos, 14 Sqn for example has the arabic inscription 'I spread my wings and keep my promise' a direct quote from the Koran suggested by the Emir of Transjordan after the Sqn's Palestinian service in WW1:

    [​IMG]

    100 Sqn has the motto in Malay Sarang tebuan jangan dijolok - 'Never stir up a hornet's nest', taken from the Sqn's service in Malaya:

    [​IMG]


    Famously 617 Sqn's motto is Apres mois le deluge - 'After me, the flood', adopted after Operation CHASTISE. The phrase itself is first attributed to Louis XV and is supposed to allude to the social unrest toward the end of his reign which led to the French revolution:

    [​IMG]

    It is important to have mottos in a number of languages, a formation with a distinctive motto stands out and foreign language mottos give an immediate indication of the unit's history. As for the RAF's motto I always thought it was something about trying to get to Starbucks.
     
  14. Sua Tela Tonanti - to the warrior his arms, Latin and the motto of the RAOC.

    A fine motto and will never be surpassed by we sustain.
     
  15. The army still uses alot of French-isms.

    For example, "biscuits brown" and "biscuits fruit" are direct translations of how the French would describe the above objects.
    You wouldn't walk into a British shop and ask for a packet of biscuits digestive.

    Theres plenty more phrases used in the army where the adjective comes second.