40 suggestions for short tattoo sayings in Latin and Greek

Tattoo sayings short-wrist-everything-flows-life-death

No matter if Hebrew, Japanese or Sanskrit – old languages ​​and unknown characters always seem mysterious and give each tattoo a touch of mystique, charm and originality. So who is looking for a new one Idea for his next tattoo is, will find it here. We have put together some of the best Latin and Greek sayings. They are ideal as a short tattoo sayings, because they usually consist of 2, 3 and 4 words. Many of the quotes convey a message intended for eternity, and make one think.

Latin tattoo sayings

Tattoo sayings -latin-ancient greek meaning

“Carpe Diem” (“Aprovecha el día” in Spanish) translated means in English: “Enjoy the day”, or literally “pick the day”. This saying was used by the Roman poet Horace in one of his odes. It is strange how many different meanings have been attributed to him over the centuries. In the Middle Ages, for example, he stood for: “One should enjoy life, because death will come soon.” In the Renaissance, the quotation was more associated with the ideals of beauty and was to be understood as: “One should enjoy life while one still is young. “Today it can be interpreted quite differently and can also be combined well with” You only live once “. But few know that “Carpe diem” has a sequel in the original. The whole quote is: Carpe diem, velut unda fugit. (Use the day that runs like a wave.)

tattoo-claims-short-Latin-death-life-memento mori vivere

The expressions “Memento Vivere / Memento Mori” (“Acuérdate de vivir / de que vas a morir” in Spanish) originate from the medieval monk’s Latin and means “commemoration of life / remembrance of death”. It could also be translated as “Remember that you will die”. The quote is a symbol of earthly transience.

Tempus fugit (“El tiempo huye” in Spanish) stands for “Time flees / fades away” and refers to the irretrievably tearing time. The Latin phrase comes from the work of Georgica by the Roman poet Virgil. As a proverb, the term is also combined with the words “amor manet” (love remains).


“Hoc non pereo habebo, fortior me” (What does not kill me, makes me stronger). Of course you know the quote from Friedrich Nietzsche. In Latin, the sentence looks quite different as a tattoo.

“Dum spiro, spero” (As long as I breathe, I hope.) The quote comes from the Roman politician, writer and philosopher Marcus Cicero and proves itself today as a motto with many facets.

“Alis volat propriis” (She flies with her own wings). This Latin phrase is actually the motto of the US state of Oregon, which refers to the independence of the settlers in the region. That could be used well as a tattoo towards freedom / independence.


“Si vis amari, ama” (If you want to be loved, then love!) The quote comes from Seneca’s book “Letters to Lucilius” and refers to the argument that love and friendship want reciprocity.

“Omnia vincit amor” (Love defeats everything.) The complete quote is actually: “Omnia vincit amor, et nos cedamus amori!” Love conquers everything, let us also yield to love. But it is better for larger tattoos.

“Si vis pacem para bellum” (If you want peace, prepare for war.)


“Semper fidelis” (Always faithful / always loyal) is the motto of the Swiss Grenadiers, the English city of Exeter, the Ukrainian city of Lviv and a march of the United States Marine Corps.

“Per aspera ad astra” is a Latin phrase originating in Seneca. Literally translated, the phrase means “through the rough to the stars”.

“Ars longa, vita brevis” (The art is long, life is short.) Hippocrates


More tattoo sayings in Latin:

Amicitia vincit horas. (Friendship overcomes time.)
Caelum mea regula. (The sky is my measure.)
Cita mors ruit. (Quick hurries death.)
This is the docet. (Every day gives new lessons.)
Ex umbra in solem. (From the darkness to the light. / From the shade to the sun.)
Faber est suae quisque fortunae. (Everyone is his luck smith.)
Festina lente. (Haste makes waste.)
Fortes fortuna adiuvat. (Luck helps the brave.) Fortune favors the brave.
Nihil fit sine causa. (Everything happens for a reason.)

tattoo-saying-latin-Faber est-suae-quisque-fortunae

Hora fugit, facta manent. (The hour escapes, the deeds remain.)
Horas non numero nisi serenas. (I count only the merry hours.)
In sole solum solamen. (In the sun alone is comfort.)
Mors certa, sed hora incerta. (Death is certain, the hour uncertain.)
Omne principium grave. (Every beginning is difficult.)
Qui vivra, ver. (The future will show.)
Tempora mutantur. (Everything changes.)
Tota vita, this is unus est. (Life is like a day.)
Ubi amicitia ibi opes. (Where friendship is, wealth is.)
Vita somnium breve. (Life is a short dream.)

Greek tattoo sayings

tattoo-claims-Latin-Greek nosce-te-ipsum

Greek is the language of antiquity. The Latin alphabet has evolved from the Greek letters. In Greek, European literature, philosophy and science begins. Important works of world literature, the writings of philosophers like Plato and Aristotle and even the New Testament were first written in Greek. The Greek script exists since about 3400 years and exudes a mysterious charm.

The inscription γνῶθι σεαυτόν (Know yourself, know yourself) stood beside Μηδὲν ἄγαν (Nothing in excess) at a pillar of the Temple of Apollo in Delphi. Chilon is considered by Sparta, one of the “Seven Wise Men”, as its author. In ancient times, it was considered an invitation to human self-knowledge. The saying was taken in Latin as “Nosce te ipsum”.


πάντα ῥεῖ is pronounced Panta rhei and is due to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus. Very popular for a tattoo is also the whole sentence: πάντα ρεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει (Everything flows and nothing remains.)

Kállio argá pará poté (Better late than not / Better late than never) is also a cool idiom, which is also excellent as a life motto.

tattoo-claims-Greek love-couple

ἀγάπη Agape means “love” in the sense of perfect-divine love. The term is used in the New Testament and differs significantly in meaning from Eros, Stoika and Philia, the other Greek words for love. Agape is selflessly giving love and can also refer to the feelings of the parents for their children or the love of the spouses. Also very popular is the combination of the three words Faith, Love, Hope: “πίστις αγάπη ἐλπίς”.

tattoo-claims-Greek short-love-hope-friendly

Even a single word in Greek can be very delicate and decorative on the skin. But you can also incorporate several words that have a special meaning for you into the tattoo design.

ἐλεύθερία (Freedom), Οικογένεια (Family), φιλία (Friendship), φοινιξ (Phoenix), αδελφή (Sister), for example, are beautiful Greek words.

However, if you want to get a Greek tattoo but do not speak Greek, be sure not to rely on Google translators. It is best to ask someone for exact translation.

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