Fluctuat nec mergitur

Fluctuat nec mergitur
City of Paris coat of arms
Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

French Motto

Meaning broken but not beaten
Literally wave-tossed but not sunken
Register normal
Pronunciation [fluk twaht nehk mehr gee tur]
IPA   [flyk tɥat nɛk mɛʀ gi tyʀ]

Usage notes: The Latin phrase Fluctuat nec mergitur has been a motto of the city of Paris since at least 1580, and the official motto since 1853.* In French, it may be translated as Elle est agitée par les vagues / battue par les flots, mais ne sombre pas: Paris may be tossed by the waves, but she will never sink; she is indestructible.

Fluctuat nec mergitur feels particularly poignant after national tragedy. It’s used as a rallying cry for rebuilding and recovering and typically trends on Twitter.

 Related lessons

* Source: Les devises des villes de France, by Henri Tausin

Stay up to date with Lawless French!
Twitter Facebook Quora Instagram Pinterest YouTube RSS Newsletter

Any Questions?

 Get help on the forum.

More Lawless French

 Subscribe to my twice-weekly newsletter.

Support Lawless French

  This free website is created with love and a great deal of work.

If you love it, please consider making a one-time or monthly donation.

Your support is entirely optional but tremendously appreciated.