|City of Paris coat of arms|
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|Meaning||broken but not beaten|
|Literally||wave-tossed but not sunken|
|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.
- April 2019 Notre Dame fire (news video)
- Notre Dame de Paris, by Victor Hugo
- November 2015 terrorist attacks
* Source: Les devises des villes de France, by Henri Tausin