Maureen Dowd’s column is in Latin

It’s absolutely brilliant. One of the most wonderful pieces of writing I’ve seen in a long time. My head aches, however. (just found a quasi-translation, kind of.)

Bellum Gallium

Manes Julii Caesaris paucis diebus aderant — “O, most bloody sight!” — cum Ioannes McCainus, mavericus et veteranus captivusque Belli Francoindosinini, et Sara Palina, barracuda borealis, qui sneerare amant Baracum Obamam causa oratorii, pillorant ut demagogi veri, Africanum-Americanum senatorem Terrae Lincolni, ad Republicanas rallias.

Rabidi subcanes candidati, pretendant “no orator as Brutis is,” ut “stir men’s blood” et disturbant mentes populi ad “a sudden flood of mutiny,” ut Wilhelmus Shakespearus scripsit.

Cum Quirites Americani ad rallias Republicanas audiunt nomen Baraci Husseini Obamae, clamant “Mortem!” “Amator terroris!” “Socialiste!” “Bomba Obamam!” “Obama est Arabus!” “Caput excidi!” tempus sit rabble-rouseribus desistere “Smear Talk Express,” ut Stephanus Colbertus dixit. Obama demonatus est tamquam Musulmanus-Manchurianus candidatus — civis “collo-cerviciliaris” ad ralliam Floridianam Palinae exhabet mascum Obamae ut Luciferis.

Obama non queretur high-tech lynching. Sed secreto-serventes agentes nervosissmi sunt.

Vix quisque audivit nomen “Palinae” ante lunibus paucis. Surgivit ex suo tanning bed ad silvas in Terram Eskimorum, rogans quis sit traitorosus, ominosus, scurrilosus, periculosus amator LXs terroris criminalisque Chicagoani? Tu betchus!

“Caeca ambitio Obamana,” novum rumorem Palina McCainusque dixit. “Cum utilis, Obama laborat cum amatore terroris Wilhelmo Ayro. Cum putatus, perjuravit.” McCainianus bossus maximus Francus Keatinx vocat Obamam, “plebeium,” et ut iuvenum snifferendum cocaini minimi (“a little blow.”)

Cum Primus Dudus, spousus Palinanus, culpari attemptaret “Centurionem-Gate,” judices Terrae Santae Elvorumque castigat gubernatricem Palinam de abusu auctoritatis per familiam revengendum.

Tamen Sara et Ioannes bury Obama, not praise him. Maverici, ut capiunt auxilium de friga-domina, hench-femina, Cynthia McCaina Birrabaronessa, (quae culpat Obamam periculandi suum filum in Babylonia), brazen-iter distractant mentes populares de minimissimis IV 0 I K.ibus, deminutione “Motorum Omnium,” et Depressione Magna II.0. Omnes de Georgio Busio Secundo colossale goofballo. “V” (because there’s no W. in Latin) etiam duxit per disastrum ad gymnasium.

Gubernatrix (prope Russia) Palina, spectans candidaciam MMXII, post multam educationem cum Kissingro et post multam parodiam de Sabbatis Nocte Vivo atque de Tina Feia, ferociter vituperat Obamam, ut supralupocidit (aerial shooting of wolves) in Hyperborea.

Vilmingtoni, in Ohionem, McCain’s Mean Girl (Ferox Puella) defendit se gladiatricem politicam esse: “Pauci dicant, O Jupiter, te negativam esse. Non, negativa non sum, sed verissima.” Talk about lipsticka in porcam! Quasi Leeus Atwater de oppugnatione Busii Primi ad Dukakem: “non negativus, sed comparativus.”

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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47 Responses to “Maureen Dowd’s column is in Latin”

  1. Bcre8ve says:

    Absolutely brilliant?

    Tu betchus!


  2. JamesR says:

    Sara Palina barracuda borealis, cum Primus Dudus, spousus Palinanus, et friga-domina, hench-femina, Cynthia McCaina Birrabaronessa, cum Ioannes McCainus, mavericus et veteranus captivusque Belli Francoindosinini – Commuto licet puto!

    Et: [For those who would want to correct me, or M.D.]

  3. Forty2 says:

    “Brilliant”? Oh bullshit. Yeah I get tiny bits and pieces but it’s a condescending smack in my big-nose Jewy face. I don’t fucking KNOW any Latin.

  4. SouthernYankee says:

    Oh please, I don’t think so. As a catholic the priest use to say mass in Latin. I don’t see that as an elitist. When I was a young child visiting my relatives in Italy you would hear some latin. Its not elitist.

  5. SouthernYankee says:

    You are right John. Latin is used a lot in medicine. You are right they are all the romantic languages.

  6. SouthernYankee says:

    I loved it. But I took latin when I was in elementary school. Am 60 now, hell am lucky if I remember english. But brilliant it is. I wish I could remember. Well they are starting to say some latin in our mass. So who knows.

  7. ikonoklast says:

    Elitism non plus ultra. O, tempora! O, mores!

  8. melissap says:

    I thought it was hilarious. Basically saying to the wing nuts that they can’t understand anything – you may as well be speaking latin to them.

  9. supralupocidit (aerial shooting of wolves)

    I’m sorry, but that’s just funny :-)

  10. See that’s why I think it’s hysterical doing it in Latin. That’s funny.

  11. Asterix says:

    It’s absolutely great, right up there with Buchwald’s Kilometres Deboutish squib.

    I love the “doggy-ness” of this thing: “Tu betchus!”, “Primus dudus”, etc.

    But “IV 0 I K.ibus”. The Romans didn’t have zeroes–that was an (gasp!) Arabic invention.

  12. Indigo says:

    It’s game-show Latin at best. Reminiscent of Catholic boy’s high school slogan “Semper ubi sub ubi.” [always where under where] It’s not like it was real Latin or anything and Maureen didn’t actually write it, she got some prof to scriviner it up for her. Cute, though. Cute, cutius, cutissimus!

  13. curlytoes79 says:

    Talk about lipsticka in porcam!

  14. B^2 says:

    Kudos to Maureen Dowd! For the first time I can see what a wingnut sees when he reads the truth!

  15. Rossdhu16 says:

    Nemo me impune lacessit McCainianis!

  16. Bostonian_Queer_in_Dallas says:

    Quo Vadis, MsSamus?

  17. Bostonian_Queer_in_Dallas says:

    That gal is a genius. OMG you don’t even need to know Latin to love this.

  18. Kansaskitty says:

    I loved it and laughed out loud throughout! It’s been many a year since my high school Latin classes, and I’m quite rusty, but this was brilliant!

  19. Evan Hurst says:

    I think people may be missing the subtle “eff you” in here. Remember, MoDo was just kicked off the McCain plane, and they’re essentially running a campaign against all smart people, so…

    “You want elitist? You want arugula-sniffing? Fine, here’s a column in Latin, suckers.”

  20. Evan Hurst says:

    Uh yeah, it’s fabulous.

    Saying that as one who trudged through six years of Latin…

  21. kladinvt says:

    I’m picturing a Road Runner cartoon starring Ioannes McCainus (mavericus mashuganus).

  22. Fireblazes says:

    I suppose it is certainly intelligent, scholarly, and perhaps brilliant. But how is one supposed to know. If anyone runs across some Ancient Romans, ask them how this will affect their vote in the upcoming election.

  23. michaelt says:

    i get the same thing from this as i do all modo columns.

    she’s a pompous ass.

  24. you’re right… repugnicans everywhere won’t be able to follow it at all.

    they usually don’t teach Latin prior to the 9th grade.

  25. Hurrycane says:

    Latin… that’s a little “elitist,” don’t you think?

  26. dad says:

    too brilliant.

  27. Qua oh qua est Viki Iseman?

  28. Just talked to Joe, he had a hard time too. Honestly, I used a lot of my Spanish, French and Italian to make sense of it, and even then it was hard. I have a feeling it might truly have a lot of Latin thrown in there, or treated things in a very Latin manner.

  29. whomod says:


    Some of never took latin in college or were ever Catholic schoolboys.

  30. via says:

    McCain is traversing a slippery slope.

    Slipperus slipperus fallus bumptum.

  31. canuck55 says:

    As John Lennon wrote:
    Amo amas amat, a monk a mink a minibus.

  32. Butch1 says:

    ” America est pulchra.” That’s all I can remember from my Latin class many year’s ago. ;-)

  33. KarenMrsLloydRichards says:

    In the Age of the Tubes of the Internets, I am like most people: our attention spans aren’t up for MoDo’s “clever” tricks. If I can’t scan her column in 10 seconds to get what I want from her, I’m like: “Check, please.”

  34. Charles2 says:

    Thanks goodness for the translations pointed to below. I’d have had better luck – and less of a headache – with Spanish or Russian…

  35. sounds like my Husband’s French… he only knows a couple of phrases, and you really can’t use them in public.

    they’re a bit… umm… sexually charged?

  36. MikeinSanJose says:

    Not sure I get it either… Is there really a column behind that Latin? Who’s got the translation?

  37. scottinsf says:

    My husband has been feeling proud that he can still get by with his Japanese.

    I don’t understand a word he’s saying.

  38. GarySFBCN says:

    You can use this link to translate if necessary:

  39. GarySFBCN says:

    Terram Eskimorum ! Primus Dudus ! IV 0 I K ! lipsticka in porcam ! – Ut rudimentum postulo totus!

  40. Indigo says:

    O Iupiter! O di imortales! O Lingua Latina Rededicata! Ubi nam gentium summus? Nunc quid?

  41. ViaAlpina says:

    Great, now could you translate for us, please?

  42. annatopia says:

    OT, but… hey John have you seen this?

  43. annatopia says:

    OMG! LOL

    that’s frankly the first dowd column i’ve laughed out loud with (instead of AT) in quite some time.

  44. Oh my God, it’s brilliant. You’re kidding, you didn’t like it?

  45. bish8 says:

    Are you sure this isn’t written in “Palinese?

  46. coldH2Owi says:

    I really hope you’re kidding & I’m just too upper Midwest to get it. This column actually got me to write my third letter of complaint to the NYTs Public Editor. I guess there’s no accounting for taste, on either end of this comment. Later.

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