Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Ut Prosim

At the last Phoenix meeting someone asked what "Ut Prosim Allis" meant. (I can't remember your name, sorry. :-<)

Ut Prosim means "That I May Serve" and is the motto of the School Dental Service. I couldn't find Allis, not even in Lewis & Short, the uber-dictionary, so I probably remembered it wrong.

Merry Christmas!


Pam said...

Thanks a lot Stephanie. Sorry, I spelled it wrong, it was alis not allis.

Stephanie said...

Hi Pam,

I found two reasonable options for 'alis'.

One is the present indicative active 2nd person singular of the verb 'alo' which means "to feed, nourish, support, sustain, maintain", which would work out as something like "So that I may serve and you sustain" which doesn't quite make sense to me, but then I'm still a beginner at this.

The second option is the plural dative or ablative of ala, which means "wing", making the motto something like "So that I may serve with the wings" or "So that I may serve for the wings".

I'm not sure how either of those work out in your original context, but good luck and Happy New Year.


Stephanie said...

As an addition, 'ala' could mean wing as in a bird's wing, as in someone's shoulder or as in a wing of cavalry. Was this a military motto?

[a little bit later]

And yet a third alternative is if it's actually 'aliis' (thank you Google), which would make the whole thing "That I may care for others" which sounds entirely reasonable.

As you might have guessed by this point, I can be extremely anal retentive at times and in Latin, spelling really matters. ;-)

Thanks for the puzzle!