Carpe Diem. The Lighter Side.

It’s a phrase we all know, understand and translate incorrectly.

 Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.

From lyric poet Horace, in the first century BC, it is translated as “seize” the day.

Carpe actually means “pluck”, giving us the more literal translation:

Pluck the day, trusting as little as possible in the future.


Painting. John W. Waterhouse

Also quoted by Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society, one of the best interpretations came in the 17th century, in a poem by Robert Herrick, which begins…

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
To-morrow will be dying.

And just for the fun of it, some lighter interpretations:

  • Carpe Dentum – Seize the Teeth
  • Carp Diem – Fish Of The Day
  • Carpe Denim – Seize the Pants
  • Carpe Diet – Seize The Rice Cake
  • Crape Diem – Sh*tty Day
  • Carpe Ductum – Seize The Tape
  • Carpe Jugulum – Go For The Throat
  • Carpe Lactuca Sativa – Seize ‘er Salad
  • Carpe Noctem – Seize The Night
  • Carpe Per Diem – Seize the Expense Check
  • Carpe PM – Seize The Midol
  • Carpe Sharpei – Seize The Wrinkled Dog
  • Carpe Vacationem – Seize the Day Off
  • Carpe Viagram – Fetch The Stick

***And my personal favorite, from a recent bumper sticker sighting***

  • Carpe Scrotum -Grab Life by the Balls
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88 Responses to Carpe Diem. The Lighter Side.

  1. gh0stpupp3t says:

    LOL I can’t breathe!! Funny stuff!

  2. gh0stpupp3t says:

    Reblogged this on Gh0stpupp3t's Realm and commented:
    Very funny stuff

  3. Lol, I like the last one too Van! ❤
    Diana xo

  4. Very funny. I really liked Carpe Per Diem. Reminds me of my old job in sales. Thanks for the laugh.

  5. AmyRose says:

    STOMACH CRAMPS!!! Oh, Van!!!! Too funny!!!! How I needed this laugh, thank you! (((HUGS))) Amy ❤

  6. Amy says:

    Haha, I’m cracking up.

  7. Maria says:

    Love the last one too 😂

  8. cindy knoke says:

    Crape diem et. al. too funny!

  9. ninamishkin says:

    You saved the best for last!!!

  10. George says:

    I’m with you…love the last one.

  11. Carpe Banjo – Dangerous River for Canoeing

  12. lbeth1950 says:

    Crap denim……… know

  13. Reblogged this on HarsH ReaLiTy and commented:
    I knew those years of Latin I took wouldn’t go to waste!!! -OM
    Note: Comments disabled here, please visit their blog.

  14. Ellen Hawley says:

    And here I was thinking it meant carp isn’t on your diet.

    I was driving somewhere in Minneapolis years ago and heard a couple of lines from Horace on MN Public Radio: Death plucks my ear and says ‘Live. I am coming.’ ” I scribbled it down (once I’d stopped driving, since I didn’t want to piss Death off by rushing him) and a while later a friend saw it on my dashboard and said, “If I had that in my car I’d never get to work in the morning.”

  15. markbialczak says:

    Carpe Sharpie. Grab the autograph? 😉

  16. megdekorne says:

    Ha ha ha …now I am rolling on the grass ….you are really funny , Van !

  17. Janice Wald says:

    In respose to your post Carpe Diem, did you see the Robin Williams movie Dead Poet’s Society? This is a famous quote from the movie. Nice to meet you.

  18. Carpe denim hehe….very wise words you have once again!

  19. Brenda says:

    What a fantastic post! Thank you for the laugh. 🙂 The interpretations are great!

  20. Laura says:

    Carpe scrotum. Bwahahahaha!! 😂

  21. Erika Kind says:

    Hahaha… that is so funny! Thank you for clarifying the meaning…. and the varieties to use it 😄

  22. Nurse Kelly says:

    Ha ha, Van! Love this post! 🙂

  23. After the couple of days I just had, all I can say is Carpe Vino. Cheers!

  24. amommasview says:

    Now I finally know 😉 So so funny, Van! Love it!

  25. Bun Karyudo says:

    I didn’t know it was a mistake. Now whenever I hear someone using the incorrect word, I will carpe on at them about it. 🙂

  26. The V Pub says:

    hahaha! I never, ever heard that last one, but I plan on using it many times in the future. 😀

  27. Lady G says:

    Those renditions of this well known phrase are hilarious!!!
    Thanks for sharing Van 🙂

  28. Hehehe…this is a great compilation! “Carpe Scrotum” is really the best 😀

    From now on, I will threaten someone saying Carpe Throatum- Seize the throat 😛 😛

  29. joey says:

    Your favorite is my favorite! 🙂

  30. Pingback: My Picks Of The Week #39 | A Momma's View

  31. Great Post. Really hard to have a Crape Diem when reading your blog. Thanks.

  32. Now I know where they got viagra from. Ha,ha 🙂

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