The image above is a before and after photograph of a German Jagdpanzer (Tank hunter) that was destroyed in December 1944, in Maranch, Luxembourg during the early stages of the Battle of the Bulge. Florent Plana battlefield tour guide is standing in the same location 76 years later.
War is unique in many ways, not the least of which is the addition of many new words into a country's lexicon. Such is the case with the mock Latin aphorism: Illegitimum non carborundum that originated early in WWII by British army intelligence officers.
Nancy Hamilton trained as a surgical nurse. Before departing for her overseas duty with a M.A.S.H unit – Mobil Army Surgical Hospital, her commanding officer had given her group a rousing, patriotic speech that gave Nancy a true meaning of pride, duty and service to country and ended his talk with the Latin words, “Illegitimum non carborundum.”
She was assigned to Manila in the Philippines and was taken prisoner when the Japanese invaded the islands. In the prison camp she was assigned to, someone had inscribed the words “ Illegitimum non carborundum” over the latrine door.
Years later back in North Carolina and now a successful real estate agent, Nancy adopted the Latin phrase “Illegitimum non carborundum” as her company’s motto, and had it printed on her business cards.
Socks were one of the things she dearly missed during her days as a POW; once home, she discovered Gabby Maria Socks and now had a large collection of them. A client brought her a pair of Gabby Maria Hummingbirds Bamboo Socks, and timidly asked the meaning of “Illegitimum non carborundum.” She replied,
“Don’t let the Bastards grind you down.”