Carpe Diem

Reader Johan emails:

"I recently met a girl with the tattoo on her arm. She claimed it meant something like 'Carpe Diem'. I've never seen it before and I can't find anything in dictionaries that would support this.
Any idea about it?
A picture can be found in this entry in my blog:

Thanks for a very entertaining site."

"Carpe Diem" is a Latin phrase that means "seize the day". The character shown in the photo is no where near that meaning. The only two definitions I have found are:

1. name of district in Anhui
2. capital of Yin

As mentioned on Johan's site, "carpe diem" is translated with "及时行乐":

及时 [jíshí] in time; promptly
行乐 [xínglè] seek amusement; make merry

Personally, I don't agree with that definition completely.

Interestly enough, I have seen artwork pieces and shirts designed by Paul Nicholson at Terra Tag that has captured the "carpe diem" theme:

The phrase is loosely translated as "to [rely on] wait[ing] is foolish", which is very similar to what "carpe diem" is trying to express. In my personal opinion, is the best translation so far for "carpe diem".


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