The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale is a TV series based off of a bestselling book. The book and series are similar in many ways. For example, there is a phrase, in the book, which is tattooed on womens’ bodies. In the TV show, the phrase shows up scratched near the floor. The phrase is “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum”, which doesn’t have a proper translation, nor is it a proper phrase. However, its direct translation is, “Don’t let the bastards grind you down”. According to Vanity Fair, the phrase goes way back. It’s been used as a school joke too; the author admits that it was a joke in her Latin classes. However, the origin of this made-up Latin phrase is the late 1890s. During that time, Carborundorum was a trade name and because most people don’t know that now, they assume it’s Latin.

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