Origin of the phrase Carpe Diem:
‘Carpe diem’ is a Latin phrase that translates to ‘seize the day’.
If we go by the literal translation, ‘Carpe’ translates to ‘pluck’ (pluck as in the plucking of fruit). So, it’s more literal translation equates to ‘pluck the day when it is ripe’. An extended phrase based on the same is ‘carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero’ translates as ‘Pluck the day, trusting as little as possible in the future’. There are in fact a number of proverbs in English that carry the same implication that one should make the most of the time we have:
- Strike while the iron is hot
- The early bird catches the worm
- Gather ye rosebuds while ye may
Original Origin Story of Carpe Diem:
The first reference to the phrase carpe diem can be found in Odes Book I written by the lyric poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65 BC – 8 BC), more widely known as Horace:
‘Dum loquimur, fugerit invida
Aetas: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero’
This translates to: While we’re talking, envious time is fleeing: pluck the day, put no trust in the future.
The dictionary definitions for Carpe Diem are as follows:
1. Seize the day; enjoy the present, as opposed to placing all hope in the future.
Masters tip to learn Carpe Diem:
On my visit to the place Mcleodganj, a hill station in the Indian state, Himachal Pradesh, I had the fortune of eating at a place called ‘carpe diem’. That was the first time I encountered the phrase. And trust me, I did make the best of my time there: seizing as many special wood oven baked pizzas as I could. My suggestion: link the phrase with the memory that represents enjoyment and living to the fullest in a given moment of time.