Tips and rumours

Feb 17, 2017

Chicken Latin: trying to decipher Gerry Wood’s anti-abortion motto

We've asked Wood himself what it means but haven't heard back.

Yesterday we noted the press release of Northern Territory politician Gerry Wood, who addressed his message to foetuses he felt were not properly consulted about abortion reform in the NT. We asked if anyone could translate his Latin motto, which reads “Cessi foro gallinarum sed surgo”. Our amateur translation had a stab at "Yield to the marketplace of chickens, but rise up”. The chickens are a common motif with Wood, who we are told was a chicken farmer before becoming a politician. Our tipsters have had the following attempts at translating it:

“One chicken farmer to rule them all” -- from an article in the NT News.

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2 thoughts on “Chicken Latin: trying to decipher Gerry Wood’s anti-abortion motto

  1. Rourke

    I’ve done far too much work on this. Every word is now accurately translated and yet the whole makes little sense.
    “cessi foro” means “(he) went bankrupt” (literally: he departed the market, in a negative sense)
    “foro gallinarum” means “(to) the poultry market”
    “sed surgo” means “but I arise”.
    Either there is a subtle Latin pun in there that I can’t decipher, or it’s a weird translation. Best as I can tell: “he went broke selling chickens, but I’m still standing”

    1. Rourke

      Oops! I meant “*I* went broke/bankrupt”, not “he”; sorry about that. Makes a lot more sense now.

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