Latin Graffiti Appears in Cambridge, England - Atlas Obscura
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Latin Graffiti Appears in Cambridge, England

Bad Latin, though.

Graffiti may not usually be a huge problem in Cambridge, England, but when it is, sometimes, it’s in Latin. But, just like in that famous scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian, in this case, it’s pretty bad Latin.

According to the BBC, someone recently vandalized a handful of newly-built luxury properties in the city. The vandals painted across two of the unsold homes in white paint, creating what are two short slogans or one long sentence in Latin. Take together, the words read, “Locus in domos loci populum!”

The problem is that any way it’s cut, the Latin doesn’t translate very smoothly. As the BBC says, the writing could be meant to read as two sayings, roughly meaning, “room in the house” and “local people.” Combined, it’s possible that the sentence was meant to read something like, “local homes for local people,” a reading backed up by a small bit of other graffiti that simply says, “local lives,” in English. 

Still, whatever they were intending, their general meaning has come through. According to the BBC, they probably aren’t happy about the expensive new homes the graffiti was painted on, which will make a place that already has the third most expensive home prices in the country a bit pricier. 

The graffiti, in other words, was just a (criminal) way to make their point.