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What does John Wick’s tattoo mean?

“Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat,” as John’s tattoo reads in Latin, means “fortune favors the brave.” This is also a loose translation of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines’ motto, “Fortes Fortuna Juvat,” though the spelling is “Fortes Fortuna Juvat.” This is common enough that it isn’t conclusive evidence on its own, but it is a good place to start.

The motto of the US Marine Corps is FORTIS FORTUNA ADIUVAT, which should never be translated as “Fortune Favors the Bold.” (who employ the phrase ‘fortES Fortuna Juvat’); It is noteworthy that it is not Christian. In fact, it’s a pagan goddess’s proverb. It’s worth noting that revenge is thoroughly un-Christian, let alone homicidal killing sprees.

You have the option of skipping my notes and going straight to my translation, but you should not. Latin is the oldest language in the world with this spelling. It predates the modern Latin used by the US Marine Corps, and it predates even medieval or Church Latin. It’s a proverb that was considered ancient even during Caesar’s pre-Christian era.

What does John Wick’s tattoo mean?

I’d say it’s around 2,500 years old. It is clearly pagan in spirit, as were the people who spoke it during global prehistory’s polytheism. Furthermore, understanding Latin in the context of this Anti-scratched Hero’s out and contradictory tattoos is dependent on this pagan-ness.

“(The) Strong (Ones)” is what fortis means. It refers to a specific group of people, not to something abstract like ‘Strength,’ nor to the intention or attitude of ‘boldness,’ or ‘bravery,’ for which there are robust, Audacia, and fortitude, respectively.

Fortuna = is a Roman Goddess, the personification of Luck and/or Fate.

placed in the tattoo’s center and, if you look closely, slightly capitalized in the tattoo’s calligraphy in the same way that proper nouns in English are capitalized.
It isn’t simply ‘good fortune’ in the sense of luck, nor is it ‘a fortune’ in the sense of financial gain. This is the goddess of fortune and good fortune.

Adiuvat = AD ‘to/toward’ + IUVAT ‘help/aid/save’ — ‘comes to save’/’comes to the aid of’ is the best choice here, especially for a goddess. Not ‘favours,’ which in English uses poetic license to create an F-F alliteration.

What does John Wick’s tattoo mean?

While “John Wick” was broadcast last night on France 2, focus on the enigmatic tattoo worn by the character played by Keanu Reeves and on its meaning.

Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat.”

Fortune is on the side of the brave. The mysterious inscription on Keanu Reeves’ shoulders can be seen at the beginning of John Wick (which aired last night on France 2), while the ex-assassin patiently ruminates on his revenge in the shower.

Between a flame and a wolf’s head, above a Catholic cross and two praying hands, this tattoo is inspired by a famous Latin quote. But what about the character’s past does he reveal?

Formerly feared hitman linked to the Continental and the Great Table criminal organizations, John Wick is an enigmatic character, especially in the first installment of the franchise, where little is known about his past. However, according to some theories, this inscription allows for a precise determination of his training.

Indeed, “forts Fortuna juvat” (“fortune favors the bold”), a slight variation of John Wick’s phrase, is the motto of the United States Marine Corps’ 3rd Marine Infantry Regiment.

Does this Latin proverb, popularized by Virgil in The Aeneid, therefore imply that John Wick served in the United States Marine Corps? None of the franchise’s first three games allow us to confirm this, even if one might be tempted to believe it given his exceptional combat abilities.

This same formula is pronounced by a cardinal of the Vatican to the address of John Wick, who has come to seek his advice, in a scene cut from the second opus. Would she be linked to the organization that the ex-assassin belonged to as a result?

In any case, everyone will agree that this quote is perfect for the character, who isn’t afraid to show off his “daring” and doesn’t let his back tattoo get in the way.

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Knowing these things, you can translate it into modern English and English word order to better capture the sentiment, as in this example.

fortes Fortuna Aduivat:

  • “It is only the strong ones that Fortuna (The Goddess) comes to save.”
  • N.B. This is the polar opposite of ‘the meek will inherit the earth.’

in re Praying Hands tattoo: Note, that this literally pagan, absolutely unchristian proverb is placed above — i.e. superior — to the praying hands on his back, and written with the particular late-republican Latin spelling of precisely those Romans that hung Christ on his cross.

How to interpret this contradiction? It is not straightforwardly Christian. One could suggest that the praying hands are supplicating the pagan god of luck.

Regarding the tattoo of a Shoulder Cross: It has a scar running through it. Is that a bullet? Is that a knife scar? Self-inflicted?

Perhaps it was done by an old mafia boss to make a previously Catholic or Protestant cross look like the Russian Orthodox crosses that his previous employer preferred.

If so, was it a kind of professional badge? Perhaps an accident of fate? (See the image in Nupur Shers’s post below, and make up your own mind.)

Finally, these tattoos appear on the back of John Wick. A really dark character, dressed in black, with a deep gritty voice, in a violent revenge film, and a decidedly unchristian one at that.

What does John Wick’s tattoo mean?

These tattoos, it is clear to me, are not about the superiority of US Navy training or a Christianity that is anything more than a sham.

These marks, on the other hand, are a testament to a man’s superficial, utterly broken, and all-but-forgotten faith in Luck—and even then, only because of his own strength (and weapons.)

  1. Need we comment on his previous life as a paid assassin for multiple organized crime syndicates. Not the ordinary trajectory for a Christian saint.
  2. It first appears in written history c.160 BCE, in a play by Terence, this recording is noted by Cicero as a Vetus prōverbium (Old proverb) C.f. ‘Usage notes’ in fortis Fortuna Adiuvat from Wiktionary.

Surprisingly, the Romans gave these manly virtues their own word, virtue, which is derived from their word for man, vir. This is where the word virtue comes from.
Placing images above means more important’ or stronger in heraldry. The word for strong is also placed in this precise position, doubling the meaning; also note that the praying hands are pleading with this pagan, unchristian phrase… begging it to change? Alternatively, you could pray to the pagan god who is capitalized directly above the hands.

P.S. It is fitting that the final sequence has John choose a Pit Bull for his dog. Not a golden retriever, Not a pug. Not a french poodle.

IMHO The only thing that would be more fitting is if he chose a Roman war dog (now extinct) that this Latin proverb has outlived.

We see Reeves in the shower, with the Latin phrase “Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat” tattooed across his back, before he goes on a killing spree from her mourning husband to a vengeful assassin pulled back into the world he wanted to leave behind.

Fortune is on your side. The bold is an abridged version of a Latin proverb. It exists in various forms with slightly different wording, for example, where Fortuna is the goddess of luck.

  • audentes Fortuna iuvat ( “fortune favors the bold”)
  • audiences Fortuna adiuvat (“Fortune comes to the aid of those daring”)
  • Fortuna audaces iuvat ( “Fortune helps the bold”)
  • audentis Fortuna iuvat is used by Turnus, the antagonist of Aeneid.
  • These Proverbs, in turn, descended from Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat. ( “fortune favors the strong”) used in Terence’s comedy play Phormio, line 203

FAQ / What does John Wick’s tattoo mean

What does John Wick’s tattoo mean?

The backstory of John Wick has never been revealed in the films or the accompanying comic series. Despite the fact that the third film or prequel TV series may provide more concrete evidence, we’ve been given enough puzzle pieces to confidently say he served in the United States Marine Corps.
It’s not a stretch to assume he was once a Marine, given his extreme proficiency with firearms, hand-to-hand combat proficiency, cold demeanor, proper posture, and dispensation of absolute wrath towards anyone who harms the things he loves. Although no single point can be considered definitive proof, it is entertaining to speculate. On The Street With A Vet 2Shareh – VET ON THE STREET – Word Assoc.

Is John Wick a Marine?

John Wick, prior to being a hitman, served in the United States Marine Corps. This can be noticed by the tattoo on his back, which from Latin to English says “Fortune Favors the Brave”, the motto of the United States Marine Corps, 3rd battalion, 3rd Marines who have been through 5 tours of duty.

Are Keanu Reeves tattoos real in John Wick?

And more importantly, nobody could forget Keanu’s tattoos throughout the John Wick series. … Despite his on-screen body art, though, the real Keanu Reeves doesn’t actually have any tattoos, according to Toddler.


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