Scottish fact of the day: Nemo me impune lacessit

‘NO one provokes me with impunity’ or ‘Nemo me impune lacessit’ is the national motto of the Kingdom of Scotland.

The motto can be seen here used on this broach for the Order of the Thistle. Picture: TSPL

Often translated into the Scots ‘Wha duar meddle wi me’ (in Scottish Gaelic ‘Cha togar m’ fhearg gun dìoladh’), it is loosely translated as ‘No one can harm me unpunished’.


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Like the thistle, the national flower, anyone trying to cut it gets a handful of painful barbs.

The motto was added to the arms of the King of Scotland during the reign of Charles II.

It is also the motto of the Order of the Thistle, the exclusive Scottish order of Knighthood, as well as several army regiments of Scotland including the Scots Guards and the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.

It is usually used in conjunction with the motto for the royal coat of arms ‘In my defens God me defend’.



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