Disce aut discede

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The Royal College motto on top of the main building in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Disce aut Discede (Latin "Learn or Leave") is a phrase used as the motto of many institutions and schools.

Motto at Educational Institutions[edit]

Disce aut discede is the motto at King's School, Rochester, the second oldest school in the world est 604 AD.

The Royal College, Colombo in Sri Lanka also uses the same motto. The exact author or date the motto was adapted by the Royal is unknown. The first mention of the motto was during the tenure of Principal Todd (1871-1878) who constantly reminded the dullards that they must learn or go. Since then the motto is associated with the school's high educational standard.

It is also the motto of Gosfield Independent School in Essex, England, and the variation "Aut Disce, Aut Discede" ("Either Learn or Leave") is the motto of Hutton Grammar School in Preston, Lancashire. It was also for many years the motto of Middlesbrough High School.

"Disce aut Discede" is also the motto of Cornwall College in Montego Bay Jamaica. The coat of arms of the University of Manchester Surgical Society contains the motto "disce aut discede".

An old painting at Winchester College contains an expanded version in the form of a hexameter: "Aut disce, aut discede; manet sors tertia, caedi" ("Either learn or leave: there remains a third fate, being beaten", or more vulgarly "learn, leave or be licked".) "Aut disce" is surmounted by a bishop's mitre; "aut discede" by a sword and an inkpot, to denote secular professions; the last part of the verse by a rod.

Motto in Fiction[edit]

"Aut disce aut discede" appears as the motto of the fictitious Roosevelt High School, which April O'Neal attends in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012 TV series.

References[edit]