Clan Mottos

The Battle Cry, The Rallying Point

To hear the clan motto called out, in the midst of battle, affirming your beliefs ~ what you stand and fight for in the battle. A rallying call to locate the chief and his allies.

Imagine being on the battlefield, in the heat of the fight.You hear your clan piper playing the tune telling you to gather to your chief. But where is he?

Suddenly the motto of the Campbells, “Forget Not”, breaks forth on your right. Being a MacDonald, you know that's not the way to go.

Then the cry of the MacDonalds of the Isles, “By sea and by land” resounds on your left, echoing down through the glen. You now know your allies are on your left. You know which way to go for gathering with your clan chief.

The clan mottos are in one of four languages

  • French ~ due to the influence of and intermixing with France
  • Latin ~ the language of the church and scholars
  • English
  • Gaelic ~ the language of the people

A Listing of the Clan Mottos

Anderson ~ Stand sure
Armstrong ~ I remain unvanquished

Baillie ~ What is brighter than the stars
Baird ~ The lord made
Barclay ~ Either action or death
Brodie ~ Unite
Bruce ~ We have been
Buchan ~ Not having followed mean pursuit
Buchanan ~ Brighter hence the honour

Cameron ~ Unite
Campbell ~ Forget not
Campbell of Breadalbane ~ Follow me
Campbell of Cawder ~ Be mindful
Chattan ~ Touch not the cat without a glove
Chisholm ~ I am fierce with the fierce
Cockburn of Langton ~ He animates by crowing
Colquhoun ~ If I can
Craig of Wester Dunmore ~ I have good hope
Crawford ~ I will make thee safe by my strength
Cumming of Altyre ~ Courage
Cunningham ~ Over fork over

Davidson of Tulloch ~ Wisely if sincerely
Douglas ~ Never behind
Drummond Earl of Perth ~ Go warily
Duncan ~ Learn to suffer

Elliot ~ With strength and right
Erskine ~ I think more

Farquharson ~ By fidelity and fortitude
Ferguson ~ Sweet after difficulties
Fletcher of Dunans ~ Aim at high things
Forbes ~ Grace me guide
Forsyth ~ A repairer of ruin
Fraser Of Lovat ~ I am ready

Galbraith of Culcreuch ~ From adversity the greater satisfaction
Gordon ~ Remaining
Gow ~ Touch not the cat without a glove
Graham ~ Do not forget
Grant ~ Standfast
Gunn ~ Either peace or war

Hamilton ~ Through
Hay ~ Keep the yoke
Henderson of Fordell ~ Virtue alone ennobles
Home ~ A home a home a home
Hunter ~ I accomplish the race

Innes ~ Be faithful

Johnstone ~ Never unprepared

Keith ~ True conquers
Kennedy ~ Consider the end
Kerr ~ Late but in earnest

Lamont ~ Neither spare nor dispose
Leslie ~ Grip fast
Lindsay ~ Endure with strength
Livingston ~ If I can
Logan ~ This is the valour of my ancestors

MacAlister Of The Loup ~ Boldly
MacAndrew ~ Stand sure
MacArthur ~ By fidelity and labour
MacAulay ~ Danger is sweet

MacBain ~ Touch not the cat without the shield
MacBean ~ Touch not the cat without the shield

MacCallum ~ He has attempted difficult things

MacDonald Of The Isles ~ By sea and by land
MacDonald Of Clanranald ~ My hope is constant in thee
MacDonald Of Sleat ~ By sea and by land
MacDonnell of Glengarry ~ The raven’s rock
MacDonnell of Keppoch ~ By sea and by land
MacDougall ~ To conquer or die
MacDuff Of Banhard ~ God assists

MacEwan ~ I grow green

MacFarlane ~ This I`ll defend
MacFie Of Dreghorn ~ For the king

MacGillivray ~ Dunmaglas
MacGowan ~ Touch not the cat without a glove
MacGregor ~ Royal is my race

MacInnes Of Malagawatch ~ Through the grace of God and the King
MacIntyre ~ Through difficulties
MacIver Of Gress ~ I will never forget

MacKay ~ With a strong hand
MacKenzie ~ I shine not burn
MacKenzie/Seaforth Highlanders ~ Assist the King
MacKinnon ~ Fortune assists the daring
MacKintosh ~ Touch not the cat without a glove

MacLachlan ~ Brave and trusty
MacLaine Of Lochbuie ~ To conquer or die
MacLaren ~ The boars rock
MacLean ~ Virtue mine honour
MacLeod ~ Hold fast
MacLellan/Lord Kirkcudbright ~ Think on
MacLennan ~ While I breath I hope

MacMillan ~ I learn to succour the distressed

MacNab ~ Let fear be far from all
MacNaughton ~ I hope in god
MacNeil ~ To conquer or die
MacNicol Of Sgorra Bhreac ~ Grey ridge

MacPherson ~ Touch not the cat without a glove

MacQuarrie Of Ulva ~ The red tartaned army
MacQueen ~ Constant and faithful

MacRae Of Inverinate ~ With fortitude

MacThomas Of Finegand ~ I shall overcome envy with God's help

Malcolm ~ He has attempted difficult things
Matheson ~ Do and hope
Maxwell ~ I flourish again
Melville ~ Provide for all
Menzies ~ Will God I shall
Montgomery ~ Look well
Morrison ~ Family of Phabbay
Munro ~ Dread God
Murray Of Atholl ~ Quite ready

Napier ~ Without stain
Nicolson ~ Grey ridge

Ogilvie ~ To the end
Oliphant ~ Provide for all

Pringle ~ Friendship gives honour

Ramsay ~ Pray and work
Rattray ~ My wishes are above the stars
Robertson ~ Glory is the reward of valour
Rose ~ Constant and true
Ross ~ Success nourishes hope
Russell ~ Virtue without stain

Scott ~ I love
Shaw ~ By fidelity and fortitude
Sinclair ~ Commit thy work to God
Skene ~ A palace the reward of bravery
Stewart ~ Courage grows strong at the wound
Stewart Of Appin ~ Wither will ye
Strachan Of Thornton ~ I fear not but I am cautious
Stuart Marquis O Bute ~ The wrath of the lion is noble
Sutherland ~ Without fear

Urquhart ~ Mean, speak and do well
Wallace ~ For libertyThese clan mottos have come down through the years.Today you can see the clan mottos on clan badges and banners, at Highland gatherings and games.

If you’ve found one for your clan, you can add it into your wedding plans, as a means of celebrating your ancestry.



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