Act of Hoity-Toity Vandalism Is 'Most Cambridge Thing Ever'

Someone scrawled graffiti across new homes—in Latin
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2017 6:18 PM CDT
Act of Hoity-Toity Vandalism Is 'Most Cambridge Thing Ever'
Stock image   (Getty Images/emurtola)

They're calling it "the most Cambridge thing ever": graffiti—written in Latin—scrawled across multiple million-dollar homes in the famed UK college town. The Press Association reports the graffiti, which reads "Locus in Domos Loci Populum," appeared Tuesday morning. The words were written on new luxury homes that are selling for more than $1.5 million each, according to the BBC. The homes replaced a pub, and locals believe the graffiti is likely a protest against skyrocketing home prices and the displacement of locals in a city where the average home price is more than 10 times the average salary. "We’ve got incredibly rich people living one street away from incredibly poor people," one resident tells the Press Association.

Locals say a vandal scrawling graffiti in Latin is something that could "only happen" in Cambridge. But the reaction to the graffiti may also be Cambridge-specific. For example, it's not the graffiti the Spectator takes issue with; it's the grammar. The blog points out the phrase "Locus in Domos Loci Populum" is complete "gibberish" and "twaddle," likely the result of using Google to poorly translate the phrase "local homes for local people." A Cambridge classics professor gives the BBC her interpretation: "This is a bit hard to translate, but I think what they're trying to say is that a lovely place has been turned into houses." Police are investigating, or as the Romans (by way of Google) would say: vigilum quaerimus. (These recently surfaced Latin words were a more exciting find.)

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