Lonesome Dove


there is a reference made by Gus that the sign on the wagon to Montana contains a phrase in Latin. I have tried to find a translation. Can any body help. I believe the phrase is

"Uva uvam vivendo varia fit"


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Taken in its entirety from source cited below.

The Latin phrase that appears on the Hat Creek Cattle Company sign in "Lonesome Dove" is a garbled corruption, and there's no direct translation. Novelist Larry McMurtry probably intentionally misused the Latin, perhaps to make a point about Augustus McCrae's tenuous understanding of the language.

Many scholars have weighed in on the subject over the years, and most agree that the phrase generally means something along the following lines: A grape changes color (i.e.,ripens) when it sees another grape.

From there, any number of interpretations have arisen to explain why McMurtry chose to communicate that particular idea. Probably the soundest theory is that the phrase serves as a metaphor for the group's journey, as many of the story's characters go through a process of personal maturation and development. Much like grapes ripen in the presence of others.