State Motto of Maryland

State Motto of Maryland

“Fatti Maschii Parole Femine” Means “Manly deeds, womanly words” Is The Official State Motto of Maryland. The Motto of Maryland is the Italian Term And motto of the Calvert family: “Fatti Maschii Parole Femine” (loosely translated as “Manly deeds, Womanly words,” though now commonly expressed as: “Strong Deeds, Gentle Words”). The Maryland State Motto dates back to the Great Seal of the Province of Maryland, which included the arms of the Lords Baltimore (Calvert family).

Fatti Maschii Parole Femine appeared on this seal. At the Convention of 1776, the Great Seal of the Province was adopted as the Great Seal of the State until a new seal could be devised. It remained in effect until 1794, when a new seal and a new State Motto of Maryland, Industry the Means and Plenty the Result, were approved. The 1794 seal served the state until 1817 when another new seal was adopted. The 1817 seal Features of the coat of arms of the United States encircled by the words “Seal of the State of Maryland”.


About the Maryland State Motto:

The Great Seal of Maryland is unique among the seals of us states. Unlike any other seal, it is of strictly heraldic design. Heraldry is the practice of “…devising, blazoning and granting armorial insignia and of recording and tracing genealogies”. The design of the seal is, in fact, the family arms of the Lords Baltimore (Calvert family).

The translation of the State Motto of Maryland has varied over the years. In 1993, State Archivist, Dr. Edward C. Papenfuse presented his translation in response to charges that the motto, as transcribed in law (see below) was discriminatory.


A sampling of translations are listed below:

  1. “Deeds are men, words are women” (Lord Calvert’s day, 1622)
  2. According to The Maryland Manual, 1905: “A woman for words and a man for deeds”
  3. “Womanly (Courteous), words and manly deeds” (Maryland Manual, 1905)
  4. According To Unnamed State Archivist, 1969: “Deeds are manly, words are womanly”
  5. Strictly, “Deeds are males, words, females” (Maryland Manual, 1939)
  6. According To Dr. Edward C. Papenfuse, 1993: “Strong deeds, gentle words”
  7. “Manly deeds, womanly words” (State Legislature, 1975)


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