Semper Gumby


What does Semper Gumby mean?

Semper Gumby is an informal expression and military motto which means “always flexible”.

The expression can be described as “dog-Latin”, a Latin-sounding but formally meaningless creation. Semper Gumby is mocking the expression “Semper Fi”, which is used in the United States Marine Corps.


What's the origin of Semper Gumby?

The original, non-mock version Semper Fi means “always have faith”, while Semper Gumby relates to flexibility.

The expression was coined based on the famous Gumby figure, which was a popular claymation franchise during the 50s and 60s America.

The first use of the expression in the U.S. Military dates back to the Vietnam era.

Spread & Usage

How did Semper Gumby spread?

In the U.S. Army, the 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines has “always flexible” as part of their official motto.

Other units of the military also feature Semper Gumby in some ways. It is also a common phrase used in the field of emergency management.

Online, there are various merchandise items available for purchase that feature both the figure of Gumby and the motto.

External resources

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