Back Next

In 1843, Sir Charles James Napier (1782-1853), the British general who conquered (1843) and governed (1843-1847) Sind in present-day Pakistan, won smashing victories in that region he was later to govern, along the lower Indus River.

Anxious to report his successes, but with security always a problem, and with the realization that British public officials were routinely expected to know some Latin, he sent a one-word message back to headquarters:

"Peccavi." This is Latin for: "I have sinned."

That was all anyone needed to know.