Revealing Daily News pictures of Eliot Spitzer's favorite hooker cavorting on the beach gave rise to some obvious musings, but also some not-so-obvious, like: What exactly does that tattoo mean?
Ashley Alexandra Dupre's teeny bikini exposed a Latin phrase inked on her lower belly: tutela valui.
Experts said it was pseudo Latin, like the mostly meaningless Chinese characters some people tattoo on themselves - but even stodgy scholars were chuckling at the double entendres jumping out of it.
Tutela, which is related to tutor, has to do with a protector or guardian. Valui appears to be a past form of the word strong.
"So I guess you would say it means, 'I have a strong patron' or 'I have a strong keeper,'" said Doug Machle, assistant to the chairman in the classics department at the University of Washington.
"Or, actually, it's more like, 'My guardian was strong.'"
Others read it differently.
Daniel Nodes, a classics professor at Ave Maria University in Florida, translated it as "I've been well and remain that way because I have protection."
Mark Buchan, a classics professor at Columbia, took a different tack, musing that it could mean "safe haven."
One California professor translated it as "I have been highly proficient in support" - which he further simplifies to "I have been an expert escort."
In any case, Latin teachers are used to seeing lots of fishy tattoos.
"Latin is really a living language - it's a lot more prevalent than you'd think," said Gerry Visco, administrator of the classics department at Columbia.
"We get a lot of people calling up - every day, I'd say - wanting to put something on a mug or T-shirt. They think there's a team of scribes sitting here waiting to translate for them."
Best photo of the tat seems to be in NY Magazine:
... FWIW, my translation would be "I am strong/powerful with protection" (tutela would be ablative of means)