1. Education
N.S. Gill

Latin Words of Death and Dying

By July 25, 2007

Follow me on:

Just as in English, writers of Latin tend to avoid simply saying 'he died,' perhaps because a euphemism makes it easier on the bereaved or because of an implicit belief in the power of the word. The latter is related to the "taboo deformation" that turns expressions like 'God be with you' into 'Good-bye'. In English we may say 'give up the ghost' where in Latin, one might say animam efflare -- literally, 'exhale the spirit.' A patriotic death could be described in Latin using a conjugated form of sanguinem suum pro patria effundere -- literally, 'to pour out one's own blood for one's country.'

See Latin Words for Death.
Also see Roman Burial Practices.


May 9, 2010 at 10:19 pm
(1) johnny apple seed says:

I find that quite interesting, and I have a question of an English to Latin translation that I have not been able to get a hold of; It’s from the movie “Shawshank Redemption” based on Stephen Kings novel. The quote is “Get busy living or get busy Dying” what would the correct Latin translation be? I used a translator site and i have a feeling it gave me the literal meaning: “adepto districtus victus vel adepto districtus dying”

is that correct?

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.