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Latin Tattoo: Two Words and a Phrase

by Marni
(San Diego, CA)

Hello Latin Teacher,


I need two singular words translated into Latin: "desire" and "will" (as in the faculty by which one decides on and initiates action). I tried to research this myself and I came up with "cupido" for "desire". "Will" seemed a bit more tricky, and I can't quite differentiate between "voluntas" and "animus".

Additionally, my husband would like to know if you can translate the phrase "Death to all who oppose us," into Latin.

Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time,
Marni


Dear Marni,

You are right that cupido means desire. However, there are many shades of meaning in our word desire. See an earlier post about the Latin root desire.

As for will, I would absolutely use voluntas over animus. Voluntas, according to Cicero, is that which desires anything with reason: voluntas est quae cum ratione aliquid desiderat.

One caveat: voluntas means the will of a human being. For the Romans, the will of the gods was usually consilium deorum.

As for your husband's Latin phrase, which I'm sure he is using with good humor, try mors illis qui nobis obstant.

Here's a link for a little help with Latin pronunciation:





Hope this helps, and thanks for asking a Latin teacher.

Sincerely,

John

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by: Marni

John,

Thank you so much for the thorough and expeditious response. The info you provided was perfect!

And yes, the last quote is definitely used by us in good humor. It's from a movie we both love and has become an inside joke, of-sorts.

Thanks again,
Marni

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