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Latin Phrase: My All

by Amara

Merry met Latin teacher,

How would 'Know Thyself' and 'My All' be written and pronounced in Latin?

Thank you so much!


Dear Amara,

The Latin Phrase for 'Know Thyself' is one of the most popular questions here at Ask a Latin Teacher. Find a previous answer about this Latin Phrase here.

To say 'My All' in Latin is not so simple. What you seem to want is a term of endearment for the most important person in your life. As in 'my dear wife, you are my all'.

In Latin inscriptions, there is one very common and powerful term of endearment which was applied to family members (i.e. mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandmothers, grandfathers, children, etc.) and also to lovers and friends.

The term is the superlative adjective carissimus, carissima.

So if the person who is your all is a woman, use carissima mea. If that person is a man, use carissimus meus.

One caveat: If you are speaking directly to your carissimus meus, the forms change to carissime mi. (A bit strange for those who don't study Latin, but the vocative case differs from the nominative in the second declension masculine.)

You may also use the phrase mihi carissima or mihi carissimus. (Again, if you are speaking to your carissimus, say mihi carissime.)

Here's a little help with Latin pronuciation:

If you don't like the sound of carissima, it is possible to make our own phrase in Latin. Although it is unattested in literature, as far as I can tell.

mihi tota means 'my all', or literally, 'the whole/entire to me'.

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



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