Google translate gives "occidere in nomine", which seems correct to me.

For context, it will be used in a tattoo, followed by a symbol. It will go something like: "killing in the name of [what the symbol represents]"

I have gotten another translation, "in nomine signi occidere [the symbol]", which seems more appropriate in this context.

Anything I have missed? anything obviously wrong?

  • 2
    Welcome to the site! What context or era do you have in mind? Classical and ecclesiastical Latin might disagree.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented May 31, 2023 at 15:13
  • Thank you. Classical I would say.
    – lvdp
    Commented May 31, 2023 at 15:28
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    You threw Google Translate a half-baked sentence fragment and got a decent translation. Count it among your blessings. It could have answered "carota" and if you added a full stop "Omnia Gallia est divisa" and still have been at its usual game. Commented May 31, 2023 at 15:33
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    Decent, but not entirely correct, but we'll need more information about how you'll be using it to know for sure. You know how "killing" has multiple synonyms (slay, murder, put an end to, euthanize, etc.), the same is true in Latin, but even more so.
    – cmw
    Commented May 31, 2023 at 15:59
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    I have edited the question to better explain context
    – lvdp
    Commented May 31, 2023 at 16:35

2 Answers 2


Latin doesn't have a preposition "of". To express the genitive, you need to inflect the word. For example, "of Carthago" is Carthaginis and "of stadium" is stadii.

You can treat the symbol as a word that looks the same in all cases (which is not too unusual for foreign names), but it leaves room for misinterpretation, as e.g. the following will be hard to distinguish:

Killing in the name of X
The killing is in the name of X
The killing is in the name X
Killing X is in the name

Therefore I recommend taking a route that is further away from your English idea. One option is to go with the preposition pro, which means (among other things) "on behalf of" or "for the benefit of". (For an excruciating amount of detail, consult the entry in Lewis and Short.)

There are many possible ways to translate "killing". One nice option is occisio as already mentioned. Using that, I would suggest the pithy occisio pro X. The English original is not a full sentence nor does it explain itself perfectly, so neither should the translation.

If you prefer a different noun, you can switch easily.

  • Thank you, I think it makes most sense to leave it as occisio pro [symbol].
    – lvdp
    Commented Jun 3, 2023 at 16:46

Too long for a comment, so... Comments have indicated that killing is a noun, or rather a gerund. Thus the verb form occidere might not be appropriate. The noun form is occisio. You have also indicated that the meaning is "the killing is done," a passive form.

You already have a translation using a different word order, but perhaps for a tattoo it might be written

in nomine signi X occisio facitur

as (with a bit of artistry) that would allow a symmetrical design with the symbol in the middle.

However, others are more well-versed than me in the Classics, and it's at least conceivable if not likely that the phrase has already appeared in classical Latin. As mentioned in comments, kill has many synonyms like slaughter, murder, slay, execute, butcher, put down, put an end to... and one of those might be a better fit — or, maybe, indicate that an existing classical use might not fit.

  • Thank you. Appreciate all the help.
    – lvdp
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 15:44

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