This is a phrase for a new hat that I want to get embroidered possibly tomorrow and I have a few ideas of what it could be but I don’t trust myself that much yet haha. Please help, thanks!

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    I think we'll need more context to be able to translate that. For example, do you mean to say that light is dead and is to be buried like a corpse or that the light should be hidden thoroughly? And does light mean literal light or something spiritual? Please edit to add details of the context.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 12:03
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    If you want to produce a physical item tomorrow, asking today is a bit late. You may well get an answer within a day, but don't count on that, or on the first answer being the best one. Waiting a bit longer is likely to reward you with a better translation.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 12:05
  • Yes I mean that the light is dead. Thanks so much! I would be interested to know both versions though.
    – user11885
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 13:46

3 Answers 3


“To bury” as in a grave is sepeliō, sepelīre, sepelīvī, sepultum (sepultō, sepultāre, sepultāvī, sepultātum is properly “to hold buried,” which is the “action” of the grave itself); “light” is either lūx, lūcis (feminine) or lūmen, lūminis (neuter). So I'd render it as Sepelīte lūmen or Sepelīte lūcem.

Note that I'm using the plural imperative (You all, bury the light); the singular imperative, if you are speaking to a single person, would be just sepelī instead. If you think that sepeliō is ugly, you can use obruō, obruere, obruī, obrutum (the primary sense of which is “overwhelm” or “overthrow”) can be used, instead: Obruite lūmen.


The "sepelire lumen" metaphor is inexistent in latin (there is no 1:1 analogy of metaphors between languages!). Cicero says several times "lumen exstinguere", "to extinguish the light".

  • You could potentially do "bury the lamp." It's not an attested idiom, but it wouldn't be impossible to figure out. I agree though that using lumen or lux here sounds odd.
    – cmw
    Commented Aug 27, 2023 at 18:21
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    It's not exactly an idiom in English either, so looking for strictly attested parallels is the wrong way to go about it.
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented Aug 29, 2023 at 0:53

My suggestions would be "Sepelias lucem!" and "Sinas lucem in sepulcrum." ("Put the light in a grave.").

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    Note that sino is quite unnatural choice. even if it can mean to put when in active, this is most certainly not the main use of that verb. It reads more like: let the light be in the cave - i.e., let it go, leave it, allow it. Also, the present subjective is little surprising - but it might be defended if OP provides more context.
    – d_e
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 12:43

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