I want to riff off the famous saying "those about to die salute you".

According to wikipedia the original is:

"Ave, Imperator, morituri te salutant" ("Hail, Emperor, those who are about to die salute you")

I want to change it to "Hail, Project Manager, those who are about to sprint salute you"

The best I could come up with is:

"Ave, Vilicus Operis, concitī te salutant"

But it seems totally wrong.

Anyone have a better translation?

  • Do you want a word that literally means "sprint"? Obviously, that verb in Latin wouldn't contain the meanings that the word has in the software industry.
    – brianpck
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 23:48
  • @brianpck "sprint", "scramble", ...something that indicates effort and drive,.. Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 0:17
  • To indicate 'strive', why not use nitor (future participle nisurus or nixurus)? And I don't think that vilicus is quite right (unless you have a freedman in charge of you wage-slaves!).
    – Tom Cotton
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 6:35
  • I'm not sure there is a good Latin word for "sprint" in this meaning (which I had never seen before!). I would suggest something as dull as laboraturi te salutant, "those about to work salute you". If you go with vilicus, it should be in the vocative case here: vilice. Perhaps: Ave, vilice, laboraturi te salutant.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 7:53
  • @Joonas Do you think cursuri works?
    – brianpck
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 11:58

1 Answer 1


I think the operis is unnecessary, but vilicus is subversively delightful. It means "overseer," and was often used for the slave who oversaw the field-working slaves. I really like the connotation there.

For 2nd declension nouns ending in -us, the vocative (i.e. when they are being addressed) ending is -e, not -us. Since imperator doesn't follow that pattern, it sees no change, but vilicus does, so you have to have ave vilice and not ave vilicus.

One problem with concieo is that it's transitive, and therefore takes a direct object. A vilicus might concieo his workers, for example. I think you're better off with a word like festinare or properare, both meaning "to hurry [yourself]". The former has a nice Latin proverb that would complement it: festina lente, "hurry slowly." Essentially, do whatever you're doing as fast as you can, but not so fast that you are making mistakes doing so.

The future participle of festinare is very rare, but it is attested in Pliny and therefore Classical.

All this yields:

Ave Vilice, festinaturi te salutant.

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