Putting together a small literary piece where an item is inscribed with a Latin phrase that hints that it can be used to swap bodies (or minds, depending, I suppose, on your perspective) with another person. After much fiddling with Google translate, I initially settled on Commutationem Corporum. However, it's a mouthful.

After more fiddling, I am considering Corpus Vorto. Are either of these acceptable? Is there something that might work better?

I prefer medieval Latin, if possible.

  • Welcome to the site! Just to make sure, you want a description of the item, not some kind of spell, right?
    – Rafael
    Aug 3, 2018 at 18:24
  • 1
    @Rafael, Right. Not looking for a spell. Just an inscription that indicates that the item can be used for swapping bodies. In English it might say, "Body Changer", or "Exchanges Your Body with Someone Else" or whatever. Would like it to be short and sweet as Corpus Vorto seems to be.
    – StoneGiant
    Aug 3, 2018 at 18:38
  • I think the answers you have gotten so far are really good. You can't swipe the opening line of Ovid's Metamorphoses as is since you need a slightly different meaning, but using a compound of muto is first rate, to echo in nova ... mutatas .... formas corpora.
    – C Monsour
    Aug 18, 2020 at 23:15

2 Answers 2


Commūtātiōnem Corporum = "exchange of bodies", a noun phrase, in the accusative case.

Corpus Vortō = either "I change a body" or "I rotate a body", a verb phrase.

I would go with first a noun in the accusative case for "body/bodies", then a verb in the first person singular meaning "I change".

For the noun you could choose from corpus "a body", corporēs "bodies", imāginem "a shape", imāginēs "shapes", formam "appearance", formās "appearances".

For the verb you could choose from commūtō "I exchange", mūtō "I change", vertō/vortō "I turn".

You can mix and match these freely, but my vote is for imāginēs commūtō, "I exchange shapes". If you want something longer you could turn it into a sentence, imāginēs hominum inter sēsē commūtō "I change the forms of people back and forth", but given your comments I'm assuming you want something short and sweet.

You can include the marks on top of the vowels, or leave them off, at your preference. They represent a difference in sound that was important in Classical times but disappeared in later Latin. If this is meant to be Mediaeval, definitely leave them off.

  • Thanks @Draconis. I will probably go with Commuto Corpores.
    – StoneGiant
    Aug 6, 2018 at 17:19

Maybe Corporēs Commūtō (or even Corporēs Excambiō)? Basically it would mean bodies exchange or exchange bodies.

  • Corpus is "body", but Corporēs is "bodies".
  • Commūtō is Latin from con- "with, together" +‎ mūtō “change, alter” = 1. "I change or alter entirely; modify, correct, reform, transform." 2. "I exchange something with another, change, barter, interchange, replace, substitute, traffic."
  • Excambiō is from Latin ex "out of" with Late Latin cambiō "change" = "exchange" or "I exchange".

Maybe Excambiō Corporēs would be better? As it would basically mean "I exchange bodies".

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    Welcome to the site! As corpus is a neuter, you might want corpora instead of corpores. You can always edit your answer, at least if you register your account.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Aug 17, 2020 at 11:03
  • Is excambio an actual Latin word? Cambio should carry the same meaning and is actually attested; however, it seems to be a rare word from mercantile jargon. Aug 17, 2020 at 13:22

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