Dum spiro spero

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Dum spiro spero means "While I breathe, I hope"[1] in Latin and is a modern paraphrase of ideas that survive in two ancient writers, Theocritus[2] and Cicero.[3]

It is a motto of various places, families, and organizations.


Dum spiro spero is the motto of Oliver Lodge Primary School in Vanderbijlpark, South Africa.


Dum spiro spero is the family motto of numerous families worldwide, including:

  • 1-family ylönen
  • Akrofi-Mantey family (Ghana)
  • Dearden family
  • Clan MacLennan
  • Dillon family (Ireland).
  • Branson family (England), Now USA
  • Asscoti or Ascotti family[9]
  • Baker family (Derbyshire, England)[9]
  • Banantyne family (Derbyshire, England)[10]
  • Burt family (Scotland, Ireland)
  • Bussell family (Cambridgeshire, England
  • Chitty family (Sussex)
  • Cheriogotis family (Alabama, USA)
  • Colquhoun family (Dunyelder, Scotland)[10]
  • Corbet(t) family (Ireland)
  • Coriton family (England)[10]
  • Cotter family (Ireland, now New Zealand)
  • Dewsbury family (England, now USA)
  • Dillon family (England)[10]
  • Elphdick family (Sussex, England)[10]
  • Everitt family (Kent, England)[10]
  • Floryanski family (Kraków, Poland)
  • Gahan family (Ireland)
  • De Garis family (Guernsey). The family crest surmounts a window (with the motto in Latin) at St Saviour's Church in Western Parishes, Guernsey.[11]
  • Gaunt family (Kent and Staffordshire, England)[9][10]
  • Glazebrook family (Lancashire, England)[9]
  • Golledge family (Ireland), Now USA
  • Grosch family, Germany
  • Herring family (England)
  • Hoare family (England)
  • Hodgkinson family (England)
  • Hunter family (Perth, Scotland)[9]
  • Ingram family (England)
  • Ingram family (Australia)
  • Knott family (England)
  • Lange family (Glamorganshire, Britain; Germany)
  • Lomas family (England)
  • Manzer family (Germany)
  • Mason family (Normandy)
  • McGahern family (Donegal, Ireland)
  • Morgan family (Wales)
  • Morrish family (England)
  • Nelson-Smith family (Surrey)
  • Olphert family (Ballyconnell, Donegal, Ireland) The motto and the family coat of arms is still visible above the door at Ballyconnell House, Donegal.[12]
  • Oulton family (Cheshire)
  • Pearson family (Forfarshire, Scotland)[9]
  • Pount family (Scotland)[10]
  • Punshon family (England)
  • Quenzer family (Germany)
  • Roberts family (Kent, England)[9]
  • Rylands family (Cheshire, England)[9]
  • Sarawak (1847 until 1942) under Brooke Family
  • Sharp family (Tyne and Wear, England)
  • Snowden family (Yorkshire, England)
  • Sparks family (Faraham Parish Hampshire, England, now USA)
  • Speare family (Australia)
  • Spearman family (Shropshire & Durham, England)[9]
  • Staunton family (Gloucestershire, England)[9]
  • Standard family (Bedfordshire, England)
  • Storer family
  • Symonds family (Bedfordshire, England)
  • Trevor family (Wales)
  • Vellathingal family (Trissur, India)
  • Walsh family (County Clare, Ireland)
  • Wenzel family (Germany)
  • Williamson Clan (Irish)
  • Whitworth family (Durham, England)
  • Whitehead family
  • Wimberley family (Cornwall, England)
  • Thompson Clan (Irish)
  • Young family - displayed St Stanhiil Court, Surrey, in the stained glass window showing the family arms of William Young (Deputy Chairman and co-founder of Lloyd's of London)
  • Zaheer Family (Hyderabad, India) (Chicago, Illinois)

Other noted individuals who used this motto:

  • Sir James Laurence Cotter, Baronet (Co. Cork, Ireland)[9]
  • Dr T.G. Dillon (Roscommon, Ireland)[9]
  • Vicount Dillon of Costello Gallen (Co. Sligo, Ireland)[9]
  • Charles Hunter, Esquire (Anglesey, Wales)[9]
  • Henry Thomas Partridge (Norfolk, England)[9]
  • Sir Owen Roberts (London, England)[9]
  • William James Sandford-Thompson, JP (Montrose, Scotland)[9]
  • Captain Alfred Ernest Speer, Esquire (Surrey, England)[9]
  • General Sir Edward Stanton (Gloucestershire, England)[9]
  • John Walsh, Esquire (Kilkenny, Ireland)[9]
  • Christopher Leich (Arlington)
  • Prince Boakye, a former student of Opoku Ware School in Ghana.


  1. ^ "dum spiro, spero". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  2. ^ Idylls 4, Line 42: ἐλπίδες ἐν ζωοῖσιν, ἀνέλπιστοι δὲ θανόντες.
  3. ^ Letters to Atticus Book 9, Letter 10, Section 3: dum anima est, spes esse dicitur
  4. ^ SCIWAY "South Carolina State Seal and South Carolina State Mottos". South Carolina Information Highway. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  5. ^ Nigel Barley (20 June 2013). White Rajah: A Biography of Sir James Brooke. Little, Brown Book Group. pp. 101–. ISBN 978-0-349-13985-2. 
  6. ^ Lukas Straumann (21 October 2014). Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia. Schwabe AG. pp. 63–. ISBN 978-3-905252-69-9. 
  7. ^ 601skss
  8. ^ http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Survival-tips-for-life-on-the-Barbary-Coast-6690198.php#photo-7381306
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Fairbairn, James (1905). Fairbairn's Book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland. London : T. C. & E. C. Jack. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Deuchar, Alexander (1817). British crests : containing the crests and mottos of the families of Great Britain and Ireland; together with those of the principal cities; and a glossary of heraldic terms (volume 2). Edinburgh : Kirkwood & Son. 
  11. ^ Craske, L.G.H. "The Stained Glass Windows of St Saviour’s Parish Church, Guernsey". St Saviour's Church. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  12. ^ "Stair an Fál Carrach". An Fál Carrach. Retrieved September 21, 2014.

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