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 and organisations.


  • Japanese Avant-Garde Metal band Dir en grey named their eighth full length album Dum Spiro Spero. [11]
  • In the TV series Spooks, S8E5, Lucas North has a tattoo Dum Spiro Spero across his shoulders.

Family and individual use[edit]

Dum spiro spero is used as a motto by armigerous families including the Corbet baronets of Moreton Corbet (both creations), the Hoare baronets of Annabella, Co. Cork, and the Viscounts Dillon.[12] The Williamson Clan from Co Donegal, Ireland; and the Scottish Clan MacLennan. Individuals who used the motto include Charles I,[13] King of England; Sir James Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak,[14] and the merchant seaman and privateer, later Royal Governor of the Bahama Islands, Woodes Rogers.[15]

See also[edit]


  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. ^ "Cothill House (@CothillHouse) | Twitter". twitter.com. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  8. ^ 601skss
  9. ^ http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Survival-tips-for-life-on-the-Barbary-Coast-6690198.php#photo-7381306
  10. ^ "Clive Barker's Undying OST". Last FM.
  11. ^ https://www.metacritic.com/music/dum-spiro-spero/dir-en-grey
  12. ^ The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, Bernard Burke, Harrison & Sons, 1884, pp. 228, 286, 494
  13. ^ Flood, Alison (2018-07-05). "Charles I's 'message for the future' discovered in poetry book". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  14. ^ The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, Bernard Burke, Harrison & Sons, 1884, p. 129
  15. ^ The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down

External links[edit]