What do these Latin words mean?

Several of you have the words ‘Pax tecum’ or ‘Pax vobiscum’ in your posts. Can someone tell me what these mean? Thank you!


‘Pax tecum’ and ‘Pax vobiscum’ both mean “Peace be with you”.
The only difference is that ‘Pax tecum’ refers to you singularly (2nd person singular) and ‘Pax vobiscum’ refers to you as a collective (2nd person plural)

So in contemporary English it would be:

Pax tecum - Peace be with you (individually)
Pax vobiscum - Peace be with you all (collectively)

I hope that this helps.

Thanks! Sure does!

Almost correct, but there is a miniscule error. In Latin and almost all languages except English, there are two ways of addressing people, familiar and formal. In German these would be “Du” and “Sie”. The formal way of addressing in English has almost totally disapperared except in some archaic phrases (“thou”, instead of “you”).

So “Pax vobiscum” may mean both “Peace be unto you” in plural, or singular, but a “formal” singular. Not really a big deal, but I thought I’d mention it.

Saalam aleikum. (“Peace be unto you” in Arabic).

Actually, neither Classical Latin nor the Vulgar Latin spoken by the Romans(which were somewhat different) distinguished between formal and informal. This distinction didn’t begin to come about at least until Vulgar Latin started evolving into Proto-Romance, the language which eventually evolved into the various Romance languages that we have today(Most people think that there are only 5 or 6, but in reality the number is closer to 50), but probably developed even later than that.

With regard to “tu” and “vos” in Classical/Vulgar Latin, JMJ_coder is absolutely correct. They only served to distinguish between singular and plural.

A few more minuscule errors. Most languages do NOT have formal and informal 2nd person forms, though many do. “Thou” was NOT the formal form, but the informal form, used for family and close friends a couple of centuries ago. As in several other languages, the formal term (“you”) has now become used almost always.

Geeze guys!
Pax vobiscum!

Pax tecum!

If you here this at Mass (Pax vobiscum would be the one said there), the response is, “Et cum spiritu tuo”–and with your spirit.

In Christ,