This question might be simple if I had a print copy, but I enjoy my Dresden Files on Audible, so I'm going off what it sounds like.

In Skin Game, there's a scene where Michael puts his hand on Harry's head and yells something that sounds to me like "Lavaquo de sodium!" in order to cast out some critters who are attacking Harry (hopefully that's not a spoiler; there are always critters attacking Harry).

Anyway, my Latin is even worse than Harry's and I don't have the spelling to hit up Google. Anyone know what that phrase actually is and means? If I'm guessing, it's something about washing the salt. :)


In the print version, Michael says "Lava quod est sordium!" when casting off the swarm attacking Harry. Michael actually used this phrase at several points in the series, either as a battle cry or when invoking the power of his faith.

Since I am not Latin-literate, I'll have to rely on tools from here. Google translate takes this and returns, literally, "Wash the dirt". Not nearly as dramatic, so I doubt that's the intended meaning.

In the context of the scene, this can probably be more liberally interpreted as "Cleanse this filth!", which sounds a lot more like what a modern-day paladin might say.

@chepner has contributed in comment that this is also a line from a Latin Catholic hymn Veni Sancte Spiritus, which is presented in several different translations, but seems to be commonly used as "Clean what is unclean," and given Michael's background something very likely for him to use.

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    Cool, thanks. Maybe a little poetic license would turn that into "Cleanse the unclean!"? – Paul Sep 30 '16 at 19:07
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    @Paul - Or a bunch of other things. I tend to think in nouns before descriptives. And again, zero Latin in my head. shrug – Radhil Sep 30 '16 at 19:15
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    "sordium" is form of "sordes" which indeed means dirt, filth meanness in other words "unclean" (both literary and figuratively) – Yasskier Sep 30 '16 at 20:31
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    FYI, it's a line from the Veni Sancte Spiritus. The translation is pretty much right, though: "Cleanse that which is unclean". – chepner Sep 30 '16 at 22:37
  • @chepner - Thanks very much for that, have added it in. There's some fuzziness recently about sourcing religious work, but I think this one works as in character. – Radhil Sep 30 '16 at 22:58

Lava quod est sordium! In nomine dei, Sana quod est saucium!

Translates to:

Cleanse that which is unclean! In the name of God, Heal that which is wounded!

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