Like saying "Death to the enemy!" or something like that. I understand the basic meaning, I know it's an expression one would use against his enemies, an expression of hate and hostility, but I don't understand the exact meaning.

I know it's a stupid question, but could someone explain it to me? Thanks!

  • It's what it's says on the tin. It's not a usual construct, I've always thought of its use as a derivative of en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_to_America . – Todd Feb 11 '16 at 1:16
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    Rewrite it as "I/We wish death to my/our enemy" or "I/We want my/our enemy to die". It is a stated wish, not a statement of reality. – user3169 Feb 11 '16 at 1:48
  • @user3169 That's all I needed. Now I get it. – F. Naser Feb 11 '16 at 2:23
  • What comes to mind is the phrase used in a well-known Star Trek episode, "Death to Zeon" Star Trek - Patterns of Force (TV Episode 1968) - IMDb – user3169 Feb 11 '16 at 3:20

It may be easier to understand the meaning if you rewrite it like:

I/We wish death to my/our enemy.


I/We want my/our enemy to die".

It is a stated wish or intention, not a statement of reality.

  • "We want our enemy to die" or "We want our enemy dead" may or may not only be a wish depending on circumstances. If the enemy is held under siege, it becomes more reality than just a wish. – Peter Feb 11 '16 at 14:17
  • @Peter Maybe a "wish or intention" would be better. Still it is before the fact. – user3169 Feb 11 '16 at 17:14

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