What Is the Meaning of the Latin Exchange Between Doc Holliday and Johnny Ringo in Tombstone?

Tombstone film (1993), directed by George P. Cosmatos and Kevin Jarre, is a heart-touching and brilliant movie due to its eminent action sequences, brilliant acting, and a life lesson that revenge always comes with a cost. 

Many fans praised the storylines and dialogues of the film. Though, many of them could not understand one conversation between Doc Holliday (played by Val Kilmer) and Johnny Ringo (played by Micahel Biehn) because they did not provide any subtitles for their Latin discussion.

So, this article will discuss the English translation of the Latin conversation between Doc Holliday and Johnny Ringo in the film Tombstone. 

What Does Doc Holliday Say to Johnny Ringo in Latin During One of the Bar Scenes in Tombstone?

Here is the Latin conversation that took place between Doc Holliday and Johnny Ringo:

Doc Holliday: In vino veritas.

Johnny Ringo: Age quod agis.

Doc Holliday: Credat Judaeus Apella, nonego.

Johnny Ringo: Iuventus stultorum magister.

Doc Holliday: In pace requiescat.

Let us now translate the Latin dialogues into the English language.

Doc Holliday: In wine, there is truth.

Johnny Ringo: Do what you are doing.

Doc Holliday: Let the Jew Apella believe it, not I.

Johnny Ringo: Youth is the teacher of fools.

Doc Holliday: Rest in peace.

We know these translated dialogues do not make much sense. So, let us discuss the meaning of each translated dialogue from the movie’s perspective. 

In vino veritas (In wine, there is truth)

Doc is a heavy drinker and a gambler. Earlier in the movie, he says that he hates Johnny because he reminds him of himself and later because Johnny is an educated man. Doc also acknowledges that he speaks more frankly and truthfully whenever he drinks wine, and during this conversation, he was drinking wine. 

Age quod agis (Do what you are doing)

Members of the Jesuit order often use this Latin phrase to encourage undergoing Jesuit formation members. They use this phrase to advise them to focus intensely on their work. In the movie, it means that being drunk makes you a drunkard. So, it is good to stick to what you know best. 

Credat Judaeus Apella, nonego (Let the Jew Apella believe it, not I)

It is a quotation of Satires by the ancient poet Horace. In satire five of book one, people tried to convince travelers that miracles were taking place at their shrines. In English, we may say, you can tell it to someone, but no one will believe it. It might be possible that Doc is brushing off Johnny. 

Iuventus stultorum magister (Youth is the teacher of fools)

Johnny is the younger of the two. So, Doc wants to say that youth or young people are fools that learn by experience, but since he is younger than Doc, Johnny is less experienced. So, Doc can teach him a lesson. 

In pace requiescat (Rest in peace)

It is a common phrase usually written on the graves of dead people or said by people for a deceased person. Doc says this dialogue to make Johnny aware of the future threats or showdown between Doc and Johnny later in the film. He might also mean that do what you like, or live your life like it is your funeral or your last day.  

Apart from the above conversation, there is one more dialogue whose meaning is still unclear to some viewers.

What Is the Meaning I’m Your Huckleberry?

According to the dictionary of American slang, the meaning of I’m your huckleberry is, “I am just the man you are looking for!”

Doc Holliday says this line to Johnny Lingo twice in the film. He says it for the first time when Lingo confronts Earp in the street, and Holliday gets involved by saying I’m your huckleberry to Johnny Lingo. 

Another meaning that might be possible is that the line is idiomatic. It was made famous by Doc Holliday and originated from his home state of Georgia. Hackles are the handles on the side of a coffin. So, the dialogue may mean that I will be around when you are dead in the form of the handles of your coffin.