As a follow-up of an interesting question on a typological classification of Latin (Are Latin verbs of motion satellite-framed or verb-framed? ), I was wondering if Latin has (semi)idiomatic expressions like the following ones:

English (satellite-framed language): Ben worked his guts out // Ben cried his eyes out // Ben laughed his butt off // Ben laughed his head off // ... (meaning: 'Ben Verb-ed a lot').

Spanish (verb-framed language): Ben echó los higadillos (de tanto trabajar) // A Ben se le salieron los ojos de tanto llorar // Ben se petó de risa //...

NB: as you can see, the important satellite- vs. verb-framed typology goes beyond motion verbs.

Assuming that these idiomatic constructions can be found in Latin, the expected pattern should be the following one, with Path/Result prefixed onto the verb, i.e., something like outwork, outcry, etc.

Unfortunately, so far I've been unable to find idiomatic expressions like He cried his eyes out in Latin. Interestingly, this class of idioms is not productive in Slavic languages (which, like Latin, are also "weak satellite-framed languages"; see my answer to the post above) as it is in Germanic languages, but some examples can be found:

a. Jan schodził sobie nogi (Polish)

Jan out-walked refl-dat feet

‘John walked his feet off.’ (meaning 'he walked a lot')

b. Džon vyplakal svoi glaza (Russian)

John out-cried poss. eyes

‘John cried his eyes out.’ (meaning 'he cried a lot').

  • In one translation of deditus the de- implies things have gone awry -held hostage; in the other de- is an intensifier, absolutely hooked on. This is another case where vowel length keeps readers on their toes.
    – Hugh
    Jul 12, 2019 at 22:31
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    Another candidate, inspired by @Hugh's comment: delacrimo.
    – Ben Kovitz
    Jul 12, 2019 at 23:09
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    Thanks for the examples & comments on the intensive meaning of prefix de-. Yes, a prefixed denominal verb like delacrimo can also mean to cry intensively but in this post I was wondering if (semi)idiomatic verbal phrases like "prefix-activity verb + direct object (body part)" are possible in Latin, i.e., examples where the verbal root expresses an activity (e.g., crying), the prefix expresses a Path/Result (e.g., out) and the direct object is a body part or related entity: e.g., cf. the Russian example at the end of my question .
    – Mitomino
    Jul 13, 2019 at 0:17


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