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First, apologies for my Latin ignorance. I have never learned the language, thus everything I say below may contain errors. If so, please correct me.

My fiancee has recently started her podiatry (podology) practice, that we have named 'Propedis'. The name is derived from what was meant to be Latin for: 'for foot'. (still not sure if we've declined it correctly). The idea was inspired by the name of a mattress maker: 'PerDormire' - for sleep.

Unfortunately, another company appeared to have registered the name 'Pro Pedis' as their trademark and they are now threatening us with court trial for the infringement, which we'd like to avoid.

As a result, we are looking for a new name, that would sound nice and would not infringe the registered one.

We thought of something like 'healthy foot/feet' or 'light foot/feet', yet could not find any credible online translation service to help us. By 'light' I mean the adjective, opposite of 'heavy', not the noun, which I was the only Latin translation of the word I was able to find.

Also, if you please forgive me for making this question a little bit more open, any suggestions of well-sounding foot-related names for a podiatric business would be welcome.

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    I think Per Dormire is Italian. In Latin, I believe it would be Pro Dormiendo. (Per Dormiendum would be "through sleeping", "by sleeping", or "while sleeping". As one word, perdormire sounds like "missleeping" or "oversleeping"!) Regardless, naming a podiatry practice in Latin sounds wonderfully classy! – Ben Kovitz Jul 17 '16 at 18:11
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Here's another alternative:

Pes Laetus ("the happy foot")
Pedes Laeti ("happy feet")

This gives you the opportunity to have fun with the logo by making ae into a ligature, like this: Pedes Læti.

You (and your customers) might already know the word læti from the Christmas carol Adeste Fideles, where læti triumphantes is usually translated "joyful and triumphant". To get a feel for its meaning in classical Latin, this dictionary page provides many illustrations of its usage. I understand it to have a connotation of "light, carefree, content, cheerful, glad"—feeling so good that you can't help but smile. In Medieval Latin, I believe it also took on a secondary sense of "someone who has paid off his debts"—I assume from how someone likely feels just then.

A possible disadvantage is that ae is pronounced differently in different traditions for Latin pronunciation. English pronunciation makes it ā, Ecclesiastical and Slavic pronunciation make it ĕ, and in classical pronunciation it's like English ī. I think the best approach to the multiplicity of pronunciations is "welcome all", but you'll probably have to choose one pronunciation to use yourself.


Here are some variants if pes and pedes are out:

Laetitia pedis ("happiness of the foot")
Laetitia pedum ("happiness of the feet")
Pedem laetum ("toward a happy foot")
Gratia pedum ("for feet's sake!"—well, it's funny in English)

You can also reverse the word order in any of these (including the ones above).

I'm not so sure that these are such good Latin. (Then again, your competitor's name is an out-an-out grammatical error.) This 1826 book in Italian uses the phrase laetitia pedis twice, but I can't figure out the intended meaning.

  • Nice and sophisticated. Unfortunately, just as I wrote in my comment above, these names don't sound nice to a Polish mass consumer. I realise, these are the answers to the question I asked, but no I see it's not the way to go. BTW: There is a (German, I guess) insurance company Gothaer on Polish market. Its name was so confusing, they even made a TV ad explaining how to pronounce it. – ohaleck Jul 17 '16 at 20:24
  • @ohaleck Oh well, I guess the proverb "Everything sounds better in Latin" doesn't hold good in Polish. :) Happily, the Polish pronunciation of ae is the same as the Ecclesiastical pronunciation, so that's not a problem, but I just read your comment to Joonas that the main problem is pes. You can rearrange Latin very easily. I'll add a variant without pes or pedes to my answer right now. – Ben Kovitz Jul 17 '16 at 21:21
  • thanks! I decided to mark your answer as accepted as I really liked your suggestion 'Gratia pedum'. We decided to use another name though. It is also Latin, but I'd rather not disclose it yet, as my paranoid competition may come across this discussion before we manage to register the new trademark. I'll share it when we do. – ohaleck Jul 19 '16 at 19:18
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When using a preposition in Latin, it is important to decline the word correctly. Prepositions require accusative or ablative, and pro happens to require ablative. The singular ablative of pes (foot) is pede and the plural one is pedibus. Thus "for foot" and "for feet" would be pro pede and pro pedibus, respectively. Using genitive as in pro pedis is wrong. However, correcting to pro pede might still be too close to the earlier name to avoid an infringement trial.

Using an adjective is probably a good idea. The "foot" can be made singular or plural and with or without pro (or any other preposition). Just remember that also the adjective has to be in the correct case and number. I will not list all possible combinations — if you like something and would like to have a different version of it, leave a comment.

Here are some adjectives you might consider using:

pes levis/sanus/validus/dexter
light/healthy/strong/dexterous foot

To find more adjectives and more precise translations of the ones I chose, use any of the online dictionaries listed in a separate question. It is easiest to help if we know what you want, and browsing a dictionary for good words is something you can easily do with no knowledge of Latin. There rarely are exact translations of an English word to Latin (including the ones I listed above), so to get a good translation you have to look at the options and figure which has the most suitable tone.


Edit: As requested in a comment below, here is a version with nouns instead of adjectives:

levitas/sanitas/validitas/dexteritas pedis
lightness/health/strength/dexterity of foot

If the form pes is bugging you, you can switch to ablative:

pro pede levi/sano/valido/dextro
for the light/healthy/strong/dexterous foot

You can also use plural:

pedes leves/sani/validi/dextri
light/healthy/strong/dexterous feet

And of course, these ideas can be combined. For example, "for the health of the feet" is pro sanitate pedum.

  • Doesn't pes dexter also mean "right foot"? – Ben Kovitz Jul 17 '16 at 17:50
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    @BenKovitz, it does. That is one of the reasons I urged ohaleck to check the dictionaries himself. All the adjectives I propose have several meanings although I only gave one translation per word. I intentionally left out other translations because I couldn't include them all. – Joonas Ilmavirta Jul 17 '16 at 18:15
  • I'd be inclined to make it oblique: Pedibus Sanīs, ‘for (or toward) healthy feet’. – Anton Sherwood Jul 17 '16 at 20:22
  • @AntonSherwood, that is a good alternative. There are no strict grammatical rules for forming company names, so it is up to ohaleck to decide what fits his need best. – Joonas Ilmavirta Jul 17 '16 at 20:33
  • @AntonSherwood That leads me to ask a new question. – Ben Kovitz Jul 17 '16 at 23:31

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