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According to wikipedia "Homō hominī lupus est" is a Latin proverb meaning "A man is a wolf to another man."

Say, I want to apply "zombie transformation" to this proverb, which would make it "A zombie is a zombie to another zombie."

Does anyone know how this would translate back into Latin?


My own highly uneducated attempts:

  1. "Zombie quod est Zombie Zombie" (Google translate of "a zombie is a zombie to a zombie")

  2. "Zombie in Zombie est Zombie" (Google translate of "zombie to zombie zombie is")

"Zombie" is an African word that dates to the 19th century. The closest I can come up with in Latin is "corpus animatum" (animated corpse).

  1. "Corpus animatum corpo animatum corpus animatum est." That's a mouthful and is most likely incorrect.

I wonder, if there is a single word equivalent to "zombie." Something like "corpus corpo corpus est" would sound nice (provided that's a proper sentence).

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  • French translation The man is a wolf for the man.
    – Quidam
    Dec 21 '19 at 19:18
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The concept of undead monsters definitely existed in Roman times, but I don't know of any good equivalent for the English word "zombie". The closest equivalent I can think of is lārva, a sort of generic word for "evil spirit with physical form". Alternatives would be cadāver, "corpse", or mortuus, "dead (person)".

Imitating the original phrasing would then give the following:

  • Lārva lārvae lārva est
  • Cadāver cadāverī cadāver est
  • Mortuus mortuō mortuus est

The last of these seems the most easily understandable: if someone talks about "the dead" actively doing something, I'm going to assume they mean ghosts, vampires, or zombies of some sort.

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  • I'll settle for the last version "Mortuus mortuo mortuus est". Thanks @Draconis Dec 22 '19 at 16:25
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consenescens idem est consenesci.

"A zombie is the same (thing) to a zombie."

My translation here uses the verb "consenesco" here rather than any other dying word, since this one involves a sense of aging (to the point of decay). I'm sure there are plenty of other ways to translate zombie, though.

I chose to use the neuter form of idem. We tend to think of zombies as "things" rather than people, so this seems appropriate.

I used 'idem' here, since you're reduplicating zombie an extra time that wasn't in the proverb. Using the same form of consenesco twice in a statement like this would seem ridiculous to me, but if it can be attested somewhere, I'm all ears.

The word order is intended to emphasize the wordplay you're putting on the original phrase. "A zombie is the same thing... to a zombie!" It would be better as a retort to the original saying, as I have written it. If you wanted a straight declarative sentence, I think switching cognescendi with est would give you the most neutral word order.

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  • Thanks Nickimite. I like your use of "idem est." But unfortunately overall phrase doesn't have a "ring" to it. What about using "animated corpse" for zombie? Dec 21 '19 at 14:25
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    consenesco really just means "to grow old," so it wouldn't be a good standalone translation of "zombie."
    – brianpck
    Dec 21 '19 at 17:04
  • What about using the noun mortui so the phrase would be more like Mortui idem sunt mortuorum, the dead are the same to the dead?
    – Adam
    Dec 21 '19 at 18:11

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