It recently occurred to me that I don't know what to call a street sign in Latin. I know that a general word for "sign" is signum, but the dictionaries I consulted do not specify whether it applies to this kind of use as well. Perhaps a better English keyword is "plaque" than "sign", but at least Lewis and Short appear not to use this word.

So, what would be a good word for a street sign in Latin? Are there attestations of this use or something similar enough?

  • Which dictionaries did you consult? Did you check the Vatican lexicon or Ephemeris?
    – cmw
    Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 19:56
  • @C.M.Weimer Finnish dictionaries and L&S, neither of the two you mentioned. I'm not familiar with them.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 21:46
  • There is at least one street name mentioned in Actus Apostolorum 9:11: the Straight street (vicus qui vocatur Rectus). According to EN wikipedia this was "the old decumanus maximus, the main Roman road, of Damascus". So I doubt if it would have needed a street sign, being known well enough. Commented Jan 30, 2021 at 13:59
  • @JobRozemond Ancient Rome had a number of named roads too, including the famous Via Appia. I'm not sure if they had signs or what they were called, though.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Jan 30, 2021 at 14:15
  • @JoonasIlmavirta: Have you heard of the Tabula Peutingeriana? Finnish wikipedia has a scrollable version, and the English wikipedia has a cut-out of Rome, showing the roads and their names. Commented Jan 30, 2021 at 15:12

1 Answer 1


Who knows, but here's how Avellanus deals with it in Arena Palaestrarum (Tentamen XI, p. 45): ”Sunt enim viarum plúrimae, ubi nec lámpades compitales nómina viarum ferant, nec domus angulares ulla nómina aut inscriptiones exhibeant.“ I think it's fairly safe to assume that Avellanus would have used The Word if he knew It. How about titulus?

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