4

I wanted to ask this some time ago, but assumed that it would be dismissed as "fatuous". To my gratification, Joonas has blazed the trail with his excellent Q: Did the Romans use 'animus' and 'anima' together?, a compare-&-contrast of near-identical words.

My rhyming couplet consists of favourite adverbs, "nequiquam" = "in vain", and "nequaquam" = "by no means"; "not at all" (Oxford).

I have never seen these two used together, perhaps they never were but could have been?

"nequaquam (erat) nequiquam Romam veni.";

"It was by no means in vain that I came to Rome."

Any thoughts?

EDIT: 2/9/2021:

Thanks to TKR.

"nequaquam nequiquam Romam veni."

Accepting that the two adverbs would not have been used together, an alternative:

"nullo modo nequiquam Romam veni."

"By no measure did I come to Rome in vain."

4
  • 3
    Just as a note, you couldn't use erat in that sentence, because you already have a finite verb veni.
    – TKR
    Sep 1 at 17:48
  • @TKR: I wasn't sure about that hence the brackets, and separating the adverbs seemed like a good idea.
    – tony
    Sep 2 at 8:44
  • 1
    nequiquam and nequaquam are not so common, that you can look through every passage they appear in relatively easily.
    – cmw
    Sep 2 at 12:22
  • 1
    I don't see it placed next to nullo modo anywhere. Of course that doesn't mean it can't, just that it hadn't.
    – cmw
    Sep 2 at 12:23
6

The only time they ever appear near (within 100 characters of) each other is in the Differentiae Verborum (or Verborum Differentiae) attributed to Suetonius, where words of similar meaning or appearance are explained:

neqviqvam et neqvaqvam] nequiquam frustra, nequaquam nullo modo significat.

nequiquam et nequaqum: nequiquam means "in vain", nequaquam means "in no manner."

And that's where we get the definitions for them spelled out in plain Latin. If anyone did play with these words, they didn't use them within 100 characters of each other.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.