Greetings in Latin may use different adjectives ('bonum', 'faustum', 'felicem', etc.), just as in Romance languages; e.g. in Spanish the New Year greeting may be 'feliz año', 'buen año', 'próspero año', etc. (I am a native Spanish speaker.) Likewise, in Latin we may say 'bonum/felicem/faustum annum novum' to greet the New Year, or 'bonum/felicem/faustum natalem Christi' to greet Christmas, amongst others.
As far as I am concerned, the accusative is used because there is an elided 'tibi opto' or 'habeas': 'Faustum annum novum [habeas]' or 'Faustum annum novum [tibi opto]'. How should one reply 'same to you'? Should it be 'Tu quoque', as in 'Tu quoque [habeas]', or should it be 'Tibi quoque', as in 'Tibi quoque [opto]'? I was thinking that maybe a 'Tibi idem opto' would fit all situations.

  • I would certainly suggest not to say «Et nōn …»; it is such a burdened phrase.
    – Canned Man
    Feb 21, 2022 at 0:30

1 Answer 1


Fear not, when it comes to courtesies, Erasmus usually has you covered. So also in this case.

A true renaissance man would, of course, with his pocket edition of the Colloquia ready, not simply have wished someone a "faustum annum novum," but have said:

Precor, ut hic annus tibi laetis auspiciis ineat, laetioribus procedat, laetissimis exeat, ac saepius recurrat semper felicior.

... to which they would respond:

At ego vicissim tibi multa secula felicissima precor, ne tu gratis sis nobis bene precatus. (Gratis = for nothing)

In seriousness, at ego tibi vicissim ... precor is a good starting point even for more sober phrases.

Other suggestions:

  • Tantundem tibi reprecor. (Tantundem = just as much)
  • (To the harmless wish "Sit tibi fausta nox") At ego tibi, quando gaudere soles lucro, pro una fausta mille precor faustissimas.
  • 2
    Uh oh, William Massey does not approve.
    – Ben Kovitz
    Jan 7, 2022 at 15:21
  • 1
    @BenKovitz Pro di immortales! In quo mundo vivimus, si ne Erasmum quidem barbarismos nobis pro exemplari Latinitate non offere confidere possumus? Jan 8, 2022 at 22:02
  • I think at is out of place here as you aren't saying anything contrarian, but wishing the same, hence you want et. As for Erasmus, you can trust that his Latin is relatively more exemplary compared especially to what came before, but your own reply shows that he can't be uncritically taken as an example - he offers us seriously the same style as Plautus used for his gags :-) Jan 21, 2022 at 21:04

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