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Crucigramma and cruciverbium are both used by Vicipaedia but I find them unsatisfactory:

  • crucigramma is a mix between a Latin and a Greek root (AFAIK),
  • cruciverbium almost looks like a misspelling of cruciverbum.

I am looking for a single word using two latin roots (or two Greek roots) or possibly a simple expression. There is no need for it be attested but it would be nice.

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    You are probably aware of that, but "crucigrama" is already a Spanish word for crossword puzzles.
    – Edheldil
    Commented Oct 24, 2022 at 13:43
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    And "cruciverba" is how we call crossword in Italian
    – moonwave99
    Commented Oct 24, 2022 at 15:56
  • Why are you looking even for a term, let alone a single word using Latin or Greek roots for a concept which did not exist until centuries after both Greek and Latin ceased to be linguas franca? Commented Oct 24, 2022 at 20:21
  • @RobbieGoodwin 1. Curiosity 2. Because I want to write about that in Latin
    – user11281
    Commented Oct 24, 2022 at 20:26
  • @Laravel Great and even in English, is it correctly "cross word" or "cross-word" or something else? Translating modern English into ancient Latin is bound to be a fraught journey, because linguistic development over time matters; now is not the same as then. If your knowledge of Latin is good enough to accommodate this at all, why are you not able to make the translation yourself… and vice versa? Commented Oct 24, 2022 at 20:47

1 Answer 1

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I will argue for reconsidering cruciverbium, as I don't think the objection against its ending -ium is very strong. Latin used -ium as an ending for derived abstract nouns, including various compounds, such as aequinoctium from aequus and nox. Several well-attested classical words end in -verbium, such as adverbium and prōverbium. In Plautus, we even find a compound vēriverbium.

I think a more well-founded objection to cruciverbium would be that noun-noun compounds in general are not very classical in style, and I am not sure it is semantically natural in Latin for a compound of the noun crux and the noun verbum to be used with the meaning "words in the form of a cross/words that cross each other".

But to modern readers, the word is obviously a calque of English "crossword", so even if the meaning is weird from a purely Latin perspective, I would find it somewhat excusable. I don't think it will be easy to find a better single-word formation from Latin roots.

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    Is cruciverbium better than verbicrucium? It's not obvious which way it should go.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Oct 24, 2022 at 2:48
  • I wasn't aware of those examples thank you, I am also interested in your answer to Joonas' question
    – user11281
    Commented Oct 24, 2022 at 7:43
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    @JoonasIlmavirta An advantage of a word beginning cruciverb- is that we already have the word cruciverbalist for someone who constructs or solves crosswords.
    – Rosie F
    Commented Oct 24, 2022 at 11:05
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    @RosieF That is indeed a notable benefit, but this is the first time I've heard of the word "cruciverbalist". I'm curious how the choice of order compares to other two-noun compounds.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Oct 24, 2022 at 14:43
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    @JoonasIlmavirta Or simply verbicrux?
    – TKR
    Commented Oct 24, 2022 at 21:27

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