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Like if an activity is unpleasant to do, but someone must or wants to do it anyway, someone in English might say something along the lines of "Let's get this over with", or if a person is about to have a different person do something to them, like let's say a dentist appointment, the person who is about to be acted on might say to the other person "Just get it over with"

Is there an equivalent to this in Latin?

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  • Do you know any versions of this in other languages than English?
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Dec 18, 2023 at 8:01
  • The "idiom" goes in Spanish for the imperative for supera lo, my guess is that Latin version of this superà id can do the work.
    – RomRom
    Commented Dec 21, 2023 at 4:42
  • @RomRom the grave accent is not part of any Latin orthography or normalisation scheme I'm aware of. Did you mean superā (the 2nd person singular present imperative of superō "I go over") with a macron instead?
    – Tristan
    Commented Dec 21, 2023 at 14:51

3 Answers 3

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+25

This is not a perfect fit, but I suggest the imperative age. It can come in combinations like age dic, "go ahead and say", so if there is a specific verb that goes with the action in question, add it in. This idiom has two imperatives.

The imperative age can be understood in a number of ways, so out of context it will not carry the same meaning as the English "get something over with". Also, with this choice the Latin phrase is an order to the second person whereas the English one is more from the point of view of the first person plural.

The English "get something over with" can also be used in a simpler sense "finish". If you want to lean this way, then I suggest going with a verb like perficere. You could thus say perficiamus, "let's finish this", or something similar.

There is no set phrase in Latin as far as I can tell and no translation is perfect. That's why I think you are better of with a collection of different approaches and tools when rendering this thought in Latin.

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  • 1
    "Heia age, rumpe moras" may not be exactly the same idea as "get it over with", but it's pretty close, and attested in both Vergil and Martial. I give this as merely one possible example of how "age" might be deployed. Commented Dec 26, 2023 at 11:39
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There is no particular idiom that I know of, but one way to say this using classical style would be:

fac ut (tantum) peragatur ("do it so it may just be finished")

In place of tantum you could also use the word admodum.

-1

Taking irregular verb, "fio" - "to become"; "to be made", in the present (iussive i.e. a command) subjunctive, "fiat" - "Let it be done!".

EDIT 1/1/2024:

It is now clear that the quote from Vigilius (see comments below) is not an attestation of this use of "fiat" (Joonas, in CHAT, explained that it is an acceptance of the circumstances and not an incitement to action.). Therefore, I am grateful to the contributor who provided the downvote. Though, a explanatory comment would have been appreciated.

Considering this further: an adaption of Horace's, "nunc est bibendum"--"Now one must drink"; "nunc est peragendum"--"now one must finish/complete/accomplish!" i.e., "Now one must get it done!".

The use of "perago"--"to complete" is attested by Vergilius (that man again) in Aeneis 4.653:

"vixi, et quem dederat cursum Fortuna, peregi."--

"I have lived, and the course Fortuna has given, I have completed."

SECOND EDIT 18/1/2024:

A different approach from the Vulgate: Matthew 6:10: "fiat voluntas tua" --"Let your will be done,".

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  • I was contemplating writing this same answer, but then I failed to find any examples of such a use of fiat. Have you seen or found any attestations?
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Dec 25, 2023 at 18:10
  • Joonas llmavirta: The only example I found was: "maledictus qui indivisiam deitatem Patris, et Filii et Sancti Spiritus non confitetur, fiat, fiat." --"Accused be he who does not confess the undivided godhead of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Therefore, let it be, let it be." (Vigilius of Thapsus, "de Trinitate" 6.255). Hopefully, "done" is understood after "let it be". This is from the 5th.C., so I wasn't sure that it should be included in the answer.
    – tony
    Commented Dec 26, 2023 at 14:08
  • 1
    And the Lord said, let's get this light over with...
    – cmw
    Commented Dec 31, 2023 at 13:48
  • The meaning of fiat doesn't match what was asked for. It's more "so be it" than "get it over with". It's not an incitement to action but an acceptance of the circumstances or (as in the Vulgate example) a wish. If we stay with this verb, in my opinion fac is closer to the desired spirit than fiat. But still, attestation is the key to translating idioms; reason alone is an insufficient argument.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Jan 18 at 15:05
  • @Joonas llmavirta: The iussive subjunctive can be construed as a command. The Vulgate ex. may be a wish but I wanted an attested piece of Latin. The last time I tried the unattested (the gerundive ex.) it received an anonymous downvote. Does the Vulgate ex. work as an order (in a different context)?
    – tony
    Commented Jan 18 at 17:30

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