After checking several online databases/dictionaries, I have been unable to find a source for what I assumed was a familiar Latin idiom, Cave quid optes. Could it be apocryphal? In an essay I'm writing I attribute the phrase very generally to Romans, but I would like to name an author like Horace or Ovid, if possible. Anyone know why I can't find a single entry for this? Is my spelling incorrect?

Thanks for any advice.

  • 4
    Since it's a very literal translation of an English idiom I would guess that it's modern.
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented Dec 26, 2023 at 20:11
  • 3
    The question is, is this even really grammatical? Cavere with an indirect question is certainly unusual. Commented Dec 26, 2023 at 20:27
  • Cave quid optes is the normal form of the idiom though, isn't it? Is there a more familiar way of expressing "Be careful what you wish for"? Not necessarily more correct but more familiar. Commented Dec 26, 2023 at 21:36


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