What would be a good Latin verb for networking? I don't mean the study of computer networks, but the verb "to network" in the sense of making new acquaintances for business or other purpose. In Finnish one would use "verkostoitua" (roughly "to make oneself entangled in a system of webs"), and I was hoping there would be a Latin verb for the same purpose. Which verb would you recommend and why? If there is a very suitable noun, please share it, although I am mainly looking for a verb.

I am not sure if there is good classical precedent, so I am not restricting this question to attested use in classical Latin. I'm looking for something that would be useful in today's world. The tone can be anything; if the word you suggest has a pejorative or some other connotation, please tell.

A simple and straightforward option is nexus facere. I would like something like nectari better, if the derivative is right. (Perhaps nectitari?) For some reason passive — or rather middle — sounds more natural to me than active. Perhaps one could derive something from rete, but I can't think of a natural way to put it.

For searchability, let me repeat the main question in Finnish: Miten sanotaan "verkostoitua" latinaksi?

  • Which kind of networking do you have in mind? In contemporary English, "to network" (intransitive) means to socialize with the intent of meeting new people to do business with—often but not necessarily as a hidden agenda. The Romans must have had a word for that! "Networking" also means the study of computer networks, but this is only seldom used as a verb; when it is, it's transitive: "to network these computers". – Ben Kovitz Apr 21 '17 at 18:52
  • @BenKovitz I mean the social one. I'll edit the question when my computer is done with its updates. – Joonas Ilmavirta Apr 21 '17 at 19:04
  • Be sure to indicate whether you want the pejorative connotation. E.g. "Everyone at the party was just there to network" means that everyone viewed the party and the social interaction not as enjoyable for their own sake, but only as means to finding new clients for business. IOW, "network" as a verb connotes a certain kind of phoniness. – Ben Kovitz Apr 21 '17 at 19:17
  • @BenKovitz I edited the question. Is it clearer now? I am looking for something similar to what "to network" means in English. I'm not looking for any specific connotation, but of course I would like to know the connotations of any proposed translation. Whether the English verb implies phoniness depends on context, and I expect the same from Latin. – Joonas Ilmavirta Apr 21 '17 at 19:39
  • Yes, that ought to clarify it. A verb for this has simply got to appear in a Roman comedy somewhere. Even the medievals must have had a need for a verb for this. Maybe remove the vita-hodierna tag? – Ben Kovitz Apr 22 '17 at 0:44

I'd say cōnectere is the verb you're looking for:

I.to tie, bind, fasten, or join together, to connect, entwine, link together (class.; most freq. in part. pass. and the trop. signif.); constr. with cum, inter se, the dat., or absol.

Additionally, to connect with is often a synonym for to network in English.

There's modern usage precedent, too. The Vocabula computatralia lists a network connection as a cōnexus ("a link between computer systems via net"), and since "networking" with someone is "adding them to your network," I see no better term than this.

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  • That's a good verb, thanks. I might want to use it in passive (co(n)necti) since I am being connected rather than connecting, but the choice between active and passive isn't as crucial as finding a good verb. – Joonas Ilmavirta Apr 20 '17 at 1:23
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    I like conectere, too. For a more direct suggestion of a network, tela means anything woven, including a web — figuratively, too. I'd even consider something like telamovere! – Tom Cotton Apr 20 '17 at 16:58

I think a great word for this is contexere, meaning to weave or connect intricately, like the action of braiding. It establishes a meaning that I think is closer to networking. I'd be fine with conectere, though.

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