I want to title a poem "From Man to Woman" in the sense, addressed to woman, by man. While starting the poem, I had the phrase ad hominem/ad feminam in mind. My knowledge of Latin ends there.

Google translate fetches something on the lines of ad femina ab homini

Is this correct? If not, could you provide a short phrase, because it needs to be a title.

3 Answers 3


For an idiomatic translation, I would suggest Vir Mulierī Salūtem Dīcit.

This literally means "(a/the) man sends health to (a/the) woman", or more loosely, "the man greets the woman". This particular phrase is a standard formula in letter-writing: X Y salutem dicit was so common as the opening to a letter that it was usually abbreviated X Y SD in Classical times. For example, a letter from Marcus to Sextus would be addressed Marcus Sextō salūtem dīcit or Marcus Sextō SD, or even M S SD when using particularly common names.

The horizontal lines above the vowels represent a difference in sound that disappeared in later Latin, so you can include them or leave them off, at your preference.

The word vir means "man" as in "male human", as opposed to woman. If instead you want "man" to mean "any human", as in "mankind", use homō instead.

Mulierī is a nice simple word for "to a woman", but you could also use fēminae. If you want to be pretentious, write the ae as æ.


Update: I'm incorporating what was discussed in the comments (thanks fdb).

A literal translation could be:

A viro ad mulierem

Or the shorter:

Homo ad mulierem (Man to woman)

  • I prefer mulier over femina. Femina is, so to say, more biological, and also applies to female animals. Mulier, in turn, is more human-specific and arguably more fit for romanticism, since it's ambiguous and may also mean wife (if in context!... so don't worry).

  • Ad + accusative (ad feminam, ad mulierem) is the standard way to tell to whom a letter or a poem is addressed to.

  • Ab + dative (ab homine) is a way to tell who the agent is, but the nominative (homo) is also common (for example in letter openings).

  • I can think of three ways to say man: vir (male correlative to mulier), masculus (male correlative to femina) and homo. The latter means man in the sense of human being, but has also the secondary meaning of man as opposed to woman (e.g. by Plautus in Cist. 4.2.57).

You could even make a more compact version, where a verb and an object are implied:

Vir mulieri (a man [writes/reads this poem] to a woman)

Here, the dative (mulieri) makes the noun the indirect object (i.e. the recipient) of the (implied) action.

I like this one because of its compactness, ideal for a motto or for engraving. Its perfectly idiomatic in this context, although it could sound forced if spoken out of context.

Similar constructions using the same structure are:

Masculus feminae, homo mulieri, etc.

A problem (or a potential advantageous fact) is that feminae means both to [a|the] woman and [a|the] woman's, hence masculus feminae can be read as both man to woman and woman's man. The precise word choice is up to you, depending on the nuances you want to give. You can even mix them (masculus mulieri/vir|homo feminae) but:

  • Make sure to keep the right word endings (or the actual meaning can change)
  • Keep also in mind that the mix could sound more or less as good or bad as these sound in English: male to woman, man to female.
  • That's great, n helps me a lot Tho, I would not mind a biological context, so does homo feminam work? What's the dative for female in that context? Aug 11, 2018 at 8:32
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    The opposite of mulier or femina is vir, not homo,
    – fdb
    Aug 11, 2018 at 9:42
  • @KaushalSuvarna the two-word version would be homo feminae
    – Rafael
    Aug 11, 2018 at 10:51
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    feminae can be dative or genitive ("a woman's man"). mulieri is unambiguous.
    – fdb
    Aug 11, 2018 at 13:59
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    Rafael and fdb thanks a bunch for the help and explanations. Without going too much into the poem, it's an address from the base nature of man (and woman) to the discerning femininity in woman. So I think, tho it might break the logical pairing, "homo mulieri" makes most sense, esp now considering that homo is a neutral word. Aug 11, 2018 at 14:30

A viro mulieri (datus est).

Would be a literal phrase, like what you would pot on a gift, but since this is more like a letter than anything, it would be more like:

Vir mulieri Sal. or Vir mulieri s.p.d.

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