How could the verb phrase 'tidy up' be put in Latin please?

  • There are quite a number of Latin verbs with meanings around cleaning, all used differently. When you refer to the action of "tidying up", who is performing the action, who is the recipient of the action, is it figurative or literal, etc.? Sep 22, 2018 at 22:07
  • It is entirely literal - for a group of people who need to tidy up a room, as in put away and also throw away rubbish, as you would tidying a bedroom. I think the suggestion below will work fine. Thank you Sep 24, 2018 at 22:30

1 Answer 1


The phrase 'tidy up' usually means 'return things to their proper places'. It may also, of course, include removing all the detritus of some operation.

In English we might say 'clear away' or 'sweep out', and 'tidy up'. If this is what you are looking for, then the verb verro, verri, versum is appropriate for both clearing and sweeping. The best option for making tidy, or 'putting things back (in their places)', is repono, reposui, repositum.

You could expand on the simple repono by adding in loca propria, 'in the proper places'. The context will decide if you need to do this.

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    That is so useful, thank you. All I could find was that a late Latin word for the adj 'tidy' is ''mundus', but your verb choice w 'in loco propria' will be much better. I was being entirely literal. Sep 24, 2018 at 22:24
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    I believe it should be in locīs propriīs, since the neuter plural is for geographic locations. Jun 14, 2021 at 13:33
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    @NathanKendrick in that case it should be in locos proprios, since the ablative is for stationary locations, and here you need the accusative for a directed motion.
    – gmvh
    Jun 15, 2021 at 6:35
  • @LornaEllis, Mundus is indeed a good choice for "tidy", and if you wanted to link it directly to a verb, you could use mundare, which can also mean to prune or to purge or just get rid of whatever does not belong. In general I prefer Tom Cotton's suggestion, but mundare has its uses.
    – Figulus
    Jun 18, 2021 at 0:57
  • @gmvh For reasons not entirely clear to me, pono and friends actually prefer the ablative regardless (latinitium.com/latin-dictionaries?t=lsn41210). I would guess it has a causative explanation, like English set: you can set something on a table, but you can't set something onto a table, because etymologically set means 'cause to sit'.
    – Anonym
    Jun 27, 2021 at 19:40

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