There are various foods that are called "balls" in English, perhaps most famously "meat balls". What would be a good Latin word for a ball in this sense? I can think of words for a ball in general, but there is no guarantee that any of them is applicable here.

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    At all events avoid botulus.
    – Hugh
    Commented Oct 13, 2018 at 21:45
  • ...because of botulism, food poisoning from bad tinned beans. What did you think I meant?
    – Hugh
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 12:35
  • @Hugh That was one thing, but L&S does also mention a vulgar secondary meaning which does align with "sausage". I was not sure which one you meant.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 13:08

1 Answer 1


Why not globus or globulus? Each is a word that basically means a spherical mass. The former has a wide range of uses, and would be a reasonable choice, but for 'meat ball' I should prefer the diminutive.

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    The MSFUL gives colyphium and globulus carneus as translations of meat ball, so I think globulus is probably a good answer.
    – Sam K
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 18:48
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    Building off your answer and @Hugh comment: botulus globuli sounds beautiful
    – tox123
    Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 1:30
  • @tox123 I'm not sure I follow. What would you use botulus globuli for? Sounds like a sausage filled with meatballs or some such thing. For just "ball" I would choose globulus. The word botulus has a vulgar meaning beside "sausage", which can make it a little awkward for culinary use. (Also, the @-ping doesn't work unless you comment under the same post.)
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 9:24
  • @joonas Ilmavirta I think that tox123 meant to write bubuli, which would probably serve (it's derived from bos).
    – Tom Cotton
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 13:47
  • @TomCotton Ah, that would make perfect sense! It never crossed my mind, as I am not all that familiar with the word bubulus.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 21:01

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