7

As a tongue-in-cheek joke, I'm trying to make a motto out of Russian phrase "впихнуть невпихуемое", which is literally translated as "to squeeze unsqueezable". 'Squeeze' being used in this context as 'to forcibly fit something into a tight place'.

This is a more informal version of "put a camel through the eye of a needle", basically.

I don't know a slightest bit of Latin, so tried my best with Wikipedia and came up with this:

urgeo inurgor

Rationale:

  • urgeo is something which comes in Google Translate for 'push'/'press'
  • in as a negative prefix
  • taken the stem urg- for the second word
  • -or suffix — one of verb-to-noun suffixes I found in the Wiki list

So, question is: Is this an accurate representation of the above ('to squeeze the unsqueezable')? Or is there a better way to squeeze the meaning in?

1
  • 2
    FWIW the camel through the eye of a needle is camelum per foramen acus. And to put it could be camelum per foramen acus ducere
    – Rafael
    Commented May 18, 2016 at 18:52

2 Answers 2

7

Urgueo/urgeo does mean "push/press," but it's more in the sense of trying to push forward rather than into something: militarily, rivers against a shore, age against a person as time passes. I don't think it's the right word.

I'm going to offer

Magna per lacunas ponenda parvas.

as a motto. A literal translation would be something like, "Large things must be put through small gaps." Latin has a pretty free word order, and putting magna ("large") first and parvas ("small") last creates a nice balance that's characteristic of mottos and aphorisms.

6
  • 2
    How about instringibilia interstringere to make it more of a wordplay? Interstringo is attested; *instringibilis seems like a natural construction
    – Rafael
    Commented May 18, 2016 at 18:55
  • Well, it's attested, but it means "strangle" or "throttle," so I'm not sure it's what the OP is looking for. :) Commented May 18, 2016 at 19:04
  • It also means to squeeze tight, or am I reading it wrong?
    – Rafael
    Commented May 18, 2016 at 19:06
  • 1
    Hmm. Possibly it means that post-classically. I looked in a few places and found it in contexts where "squeeze tight" didn't make sense as a translation, but that doesn't mean it's not an option. I think, though, that even if it does mean that, inter probably indicates "between two hands" rather than "into something." Commented May 19, 2016 at 1:53
  • @Rafael I know it's been about a year and a half, but your suggestion would still make a fine answer.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 18:18
2

Ok, four years later, at cmw's and Joonas' request, I propose,

instrinxibilia interstringere

Note that the first word isn't actually attested, but sounds like a natural construction of in– + strinxi + –bilis for unsqueezable. Here, the verb stringo means to draw tight, to bind or tie tight; to draw, bind, or press together. From that, instrinxibilia is a regular plural neuter, to mean the unsqueezable or just unsqueezable things.

The verb interstringo, -ere, in turn, is attested and means to squeeze tight.

2
  • 2
    Haha, you finally did it!
    – cmw
    Commented Aug 12, 2021 at 17:52
  • Shouldn't it be instringibilia (as in your original suggestion)?
    – TKR
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 1:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.