Questions tagged [idiom]

For questions concerning expressions, word-plays, symbolic language, metaphors and the likes.

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Can someone explain this construction?

I'm trying to read the opening (Latin) poem of Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy. Here's a link to the page in the edition. The title is Democritus Junior ad Librum Suum. For some reason ...
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7 votes
1 answer
108 views

how best to express 'in case of...'

can 'in case of + noun' be translated as si + genitive, e.g. 'si ignis' (in case of fire)? or is a verbal clause (i.e. si forte + subjunctive) more idiomatic? thanks!
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9 votes
0 answers
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How to say "having the last laugh" in Latin

The expression "to have the last laugh" means to come out on top in a dispute or contest eventually, even if it may at first not seem so. This is particularly so if the person was laughed at ...
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3 votes
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42 views

Common latin phrase for "and the opposite case too"

I recall once seeing in some notes (not for Latin) which contained a Latin phrase - I can't recall the exact definition but contextually I knew it meant something along the lines of "and the ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Extending well known phrase

I was thinking about this recently, but my latin knowledge is restricted to well known academic phrases like in vitro, de jure, etc. and others like ad nauseam or in vino veritas, thus this question. ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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hoc pacto a synonym for quo modo?

I am working through the notorious Rosetta Stone Latin and they have the phrase "hoc pacto" seemingly as a synonym for quo modo. So, for example, there are sentences like: Solum hoc pacto ...
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11 votes
2 answers
1k views

How does one respond to "Quid agis."

"Quid agis?" is a common idiomatic expression meaning "how are you doing" and "what are you doing". It is similar to the French "ça va?" Some of the ways I have ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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A Latin phrase for "a thing which has been done/cannot be changed"

I'm looking for a phrase I've seen in various articles but cannot remember. It has to do with the idea of something that has been done and now cannot be changed. I've commonly seen it in international ...
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2 votes
1 answer
150 views

How to say a prayer in latin grammaticaly?

Magic, for practical all of history, was the invocation of a spirit. This is true of religion. In the old testament, there are implications that other divine beings exist (e.x. "you shall have no ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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Can "si vixero" be understood in the sense of "quamdiu vixero" in Petrarch, Fam. 11.6?

In Petrarch's Epistolae ad Familiares 11.6, we find this sentence about friendship as both joy and burden: Etsi enim amicorum nichil affectu ac pietate dulcius habeam aut sperem, sepe tamen arctius me ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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"Which came first: the chicken or the egg"

"Which came first, the chicken or the egg" is a common idiom in English. It's used when you want to describe a paradoxical situation where it's ambiguous which of two related things came ...
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9 votes
5 answers
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Latinism to say "everyone knows"

Is there a common phrase to say "everyone knows x"? I always thought it would be "x is vox populi", but the way I understand from Wikipedia is that vox populi has an opinion ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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What is the best Latin counterpart for 'reach' or 'contact'?

In English you can use the verbs "reach" or "contact" to mean being in contact with someone without specifying the method. When you don't want to specify whether you are writing a ...
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4 votes
1 answer
99 views

Trying to translate "Do not draw the sword without reason, do not sheathe it without honour"

I'd like to use this phrase: "Do not draw the sword without reason do not sheathe it without honour" in Latin, but unfortunately, I haven't used it in years and wasn't particularly good at ...
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11 votes
1 answer
143 views

How to say "in all fairness" or "to be fair" in latin?

I am very new to Latin. I was wondering how you'd say something like "in all fairness" or "to be fair" in Latin. I have been searching for the answer for hours and I couldn't find ...
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  • 111
5 votes
0 answers
79 views

Roman words to describe suicide

The Romans did not have a single word to describe suicide; that is a modern (by our standards) invention. There was the expression mors voluntāria, volitional death. They also had verbal phrases, such ...
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6 votes
0 answers
112 views

Is there a Latin idiom equivalent to "great minds think alike"?

In English we have the idiom great minds think alike, which we usually use when two people coincidentally have the same idea at the same time. It's taken in a jovial manner and not as a serious ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Latin statement from a benefactor

What would be a Latin expression to state that something was given by a benefactor (i.e. not simply a gift from a friend or relative)? I would be attempting to describe the situation of one person ...
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1 vote
0 answers
28 views

Latin scientific phrase for during, outside, non and never intervention [closed]

What is a scientific way of saying, in Latin, During Intervention Outside of Intervention Never received Intervention. Missing Intervention. Thanks in advance.
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  • 111
4 votes
2 answers
175 views

Kind sentence or formula to end a letter to a close friend

I want to write a letter to a close friend who studies classical litterature, and I would like to end it with a sentence (or even just a greeting formula) in Latin which would convey a (non-romantic) ...
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  • 143
5 votes
4 answers
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"Too early to say" in Latin

Having some trouble in finding a good equivalent of the English pattern: "too early to say/judge". The most naïve literal translation might be: "id nimis praematurum ad dictum/ut ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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idiom: Pro convento nostro proximo

In the novice book, Musici Bremae, the author several times uses a phrase that appears to be some kind of idiom. For example: Gratias ago. Pro convento nostro proximo. What does this mean?
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5 votes
2 answers
275 views

Is "ad conventus agendos" a dual accusative or does agendos modify conventos?

A commonly found Latin idiom is ad conventus agendos, found for example in multiple locations in Caesar. Should I understand this as dual accusative or as agendos modifying conventus, or to conventus ...
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6 votes
0 answers
61 views

Rolling your eyes

There is a common gesture: when we find something tiresome, when a perfectly avoidable annoyance was -- again! -- not avoided, when we know what is coming and wish it didn't ... we roll our eyes 🙄 ...
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6 votes
1 answer
101 views

Informal ways of expressing gratitude (and replying to the same) in Latin?

Background, modern examples Most people who learn Latin and who want to gain some oral proficiency, will early on learn the phrase Grātiās tibī/vōbīs agō, and simply a Grātiās! to match English Thanks!...
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8 votes
2 answers
130 views

How do I save money in Latin?

How do I say "saving money" in Latin? Ideally I would be looking for a verb (possibly with an object), as it could be used similarly to other languages I know, but a noun or an adjective ...
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5 votes
1 answer
108 views

Do Future Tenses in Latin also serve for expressing "be willing to do"

(Well. I'm not a native English speaker. So my wording may be someway weird.) In English Future Tense is formed of "will" and bare infinitive and could express the following meanings: (sb.) ...
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3 votes
1 answer
186 views

How would I say to someone, "be yourself"?

If I wanted to advise or counsel someone that they should be themselves because this would ultimately make them happy, how would I say this? My initial thought is something like: Te Ipsum Es Is ...
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7 votes
1 answer
143 views

Which preposition should be used with contrario and why?

Is it better to say argumentum a/ab contrario or e/ex contrario? It seems that both are acceptable but in most Romance languages it is a contrario. The movement out/from is not clear/explicit/graphic ...
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4 votes
1 answer
289 views

Is "aliae alias in partes" an idiom of some kind?

In Fabulae Faciles, section 82, I do not understand the expression "aliae alias in partes". Is this some kind of idiom? The phrase is: Postquam tamen pauca mīlia passuum ā lītore Trōiae ...
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11 votes
3 answers
866 views

Parsing "quae cum audisset"

I'm having trouble parsing the phrase "quae cum audisset," which I've seen translated as "when [subject] heard" or "and when [subject] heard" in the latin vulgate. For ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What feminine noun is implied in ἐφέροντο τὴν πρώτην "were the leaders" (Philostratus)?

Philostratus, Lives of the Sophists 1.18: ἡ Ἀθήνησι δημαγωγία διειστήκει πᾶσα, καὶ οἱ μὲν βασιλεῖ ἐπιτήδειοι ἦσαν, οἱ δὲ Μακεδόσιν, ἐφέροντο δὲ ἄρα τὴν πρώτην τῶν μὲν βασιλεῖ χαριζομένων ὁ Παιανιεὺς ...
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7 votes
3 answers
914 views

Translate "mind over body"

I should start by saying that my experience with latin extends as far as the fact that some words sound similar in italian, not much more. I'm trying to translate the idiom "mind over body", ...
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  • 73
7 votes
1 answer
130 views

Use of "in" with ablative

I'm hoping someone can clarify the meaning of the medieval Latin phrase "in ipsa" when referring to a decision or action not being "in" or "upon" someone, which I assume ...
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4 votes
1 answer
132 views

What would be a proper reaction to the question: "Can you come over?" or how do you say "Coming" in Latin?

In a comment to this question, JoonasIlmavirta suggests a spin-off question. I have had this question simmering for quite some time, but this is a nice incentive. Consider the following cross-language ...
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  • 1,063
7 votes
1 answer
160 views

Is there a more idiomatic way to say "to begin again"?

Incipere iterum seems like a very literal way to say "to begin again". Is there a more idiomatic way to say this? For additional context, when I think of this phrase, I think of something ...
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3 votes
2 answers
566 views

A Latin motto for SpaceX

Jeff Bezos company Blue Origin has a motto “Gradatim Ferociter” or Step by Step Ferociously, although they seem to take a very long time to do anything. Elon Musk also runs a rocket company (SpaceX). ...
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  • 317
7 votes
0 answers
76 views

Roman wedding congratulations

How did the Romans congratulate a couple on their wedding day? The concepts of wedding and marriage were not quite what they are now back then, but I assume that celebrations and congratulations were ...
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6 votes
2 answers
209 views

Is there a Latin construction for a tentative question/suggestion analogous to "I wonder [question word]"?

At first, I thought "me rogo," but the dictionary did not confirm my suggestion. I think my German is interfering ("ich frage mich").
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1 vote
1 answer
128 views

How to say “dudes rock” in Latin?

I want to translate "dudes rock" into Latin. Google Translate and working with synonyms got me to viri sunt prodigiosus (“men are amazing” more or less?). But I'm wondering if there’s an ...
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11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Which is more correct, "status quo" or "statu quo"?

I always heard and read the expression "status quo" but I just found the alternative spelling "statu quo" in the Italian translation of Motivational Interviewing by Miller e ...
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9 votes
4 answers
981 views

"Wishful thinking" in Latin

How to express the that a scenario just mentioned is probably too-optimistic and unlikely to happen (and might merely reflect the hopes of one, rather than being grounded on evidence). phantasia comes ...
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  • 6,889
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

How did the Romans congratulate a new father?

One of our users recently became a father and of course congratulations are in order. How did the Romans do that? More specifically, are there any attested congratulations to a new father in the ...
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10 votes
3 answers
4k views

Could one consider using Latin as a daily casual language these days?

I just saw a video asking like how would one say I just had an avocado toast and thought about some of the new stuff that didn't exist back then. How would we integrate new words into the Latin ...
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8 votes
2 answers
4k views

How do you say "good morning" in Latin?

Are there different ways to say good morning in Latin? Would bene mane be okay?
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4 votes
1 answer
387 views

How is "as...as" to be Expressed in Latin?

In expressions e.g. "A change is as good as a rest."; "He was as good as his word."; how is the "as...as" part to be translated? I've found quid sicut bonum ("Word ...
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  • 6,940
4 votes
1 answer
93 views

Looking for the most accurate translation of "Remember and Persevere"

I'm looking for a nice Latin phrase to put on my college class ring. Being honest: college was a pretty rough time for me, but I've pulled through a lot of hardships and I'm gonna be the first of my ...
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  • 43
7 votes
1 answer
208 views

Maria mater Domini

The phrase "Maria mater Domini" appears in Pseudo-Papias Fragment X (A fragment attributed by J.B. Lightfoot to Papias of Lombardy, 1040s–1060s, author of the Elementarium Doctrinae ...
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3 votes
2 answers
136 views

Usage of fugio as an idiom to mean forget

I am confused how fugio is used grammatically when it is used idiomatically to mean forget. In Latin the regular word for forget is dedisco (to unlearn). However, usually the Latins used various ...
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  • 2,816
9 votes
1 answer
271 views

What is Peniculus insinuating with his reference to Samian crockery?

Introduction and question Pl. Men. 1.2.71. Pēn. Metuis, crēdō, nē forēs sămiae sient. Pēniculus You fear, I believe, that the doors may be Samian*. * By [Henry Thomas Riley][1] translated as ‘of ...
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