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Questions tagged [idiom]

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

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How would you say "can be read as" (to state a possible, but not certain, etymology) in Latin?

In my Reddit post about the Illyrian language, I said things like this multiple times: Si lingua Illyrica erat "centum" lingua, "Curicum", antiquum nomen pro Krk, potest legi ut &...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
115 views

«Dream and believe» in Latin

I want to get a tattoo in Latin. I already have one but for another, my knowledge is not enough to translate correctly. The text I want is: “Dream and believe” Just to clarify, the phrase does not ...
Vaasinaa's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
137 views

Origin of Cicero quote

"I criticize by creation, not by finding fault." Is this translation indeed a Cicero quote? What is the source and the original in Latin?
Odaluck's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
110 views

Latin phrase meaning "this is the end of the road, and of the map"

Somewhere I encountered a phrase, in print or electronically I don't remember, which I took to mean, "this is the end of the road, and of the map". I seem to recall the phrase in Latin being ...
Robert Dodier's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
34 views

Trying to translate "Mastery Through Hardwork"

I have looked at the following, i'm interested if there is something closer. "per ardua ad peritiam" -> "through the arduous to the skill." "dominium in labore" -> &...
Glenn's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
83 views

Unable to find a source for "Cave quid optes"

After checking several online databases/dictionaries, I have been unable to find a source for what I assumed was a familiar Latin idiom, Cave quid optes. Could it be apocryphal? In an essay I'm ...
Erick Verran's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
335 views

"I close, therefore I am"

In response to an SE close voter's (what I perceive to be) shifting justification for voting to close a question, I wrote: ...and whenever I see someone's close reason evolve and morph during a ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
75 views

Is there a Latin idiom for in the doghouse?

In English if you are "in the doghouse" you are in disgrace. From Merriam Webster: in a bad situation because someone is angry at one : in trouble He's in the doghouse for forgetting his ...
Simd's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
375 views

Is there a way to say the English phrase "Get it over with" in Latin?

Like if an activity is unpleasant to do, but someone must or wants to do it anyway, someone in English might say something along the lines of "Let's get this over with", or if a person is ...
Nomad1004's user avatar
  • 345
1 vote
2 answers
116 views

Prequel, or the story before?

There was a writing term posted in a class I had taken 10 years ago, and it essentially meant prequel or “the story before” and for the life of me I cannot remember it nor find any sort of phrase that ...
DeeDee's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
876 views

How would you translate "Nothing but the rain"?

In the science fiction TV show Battlestar Galactica, two characters share the following greeting on occasion: What do you hear? Nothing but the rain. I've been wondering what would be the closest ...
matias's user avatar
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1 answer
156 views

Dissecting Quod erat demonstrandum

The question Translation: that which was to have been made deals with grammatical aspects of the expression quod erat demonstrandum, but I am interested in a detailed break-down of the meaning ...
Mikhail Katz's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
52 views

How to say "Game Changer" in Latin

How can we describe the disruptive influence of a new factor/invention/information to a sphere of life? as the English idiom "game changer"? In particular, it would be great to have a ...
d_e's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
146 views

Does a quote like this exist: "Now that the gods are involved, [fate is sealed]."

I'm looking for an ancient quote that resembles something like, "Now that the gods are involved, fate is sealed / all hope is lost / it's useless to fight our fate" vel sim. Essentially, I'm ...
cmw's user avatar
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-2 votes
1 answer
101 views

Was there an idiom meaning the same as English idiom "Must be a day ending in 'y'!" or Croatian "Ista priča svakog dana!"?

Croatian "Ista priča svakog dana!" literally translates as "Eadem fabula cuiusque diei!".
FlatAssembler's user avatar
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0 answers
37 views

How would I say something along the lines of "no kicks no glory", "no kickstart no glory"

The intention is to point out that there is no glory in starting your motorcycle with electricity. Starting up your engine by kicking your kickstart is the one true and pure way. I tried to figure it ...
Max Ohert's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
89 views

Is there an antonymous phrase to dies mali?

"dismal" in English was originated from Latin dies mali ‘evil days’. Is there an antonymous phrase to dies mali? If yes, is there an English word originated from that?
Tim's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
140 views

Use of subjunctive in translation of movie quote

I want to translate the phrase rise and rise again until lambs become lions into Llatin, with the idea of never giving up or daring to the impossible. My translation so far is surge et surge ad ...
graograman's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
89 views

"To have knife between the teeth"

Is there a nice way to describe a situation when one acts aggressively even fiercely and fearlessly and has "whatever it takes" mindset to achieve a certain goal as in English we say "...
d_e's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
89 views

The feeling of home

I believe there is an idiom in English that says: It feels like home Or something [about it] felt [somehow] like home This means when you’re at a place where you feel comfortable and as if it was ...
Samuelis Grisseldis's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
105 views

Euphemisms for stupidity

In English we can say something like "Not the sharpest pencil in the box" - Do we have a parallel kind of expression in Latin? We can say brutus or stipes, which not sure if they are not ...
d_e's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
145 views

Idiomatic translation of „lilacs“

I'm searching for an idiomatic translation of the word "lilac(s)" (the deciduous shrub), in the context of its scent. For example, in English, we may would say: She smells of lilacs. I‘d ...
Samuelis Grisseldis's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
975 views

What does „fecerunt pedes“ mean in Latin inscriptions?

I have found several inscriptions in Latin that include the phrase „fecerunt/fecit pedes“ E.g. in the Basilica Sant‘Eufemia in Grado, Italy: Martini/anus et Simplicia / cum fili/is suis / f(ecerunt) ...
Samuelis Grisseldis's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
322 views

How would you express the idiom, "It is what it is"?

In English, we have the idiom: It is what it is. It usually describes a thing or situation with immutable negative qualities, so you have no choice but to accept them. How would one express this in ...
Adam's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
69 views

needs a good Latin quote to caption magazine to mark my father in law's 100 birthday

my father in law who turns 100 is a lover of latin phrases . So we were looking to caption the magazine to mark the occasion. The phrase should signify a life well spent or lived or similar Do you ...
lukman's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
2 answers
214 views

Is the inscription "avoca te" really a novel phrase?

In this article (in Dutch) it is claimed that an ancient Roman drinking mug found during an archaeological dig in the town of Mortsel in Belgium, contains the only known instance of the Latin ...
Latino's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
318 views

How would you translate the phrase “for myself”?

When I say “for myself” I mean it in a way such as “everything I do is for myself”. How can I phrase this in Latin?
user11885's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
297 views

Versions of natura non saltum facit

There seem to be at least two versions of a saying sometimes attributed to Leibniz: Natura non saltum facit. Natura non facit saltus. (I hope I did not commit any case errors here). Which of them ...
Mikhail Katz's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
135 views

Is the expression "ut poësis pictura" formally correct?

I'm writing an essay in which I'd like to use the expression "ut poësis pictura" with the intent of flipping the original expression by Horace "ut pictura poësis". I never studied ...
pat's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
557 views

Moonfleet latin idiom

"Ita in vita ut in lusu alae pessima jactura arte corrigenda est" In the text of Moonfleet by Meade Falkner, this phrase is translated to mean "As in life, so in a game of hazard, skill ...
mister gogos's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
501 views

What conjunctive function does "ruat caelum" have in "Fiat justitia, ruat caelum"?

"Fiat justitia, ruat caelum" is often rendered as "May justice be done though heaven falls/may fall". While I have no problem with the translation of "Fiat justitia", I ...
Moguntius's user avatar
  • 173
4 votes
2 answers
545 views

How do you say "What about us?" in Latin?

In English, a short for "What will happen to us because of your decisions?" is "What about us?". "What about us?" would literally translate as "Quid de nobis?". ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
141 views

Is there a phrase meaning specifically "as far as I know", as opposed to "as far as I see" ("quantum ab hoc")?

I know that "as far as I see" is "quantum ab hoc [videtur]". But is there a way to say specifically "as far as I know" or "as far as I can tell"? I am trying to ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
40 views

I need to translate a phrase "From the bottom of my heart, to the root"

The phrase is "From the bottom of my heart, to the root" I need it in Latin, I researched it and I found that the phrase is "Ab imo pectore ad radices", but I need to be sure. ...
Darian's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
65 views

Can "ultra vires" mean "without authorization"?

The legal term ultra virēs literally means "beyond their powers"; it refers to, say, a government official trying to make a law they don't have the authority to make (making that law is &...
Draconis's user avatar
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7 votes
0 answers
66 views

16th century vocabulary - harpsichord

In a 16th century text about musical tuning by Benedetti, the author provides this diagram, which he uses to describe his process of tuning the notes on a harpsichord: In the text, he begins his ...
Thomas Nicholson's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
53 views

Greek or Latin word to express "revealing the sacred in the mundane?

Greetings from a newbie with a very limited knowledge of Latin and less of Greek - some from working in the sciences and more from obsessive reading of English etymologies. I'm seeking a word in ...
cTen's user avatar
  • 71
8 votes
2 answers
166 views

Idiomatic translation of "By the book"

What is an idiomatic translation of the English phrase "by the book", as in "We run our business by the book?" I'm not sure if a very literal translation, e.g. "per librum,&...
Jasha's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
1k views

"How cool! /excellent!" in Latin

how is this current and wonder admiration spontaneous word externalized into Romana lingua ? Sometimes, when my English knowledge is deficient, thus, I have the desire to write/communicate its ...
ephesinus's user avatar
  • 565
6 votes
1 answer
193 views

With prōdesse, how would I specify what role the subject is useful in?

As someone many years out of practice with Latin I most struggle with assigning objects in the correct cases or with the correct prepositions for my chosen verbs — something most sources aren't all ...
Pahlavan's user avatar
  • 265
5 votes
1 answer
432 views

About "nōn uidēmus manticae quod in tergō est"

In the famous latin expression "nōn uidēmus manticae quod in tergō est". We see the word manticae. I always considered that this word must be the direct object of the sentence, however, if ...
Ergative Man's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
176 views

Something that rolls off the tongue better than "carpe caeruleum caelum"?

After exchanging blue sky snapshots with my friend, he exclaimed: Seize the blue sky! a reference to carpe diem, saying that we should embrace the beautiful weather and get the most out of it. Of ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 275
5 votes
0 answers
131 views

I'll put the kettle on

[Disclaimer: I know no Latin, and am asking from a position of ignorance; please feel free to correct any assumptions you spot!] My sister recently pondered what our family motto would be, if we had ...
Dewi Morgan's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
86 views

‘so there!’ (an expression of defiance)

The context this expression is used in is as an additional phrase to the main sentence and emphasises that you will not change your mind about a decision you have made. The phrase is generally spoken ...
Jonathan Hadfield's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
585 views

Is there a latin root for Romanian thank you (“mulțumesc”)?

The Romanian language has a particular word to express “thank you”. This word appears composite and direct translation of Latin. Phonetically I find it identical if not peculiarly close to “mult sum ...
WindSoul's user avatar
  • 161
7 votes
1 answer
214 views

Quid aliud edam?

A semi-sated lower-class Roman stands in front of the pantry and mutters to themselves: "What else could I eat?" What would be the most natural or idiomatic way of expressing this sentiment? ...
Roman's user avatar
  • 173
5 votes
1 answer
331 views

Is there a latin helper word that can used with infinitives (and implies that the subsequent word may be an infinitive)?

As I'm working on vocabulary, I'm doing all I can on my flashcards to stay "in Latin" as much as possible (as opposed to English translations), and also to use as much "natural" ...
Josh's user avatar
  • 793
8 votes
1 answer
429 views

What would be the appropriate translation for "Dedicated to my father, may he rest in peace"

I have a translation question. Normally, I would use Google, but I am hoping immortalize it in my M.S. thesis, so I wanted to be sure about the correct translation for "Dedicated to my father, ...
Kind Dude's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
56 views

Why is the phrase negotiorum gestio instead of alienorum gestio?

In Law negotiorum gestio is a form of agency wherein a gestor acts on behalf and for the benefit of a principal without the latter's prior consent. For example, while you are traveling abroad, a ...
George Ntoulos's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
100 views

The meaning of "proximo" in a Duns Scotus passage

Consider this passage from Duns Scotus: Si enim ista ratio est in se falsa, tunc includit virtualiter propositionem falsam; quod autem est simpliciter simplex, non includit virtualiter proximo nec ...
Chris's user avatar
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