Questions tagged [idiom]

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5
votes
1answer
604 views

How do I say “like a bull in a china shop”?

Searching, I found this page, which says "de armento in Sinis tabernam", which sounds to me like a (bad) literal word for word translation. How can I express the feelings behind the English ...
4
votes
1answer
410 views

Chasing Two Rabbits

While reading old Question: Two birds with one stone? I was reminded of the Russian expression: "A man who chases two rabbits will catch neither." In English we speak of the futility of &...
9
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1answer
775 views

“With all due respect” in Latin

Several sites, including the notorious Google Translate, have Salva pace to mean "with all due respect". However I could not confirm this from classical sources, yet we can find several ...
7
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2answers
1k views

“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” in Latin

What would be the proper Latin translation of: Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. The author of the quote is uncertain and, as far as I can see, it is not a proverb or a ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

Closest equivalent of “Don't get mad, get even” in Latin

I am looking for the closest equivalents of the following phrase in Latin: Don't get mad, get even. Preferably not a word-by-word translation, but an 'established' phrase or proverb.
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Translation of “Quasi non sit veritate”

Quasi non sit veritate. Searched and could not find anything. Thanks in advance to those that can help translating. This is from a “Tactical” training company.
3
votes
2answers
91 views

To throw is human

So, if To err is human translates to Errare humanum est what would be a good translation for To throw (a stone or projectile) is human I'm looking at proicere humanum est and mittere humanum est;...
3
votes
2answers
166 views

The proverb, “Talk bad about me, talk good, but just talk”

I once heard a phrase in Latin, as indicated in the title, whose context was that of people seeking a shabby kind of popularity or reputation in any of its forms. What would the proper translation for ...
5
votes
2answers
506 views

“Ready, Set, Go!” in Latin

How would you translate the common sport phrase into Latin. Here is my thought thus far: Ready. It usually used to mean "on your marks". But I would like to take it as "prepare!", ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Expression warning that some things can't be easily undone and one might want to think about this a while longer?

For example, a tattoo can semi-permanently mark two people, indicating their relationship. Human relationships and individual behavior are unpredictable compared to the permanence of tattoos. Of ...
4
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1answer
70 views

Case of “machina” in “Deus ex machina”?

According to https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/machina#Declension the case of "machina" only can be nominative, vocative or ablative. As the meaning of the phrase is "god descended on the ...
4
votes
2answers
55 views

Follow up “It's not a bug, it's a feature”

Following up Help translating "It's not a bug, it's a feature!"?, non erratum sed designatum came up as a great way to say "not a wrong step, but working as designed" as in ...
8
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1answer
3k views

Help translating “It's not a bug, it's a feature!”?

I know no Latin, but playing around with Google Translate I came up with "Non insectum opus est". Insectum seems like a good stand in for a generic bug, but maybe blatta is better (see http:/...
10
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2answers
2k views

How to say “To serve, not to be served” in Latin?

I would like to know how to translate the phrase "To serve, not to be served" in Latin. It doesn't have to be a word for word translation. But, I want to know the phrase that would give the ...
3
votes
2answers
143 views

How do you say “one more [something]”?

Answers to the question Latin version of "non ho che un" or "je n'ai qu'un" suggest that English more than one can be translated to Latin as plus unum (even though there ...
6
votes
1answer
414 views

How to say “Happy Sabbath”

In our community we use to say "Happy Sabbath" or "Have a Blessed Sabbath" which have the same sense like "Shabbat Shalom", regarding to Saturday as the day of rest. What ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

¿Was “grosso modo” popularised from Latin or Italian?

Grosso modo is a phrase of Latin origin, meaning "approximately". The phrase has been adopted in many languages (like English, French, Dutch, etc), as the referred link testifies. The ...
4
votes
4answers
220 views

Latin version of “non ho che un” or “je n'ai qu'un”

At least Italian and French have an idiomatic way to say "I have only one friend": Non ho che un amico. Je n'ai qu'un ami. Finnish has the same thing: "Minulla ei ole kuin yksi ystävä....
3
votes
1answer
145 views

“Once upon a time”

The English phrase "once upon a time" at the beginning of a story immediately sets the genre and style to a great extent. Is there a similar device, possibly a phrase, in Latin? It does not ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is this translation for “If I cannot move Heaven, I will raise Hell.” correct?

I want to make sure this is the correct translation for “If I cannot move Heaven, I will raise Hell.” Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta noveno.
13
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2answers
6k views

Feminine case 3rd-person version of “Veni, vidi, vici”

How does the famous saying: Veni, vidi, vici. have to be changed so that it describes a female person, such as in English: She came, she saw, she conquered. Reversing Google Translate gives ...
3
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0answers
87 views

What fresh hell is this?

“What fresh hell is this?” is a question frequently uttered (or so it has been reported) by writer Dorothy Parker, on such occasions as when the doorbell or the telephone rang, expressing her ...
7
votes
2answers
230 views

What is the source of the Greek phrase πύξ, λάξ, δάξ?

πύξ, λάξ, δάξ "by punching, kicking, and biting" is described by Wikipedia as an "epigram describing how laypersons were chased away from the Eleusinian Mysteries". Where is this ...
4
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2answers
370 views

Furtum est, secundum lege lata, contrectatio rei alienae fraudulenta

How to say this in proper, idiomatic, classical Latin? Theft is, according to existing law, laying hands on others' (foreign, strange, belonging to others) things fraudulently. Would one use the ...
4
votes
1answer
83 views

How would I say “From the mind of” in latin?

I'm making a journal for my girlfriend and would like to put "from the mind of [name]" on the front page. Sort of a play on "ex libris". If that doesn't really work, or sounds odd, "[name]'s thoughts" ...
18
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3answers
2k views

Are there native tongue-twisters in Latin?

Many languages have well established "tongue-twisters" (phrases difficult to articulate). In my native Spanish, "classic" examples are Pedro Pablo Pinto Pérez Pereira, pobre ...
3
votes
2answers
47 views

Translation of the proper name “Memorial Day”

I have a healthy distrust of Google Translate, which translates the proper name "Memorial Day" into... Diem in Monimentum The reverse translation becomes "Day of Remembrance," which is accurate if ...
5
votes
1answer
88 views

Proper use of “tenaciter servanda”

How would it be proper to characterise (adverbially or adjectivally) longus usus, opinio juris so as to mean a belief of law (belief of a legal requirement) in long use holding uninterrupted and ...
7
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2answers
1k views

Latin Phrase for “It goes without saying”

The title of the question pretty much sums it up. I am looking for a Latin phrase for the English expression "It goes without saying." I am not sure if an analogous expression exists- although I would ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Latin for “In war and in peace”

I remember reading long ago a pithy Latin expression for “in war and peace,” or “in war as in peace,” or something to that effect. The idea is that one might say, for example, that a certain truth ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

I Can't See the Wood for the Trees

In a recent conversation, with Joonas (in our site's chat room), about chess, the well-known English idiom "can't see the wood for the trees" came up. This phenomenon--whether caused by a ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

“Hunt like a wolf, feast like a god” — is the Google translation correct?

I want to translate this to Latin: hunt like a wolf feast like a god Google gives me sicut lupos venari a deo quasi festum To my understanding, the words are pretty much correct, but does ...
8
votes
3answers
429 views

Is this Latin statement idiomatic? (Can't quite link it to the English translation)

Consider the Bible verse 1 Corinthians 1:25. There are varied English translations of this verse (see here). The two most common are: For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of ...
6
votes
2answers
788 views

How can we say “not even wrong” in Latin?

The phrase "not even wrong" is thought to have originated from Wolfgang Pauli. The phrase was allegedly spoken in German before becoming a meme: Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig; es ist ...
24
votes
3answers
8k views

What is bullshit in Latin?

If a statement is blatantly wrong, one can call it bullshit in English. But how about Latin? Is there something more strong and colorful than falsus? I am not convinced that a direct translation would ...
4
votes
1answer
156 views

Idiomatic translation for family motto from English

When working on an improved version of our clan's crest, it was decided to add the motto (which had so far been absent from the design). The motto in English is "no time for caution". Related ...
2
votes
2answers
152 views

Amor est adequatio rei intellectus- is this correct for 'Love is the equalizing of understanding'?

I would like to find a Latin sentence similar to 'Veritas est intellectus rei adequatio' but with Amor instead of Veritas.
1
vote
1answer
63 views

idiom for 'Don't give up the day job'

One of my favourite phrases is 'Don't give up the day job' for when someone is not very good at something. I put together 'Noli labor a die dedere'. However 'labor' is more 'task' instead of 'job' and ...
1
vote
2answers
134 views

How to translate the phrases “both worlds” and “the best of both worlds” into Classical Latin?

How to properly write the expression "the best of both worlds" and the shorter phrase "both worlds" (meant in the same context as in the larger phrase) in Classical Latin?
1
vote
1answer
407 views

How do you say “hunt or be hunted” or “hunt lest you be hunted” in Latin?

I found that neca ne neceris means "kill lest you be killed" and would like to modify this to "hunt lest you be hunted." It looks like venor is the verb for "hunting" but I'm not sure what the proper ...
4
votes
1answer
72 views

Should one use the singular or plural when the number is unknown?

It just occurred to me (I'm that guy maybe starting the YouTube channel) that I don't know whether to use the singular or plural to address my audience in Latin. My thinking goes like this: plural ...
6
votes
1answer
412 views

Is “The beginning is half of every action” truly a Greek proverb?

I found in a book from 2015 a box with the quote: The beginning is half of every action. (Greek proverb) I googled it and there are many "pop websites" with the same quote. But none with a ...
4
votes
1answer
333 views

What do you say in Latin when something sucks?

In English you can say: "This job/movie/party/[anything] sucks!" This is a concise and slightly profane way of expressing displeasure. Is there something similar in Latin? The corresponding Finnish ...
5
votes
1answer
352 views

“How do you do?”

How to ask "How do you do?" in Latin. Quomodo te habes, is it common? What other common greetings for the "How are you?" exist? I have seen: Quomodo es? Quid agis? Quomodo te habes?
1
vote
1answer
83 views

Elit Scelerisque Mauris Pellentesque Pulvinar - Could some one please help to translate this

Could someone please help to transtale "Elit Scelerisque Mauris Pellentesque Pulvinar" to English? Many thanks and best regards, Phuong
1
vote
1answer
59 views

My boy, my woman, my man, my girl

What would be the meaning for "my girl", "my man", "my boy", "my woman" in Latin? If I use filia tua, it means you daughter, but could be used as puella tua to mean the same, or is there other ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

Is it possible to use a prepositional phrase with a gerundive/gerund?

can we use prepositional phrases (like "de domo") linked to a gerund or a gerundive, can it act as an object?
3
votes
1answer
167 views

Translation to Latin of “everything is revenge”

I'm trying to translate a phrase. I'm trying to say "everything is (part of) revenge", as in "every action is an act of revenge against the ones that tried to break you". Sorry if it's not too clear ...
5
votes
1answer
727 views

May they rest in peace

This may become an inscription written on a historical marker commemorating a mass grave. Which of the following is correct: Requiesce in Pace or Requiescant in Pace? The former was offered up by a ...
4
votes
1answer
95 views

Finer Tuning on Expressions-of-Time

Qs have been asked about expressions-of-time, of the type: "in the second year" = "secondo anno"; "within three days" = "tribus diebus"; "for two years&...

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