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Questions tagged [idiom]

The tag has no usage guidance.

4
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0answers
22 views

How do I break someone's heart?

In English, "heartbreak" is a well-attested and living metaphor, with phrases like "I'm going to break his heart", "my heart is broken", "he looks broken-hearted", "he's dealing with heartbreak", "he'...
5
votes
2answers
52 views

How to construct the title of a house: House of the Large Cups?

I have read the thread on Domus optima, but I am looking for the idiom: how did Romans title their houses (vs. describe them)? In English, I would title our place "House of the Large Cups" because ...
4
votes
0answers
60 views

“Explaining oneself” in Classical Latin

How should I say in Classical Latin the following phrases? "Explain yourself!" "I didn't explain myself well", "I didn't make myself / wasn't clear" I've been thinking of the verbs explico and ...
5
votes
4answers
109 views

“Over promise under perform” motto

As this is the time when we're all coming up with wacky mottos, I thought I'd try my hand at our department's private motto. Having run a few variants through Google Translate, and coming out with a ...
5
votes
1answer
515 views

Meaning of “supra se servitium”

Background In the TV series Fallet, some of the upper class of the fictional town of Norbacka use the phrase supra se servitium as a sort of salutation. Its meaning is never elaborated upon. My ...
4
votes
2answers
83 views

How to say “me importa un comino” (or equivalent) in Latin?

In Spanish there is a whole array of phrases of the type: Me importa un comino. where the word "comino" can be replaced by many alternatives (e.g. pito, pepino, bledo, etc). This phrase, in a more ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

An error message in Latin for my programming language

I am writing a piece of software that translates programs into programs (a "compiler", in informatics lingo) and my source language allows the programmer to specify Latin numerals. In case the ...
6
votes
3answers
496 views

How to phrase “I like the way you think” in Latin?

Is there a concise way to phrase "I like the way you think" in Latin? I can find ways to say this, but everything I could think of is a little unwieldy compared to the English. For example, I might ...
5
votes
2answers
663 views

Understanding “jam nunc”

The expression (idiom?) jam nunc appears several times in the Vulgata. So far I've seen two common translations. One is that of "now presently". For instance, Exodus 9:19: (Latin) Mitte ergo jam ...
8
votes
0answers
91 views

Is it idiomatic to say “Intellego” to assure the speaker you're understanding?

In other words, when an English speaking person would say "I see" meaning "I understand what you're saying", is it natural in classical Latin to say Intellego, as in, maybe even more than once? If not,...
4
votes
2answers
47 views

in order of temporal proximity

In Latin, how would you refer to the concept of sorting events according to temporal proximity (i.e. most recent, or nearest to now, first); as opposed to sorting by priority, or starting from the ...
3
votes
2answers
151 views

Why is plural of “mons pubis” not “montes pubum”

Latin newbie here. Was talking with a friend about Martian landforms like Olympus Mons. Then we talked about other uses of mons, like mons pubis. But then I realized I didn’t understand something. ...
9
votes
3answers
134 views

Did the Romans 'tip' for good service?

I need to refer in Latin to the modern practice of 'tipping' in return for good service. I am well aware of words and phrases for 'reward', which are essentially correct for my purpose, but I should ...
6
votes
2answers
82 views

A classical Latin phrase for “all or nothing”

Is there a saying in classical Latin similar to "all or nothing"? I am aware of aut Caesar aut nihil, and that would be fine if it was classical. In most cases the era of origin is irrelevant, but I ...
5
votes
1answer
77 views

Idiomatic phrasing of “to the [cardinal direction] of [something]”

I am currently writing a small geography of the Roman Empire at its greatest extent (in the year 117 AD, under Emperor Trajan) in an effort to practice my composition skills. So far everything has ...
7
votes
1answer
824 views

Translation of a phrase “Catch the moment, …” to Latin

I hope someone who speaks Russian could help me in translating a phrase "Лови момент. Цени мгновение." into Latin. I'm afraid the original meaning could be lost or transformed if I translate it to ...
11
votes
1answer
135 views

Ūtāturne linguā Latīnā aliquis adverbō «ferē» ut linguā Anglicā verbō «almost» ūtimur?

Linguā Anglicā, saepe cum multīs adverbīs atque adiectīvīs, plūrima quōrum significātiōnēs absolūtās habent (exempla sunt «always» vel «everything» vel «nothing» vel «never», et cētera), adverbō «...
4
votes
2answers
216 views

How do I say “everything started here”?

I would like like to translate "everything started here" in Latin. Would omni coepia hinc work?
4
votes
1answer
50 views

Latin phrases adopting an imprecise/incorrect meaning in English (or other languages)

Before staring learning Latin, I was already acquainted with many Latin expressions accommodated to Spanish (and English). Typical examples are ex ante, ex post, vice versa, et cetera, etc. Now that ...
6
votes
1answer
37 views

Latin phrase that means, dissolve and reintegrate

A couple of months ago, I heard this story of a demon or some entity that was cursed to eternally break something down and reintegrate it together. There is even a photo of the demon crying in the ...
3
votes
2answers
107 views

How would you say “see me” in latin?

In the context of being a person that is ignored by others, how would you say "see me" in Latin?
6
votes
1answer
44 views

Adding translation of “potential” to “ad infinitum”

The phrase "ad infinitum" is often used in texts that are otherwise non-Latin. I would like to use a variation of this phrase in an English text. In philosophy of mathematics there is a distinction, ...
5
votes
1answer
55 views

How do I negate an ut clause of result?

Ut clauses of result are excellent for saying "so ___ that". But what if I wanted to reverse this and say "not ___ enough to"? For example, tam strenue laborābam ut epistolās centum scripserim means "...
5
votes
2answers
78 views

How would I say “as long as”?

Suppose I want to write about Meleager, fated to live exactly as long as a certain branch of wood lasts (no longer, no shorter). Or perhaps I'm writing about Cincinnatus, who agreed to hold power as ...
8
votes
2answers
47 views

What is a good deed?

Suppose I wanted to talk about good deeds. Generally this means acts done by someone for selfless reasons, solely to benefit others. For a literal translation I could go with bona facta, but the ...
6
votes
1answer
47 views

How might I write a latin phrase for swapping bodies?

Putting together a small literary piece where an item is inscribed with a Latin phrase that hints that it can be used to swap bodies (or minds, depending, I suppose, on your perspective) with another ...
6
votes
1answer
95 views

Quōmodo verba “in my opinion” Latīnē loquī?

In colloquial English (particularly in online discourse) the phrase "in my opinion" (often abbreviated as "imo/IMO") is quite common. I am wondering how one might express this in an idiomatic manner ...
3
votes
5answers
140 views

Translating “child of freedom”

How would I translate the phrase “child of freedom" in feminine form?
5
votes
1answer
65 views

How to phrase “it took two hours”?

In English or Finnish I can express the time it took to complete something in two ways, but in Latin only one: E: "I did it in two hours." F: "Tein sen kahdessa tunnissa." L: Duabus horis id perfeci. ...
4
votes
1answer
169 views

“What are you up to?”

I would like a Latin phrase to ask what the other person is doing at the moment. For example, it would not be unusual for me in chat to first say "hi" and then ask what the other person is doing. I ...
7
votes
1answer
573 views

“There is” in Latin

In English you use the phrasal verb there+[to be] to mean something different than just an object being placed somewhere visible or known to the speaker and/or listener (i.e., there). According to ...
2
votes
0answers
64 views

What is “sense of humour” in Latin?

What would be a good classical Latin translation of "sense of humour"? I can find words for "humour", but I am not sure how to go about "sense of". Would one of the humour words be adequate on its own ...
3
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0answers
47 views

Idiom like “Fair enough!”

If someone disagrees with you and the argument makes you change your opinion, you might say "Fair enough!" in English. This seems to be essentially equivalent to "Oh, good point! I agree." Is ...
3
votes
1answer
35 views

Can I use abesse with hinc, inde, and others?

Is it idiomatic in classical Latin to combine the verb abesse with hinc, inde, or other such pronouns meaning "from somewhere"? This is surely an at least intelligible way to say "to be away from here/...
9
votes
1answer
142 views

“How about” in Latin

How do you propose an idea for someone else to accept, reject, or counteroffer, as in this conversation? A. Where would you like to have dinner tonight? B. How about Rex Aztecorum on Fourth ...
3
votes
0answers
55 views

How to speak a language with a third declension adjective?

Most Latin adjectives related to names of countries and languages are of first and second declension: Latinus, Graecus, Anglicus… If I want to express that I speak in any such language, I will ...
6
votes
3answers
955 views

How to say “well done”?

Is there a Latin phrase similar to the English "well done!" to be used to congratulate someone for achieving something? Translating from English, one might expect bene factum! or bene fecisti! or ...
4
votes
1answer
117 views

Arx celebris fontibus

I bought yesterday a bottled mineral water, of the Harrogate brand, which label states: Harrogate's motto 'Arx celebris fontibus' translates as 'a citadel famous for its springs'. (this is the ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

How to say “please pray for me” in ecclesiastical latin?

I know that ora pro me means "pray for me", but how would I express my request politely, such as in the English equivalent "Please pray for me" ?
5
votes
5answers
503 views

Touching emotionally

In English or Finnish I can say that I was touched by something or an experience was touching, meaning that I was touched emotionally, not physically. How can I express the same in Latin? Does tangere ...
4
votes
3answers
241 views

Is there a Latin source for “He who is able to laugh at himself, is invincible”?

Some time ago I came across a Latin sentence that roughly came down to: "He who is able to laugh at himself, is invincible" At the time I thought: Oh well, this must be a well known Roman saying (...
6
votes
2answers
77 views

How would one convey “a snowball's chance in hell” in Latin?

As a good pessimist, I frequently wish to humorously convey extremely low probabilities. I'll often use the phrase "a snowball's chance in hell," or a variation of it, to express this: There's a ...
5
votes
1answer
35 views

How to express one thing is more important than another?

How to express that one thing is more important in Latin? As an example, voice of the people over voice of the king can be stated in Latin as Vox populi supra vox regis. I interested in expressing ...
6
votes
0answers
41 views

Do any Latin authors preserve Etruscan quotations?

Many Latin and a few Greek phrases are now used in English, even by people who don't necessarily know the original language, as proverbs, phrases, mottos, and so on. Many short fragments from ancient ...
3
votes
2answers
269 views

“Quemcunque miserum videris nominem scias”

Can someone help me find the meaning of this phrase? Quemcunque miserum videris nominem scias.
5
votes
1answer
236 views

How to say that you were just kidding?

It is not unusual to attempt to say something humorous but it is mistaken for as serious statement. In this situation I might say "Just kidding!", "I wasn't serious!", "it was a joke!", or something ...
7
votes
1answer
69 views

How to describe qualifications?

I recently obtained formal qualifications to teach Latin (and mathematics and physics) in a number of Finnish schools and I got my diploma yesterday. How should I go about expressing this in Latin? Is ...
3
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1answer
65 views

An idiom for a young-looking older person

How can I say idiomatically in classical Latin that someone is old but still looks young? Should I say bene senuit ("he has aged well"), should I use a participle like bene reservatus/retentatus, or ...
12
votes
2answers
133 views

Is the usage of “id est” in Latin exactly like the usage of “i.e.” or “that is” in English?

There was a question a little while back on the English SE asking about the "plural form of i.e." (unfortunately, it got closed because the author didn't clarify what they meant). While I was trying ...
4
votes
0answers
39 views

An idiom for “on the road”

I spend much of my time travelling, and that brings all kinds of challenges. For example, it can be hard to follow my preferred diet and I don't have access to my books. How could I express such ...