Skip to main content

Questions tagged [idiom]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
27 votes
2 answers
16k views

How do you write dates in Latin?

I have read a little about the history of the Julian and Gregorian calendars. Julius Caesar introduced the twelve-month Julian calendar in 46 BC, and Pope Gregory XIII introduced the Gregorian ...
ktm5124's user avatar
  • 12.1k
9 votes
6 answers
9k views

How to say "everything will be good" in Latin?

I wanted to find out how to say in Latin "everything will be good" (like in "all'll gon'a be fine"). I came up with Omnium bene futurum. Is this o.k., or am I too ill-Latined?
AHN AHN's user avatar
  • 121
10 votes
1 answer
252 views

Quando "a fortiori" ortum est?

Quando vocabulum a fortiori (sive a fortiore) ortum est ut nomen artis legis logicæve? In quo opere scripto primum apparuit? Volo intellegere eius rationem originis verificareque verbum elisum "...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
  • 16.1k
16 votes
2 answers
28k views

What did the Romans use to close their letters?

As anyone who's written a proper letter knows, one begins with a salutation and ends with a valediction (or, in normal English, opens with "hello" and ends with "goodbye"). Right ...
user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Parallels for the infinitive in "memento mori"?

The famous phrase memento mori (the subject of this question) means something like "remember that you will die, remember you are mortal". But this use of the infinitive seems odd. Memini is often ...
TKR's user avatar
  • 31.4k
7 votes
1 answer
1k 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?
Quidam's user avatar
  • 1,806
30 votes
7 answers
23k views

How do you say "please" in Classical Latin?

I'm wondering how to say "please" in Classical Latin like "please" as in "can I PLEASE have that?" or "PLEASE go away" or something like that.
Landon's user avatar
  • 667
17 votes
2 answers
5k views

What do animals say in classical Latin?

It is well known that the way animals "speak" is amusingly different in different languages. (See lion below.) This makes it hard to guess what kinds of words the Romans would have put in the mouths ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
17 votes
5 answers
8k views

What is a Latin version of Inshallah?

Anyone who served in the military in Iraq (and probably anyone who has done business in the Gulf) in the last 15 years is familiar with the term 'Inshallah.' I suppose it means 'God willing,' as in, "...
kingledion's user avatar
16 votes
4 answers
5k views

What would be a "night owl" in Latin?

On the recommendation of an esteemed Finnish member of our forum, I decided to ask how one would translate "night owl" into Latin. night owl (noun) a person who keeps late hours at night I ...
ktm5124's user avatar
  • 12.1k
15 votes
4 answers
2k views

Proper parsing of "Ite, missa est"

In the Catholic liturgy at the dismissal, the Latin phrase used is "Ite, missa est." The usual translation for this is "Go, the Mass has ended." Can someone suggest a proper parsing of this somewhat ...
brianpck's user avatar
  • 41.8k
13 votes
4 answers
5k views

How do I address an email in Latin to my Latin professor?

How do I address an email in Latin to my Latin professor? How is the greeting supposed to look?
LLGW's user avatar
  • 139
12 votes
1 answer
578 views

Parsing "quod Deus optime vertat"

I want to understand a diploma text: DIPLOMA QVOD DEVS OPTIME VERTAT EX LEGIBVS VNIVERSITATIS JYVÄSKYLÄENSIS ATQVE EX DECRETO FACVLTATIS (…) If I consider Diploma as a ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
604 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 Street? ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
  • 16.1k
11 votes
2 answers
5k 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 ...
ChinG's user avatar
  • 213
11 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is a black sheep in Latin?

It is easy to translate "black sheep" literally: ovis nigra. I suspect that this phrase does not have the same meaning as in English (and Finnish), judging by its absence in literature — ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
3k views

Origin of "seize the day" as a translation of Horace's carpe diem

Even many people who have never studied Latin know the phrase carpe diem (from Horace's Odes 1.11), and can tell you that it means "seize the day". But "seize" is not a very close translation of ...
TKR's user avatar
  • 31.4k
10 votes
4 answers
3k views

Are there Latin words for hair color?

English words like "brunette", "blonde", and "redhead" refer to people of a particular hair color. Are there similar words in Latin? It is easy to express hair color in English or Latin with several ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
286 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 ...
Canned Man's user avatar
  • 3,339
8 votes
3 answers
269 views

How to order someone to want something?

I asked yesterday about the imperative of velle, and it turned out that does not really have an imperative. If the most obvious option is not available, how should I give an order to want? A phrase or ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
260 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. ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
286 views

What is "old" in the age of a wine?

If I were to say "this man is 40 years old" in Latin, I would say hic vir 40 annos natus est. That is, I would use the participle natus instead of any adjective meaning "old", and it is my impression ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Ending a letter in Latin

Salvete, How would I sign my name at the end of a letter in Latin? Would the Nominative (Paulus) case be the normal way? Or do I need the ablative (Paulō) to imply "from/by Paulus"? Gratias vobis ...
Paulus Filius Rogeri's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
1k 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 there a ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
43k views

What is the Latin equivalent of “Ever Forward” as a motto?

In the workplace environment, I don’t think it is productive to dwell on what happened or keep score on who did what to whom. In English I would summarize my motto as: Ever Forward Now I am ...
Tony Ennis's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
536 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 ...
Rafael's user avatar
  • 11.5k
3 votes
0 answers
173 views

"Laughing our heads off" in Latin

As a follow-up of an interesting question on a typological classification of Latin (Are Latin verbs of motion satellite-framed or verb-framed? ), I was wondering if Latin has (semi)idiomatic ...
Mitomino's user avatar
  • 8,921
26 votes
3 answers
10k views

"Oh no!" in Latin

Are there idiomatic Latin exclamations similar to the English "oh no!" used when one finds oneself in an unfortunate situation? The only thing that I came up with is that I might want to use vae or o ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is "slipped my mind" in Latin?

In English and other languages, we often use alternatives to "I forgot," apparently to shift blame from ourselves to inanimate objects. So in English, we say, It slipped my mind. And in Spanish: ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
Asteroides's user avatar
  • 29.5k
16 votes
6 answers
21k views

How did the Romans wish good birthday?

I know how to wish a happy birthday in Latin: Bonum diem natalem! (There are other options as well.) It just occurred to me that I do not recall coming across any ancient birthday congratulations. Do ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
1k views

Omnia vincit amor: vincere or vincire?

The phrase omnia vincit amor (from Vergilius' tenth Ecloga; see full text in Latin and English) is typically translated as "love conquers everything". However, vincit can come from either vincere (to ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
6k views

Saying "thank you"

I have only ever been taught one Latin translation for "thank you", and it is gratias agere (conjugated in a suitable way). I just checked in L&S that this is indeed an attested use of gratia, ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
531 views

Addressing a superior in Latin

Apologies if this is too basic, and feel free to delete, but I am curious to know how Romans would address a person of higher status - not a slave his/her master/mistress - but, for instance, a wage-...
TheHonRose's user avatar
  • 1,316
14 votes
2 answers
18k views

Ars gratia artis

I would like to know the meaning of the following Latin expression, as well as a grammatical analysis of the individual words in this context: ARS GRATIA ARTIS as it appears in the following logo ...
Jack Maddington's user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
3k views

How to translate "Ceteris Paribus"?

I'm studying economics, and the words ceteris paribus are often used. I know it means that one thing changes, but that the other factors stay the same. I was trying to figure out the translation ...
L. Peters's user avatar
  • 1,609
13 votes
2 answers
1k views

"All the more so"

How, in classical Latin, did one say "all the more so" or otherwise indicate that a proposition harder than you're trying to prove has just been proven, so your proposition must be at least ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
  • 16.1k
13 votes
4 answers
2k views

French and Latin "s'il te/vous plaît"

The phrases si tibi placet and si vobis placet can be found in Latin literature, but they are not particularly common. At least superficially they correspond to the French "s'il te plaît" and "s'il ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
4k views

How does one say "the will to live" in Latin?

Obviously, I don't trust Google translate, or I wouldn't be here. Just to clarify: By "The will", I mean "a deliberate or fixed desire or intention".
Anthony's user avatar
  • 241
13 votes
1 answer
640 views

Wordplay with "Vox Populi" (populus, m vs. populus, f)

Say I want to mock up the idiom "Vox Populi" using not "populus" (m, people) but "populus" (f, poplar tree). Meaning something like "the sound of the poplar leaves rustling". Do I have a way to ...
Victor Dulepov's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
511 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 ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
Sebastian Koppehel's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
457 views

How do I express total surprise or perplexity when asking a question?

Are there conventional expressions in Latin to strengthen the question, showing total surprise or perplexity? How do you say, for example, "What the heck...?" or "Why on earth...?" in Latin?
broccoli forest's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Hogwarts Motto from J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series

Hogwarts, the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter books, has the following Latin motto: Draco dormiens numquam titillandus. Most online sources translate this as "Never tickle a ...
Sapphira's user avatar
  • 2,093
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to express a time exactly on the hour?

I would like to express the following times in Latin: "at four o'clock sharp" "every hour, on the hour" I want to emphasize that the event takes place exactly on the hour. My dictionaries do not ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
6k views

Why *In medias res* and not *In media res*?

Wikipedia gives literal translation as: Into the middle of things. As far as I am aware into – in takes accusative. Plural accusative of medium seems to be media, not medias Even if I am ...
user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is there a Latin euphemism for going to the toilet?

In some situations it might be considered vulgar or lower style to say "I have to go to the toilet". In English there are many ways around this: you can call the toilet something finer (bathroom, ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is touché in Latin?

What would be a good translation of "touché" from English to Latin? Translating the French participle gives tactus, but I doubt that will convey the same idea. Is there an idiomatic Latin expression ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
533 views

"Without further ado"

Suppose I have invited some friends for dinner and I want to say something before we eat. But I don't want to give a long speech. If I do this in English, I might start my last sentence with "without ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

How would one say "Pardon me," in the sense of not understanding or hearing, in Classical Latin?

Especially when speaking a second language, I am forced to frequently say something like "Pardon me?" or "What was that?" or "Excuse me?" when I fail to understand or hear what a speaker says. I'd ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar