Questions tagged [idiom]

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19
votes
2answers
10k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
193 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 "...
28
votes
7answers
14k 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.
16
votes
5answers
5k 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, "...
5
votes
1answer
207 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?
14
votes
4answers
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 ...
11
votes
1answer
224 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? ...
10
votes
2answers
971 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
204 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
378 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
139 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
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: ...
13
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
4k 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?
5
votes
1answer
7k views

How do you translate the idiom, I see?

Socrates and Glaucon were talking in the Latin.SE chat room, and among other things, such as what is the most just city, how should men and women be brought up, and whether there should be specific ...
5
votes
1answer
715 views

How did the Romans say “bad news”?

I would like to have an idiomatic way to say "good news" and "bad news" in Latin. For example, I would like to be able to say "I have some good news" or "The bad news is that you need an operation". I ...
5
votes
1answer
787 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
617 views

Translating “child of freedom”

How would I translate the phrase “child of freedom" in feminine form?
14
votes
1answer
573 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
3k 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".
13
votes
6answers
16k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
4k 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, ...
13
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
589 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
935 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
428 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How to parse “semper eadem” grammatically?

The phrase semper eadem, "always the same", is a fairly popular motto. It is easy enough to interpret semantically, but I could not convince myself about the exact grammatical interpretation of the ...
7
votes
1answer
817 views

Reservoir Dogs: “Let's go to work” in Latin

I'm a programmer and I regularly write small utility programs for friends and family. Since I like a joke, all those programs have help/about forms that describe the program as having been produced by ...
7
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
769 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
674 views

Walking “hand in hand”

How can I translate the sentence "We are walking hand in hand" in Latin? I am not sure how to render "hand in hand". A direct translation would be Ambulamus manus in manu. But can I use a nominative ...
6
votes
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How to say “I regret to inform you that”?

How to express the following sentence in Latin? I am after a good choice of structure, not a literal translation. "I regret to inform you that our old teacher has died." My suggestion is Doleo te ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Phrasing “it says” or “it reads”

I occasionally want to say something like: Did you see the sign? It says: beware of the dog. How can I phrase "it says" in Latin? In English one can say "it says" or "it reads", and the direct ...
5
votes
1answer
136 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. ...
5
votes
4answers
602 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
72 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
0answers
75 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
351 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-...
14
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
354 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
907 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
2k 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?