Questions tagged [idiom]

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5
votes
1answer
647 views

Latin for “Freedom through strength”?

How would one say "freedom through strength" in Latin? The word vis means strength and libertas is liberty/freedom. So would one say vis libertas?
10
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2answers
928 views

Help your friends, harm your enemies

"Help your friends, harm your enemies." I have heard this was a motto of Roman life and foreign policy. It is the definition of justice that begins the discussion in Plato's Republic. I believe that ...
9
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1answer
3k views

Semper Veritas, Semper Veritatem, or something else?

I'm considering getting a tattoo with the phrase "Always Truth" or "Always the Truth" in Latin, but I'm not 100% how to translate it, because I don't really understand Latin noun declension. My first ...
9
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2answers
981 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
166 views

An idiom for disclosing a secret

I am looking for a Latin idiom for disclosing a secret. In English one can spill the beans, but I am not aware of a similar idiom in Latin. Is any idiom or colorful expression for this attested in ...
7
votes
2answers
203 views

How to refer to reserve military?

What would be an idiomatic Latin way to refer to reserve military? I mean troops that have previously served and have returned to civilian life but can be called back on duty. I would much prefer ...
13
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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, ...
9
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2answers
785 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
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1answer
221 views

“With respect to” in mathematics

The expression "with respect to" is common in mathematics. Consider these example sentences: The derivative of x^2y with respect to y is x^2. Let us reflect the point A with respect to the line L and ...
10
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1answer
1k views

A good Latin word for “point”

I am looking for a Latin word for "point" to be used like this: I see your point. I hope this example gets the point across. There is no point in peeling a banana. Good point! There probably is no ...
10
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2answers
787 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
88 views

Quo modo Latine redditur “fool proof”?

Quo modo expressio Anglica "fool proof" Latine reddi potest? Nullum idioma Latinum significatione simile scio. Eandem rem Latine exprimere possum, exempli gratia dicendo "perbene munitus", sed malim ...
4
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1answer
86 views

“vel” in Tusculan Disputations V.iii

In the Tusculan Disputations V.iii, Cicero writes about Pythagoras declaring that life seems to him like the great Greek games: Nam ut illic alii corporibus exercitatis gloriam et nobilitatem ...
8
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2answers
145 views

How to say “suit yourself”?

How to translate "suit yourself"? I'm curious as to how it translates to Latin. In certain contexts, it can come off as rude or sarcastic, even though, it's used in formal conversations and is not ...
12
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3answers
737 views

En Marche ! in Latin

Macron's victory in France has got me wondering what would be the best way to capture the phrase "En Marche" in Latin? My first thought was to use the incedere with perhaps prorsus, but the English ...
10
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2answers
2k views

How to say “Luke, I am your father” in Latin?

I have found very diverse translations online: Luke, sum ipse patrem te Luca, pater tuus sum (or in a different order) Luke, ego patrem tuum sum My guess First, the Latin name Luke seems to be ...
12
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1answer
354 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
601 views

How to say “I look forward to hearing from you” in Latin?

It is sometimes appropriate to add "I look forward to hearing from you" at the end of a letter or other similar communication. I am looking for a phrase that says more "I am happy if you react to this ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

“Let's wait and see”

Is there a Latin idiom for deciding to sit back and wait instead of acting immediately? If I want to let things evolve for a little more before taking any action, I could use the phrase "let's wait ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What are the different ways to say “lonely”?

The English word "lonely" has at least a couple different uses. A person can be lonely — we all know, and have probably felt, this meaning of the word. But also a place can be lonely. A lot of people ...
5
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1answer
173 views

Indirect question vs. relative clause

In circumstances where the same meaning can be expressed by an indirect question depending on a verb of speech, or by a relative clause modifying an (implicit or explicit) object of that verb, which ...
5
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0answers
66 views

A is for… Latin examples

Are there any ancient—or modern, if not—examples of a learner's alphabet that mirrors the modern "A is for..."? I'm not really looking for poetry that has an alphabet acrostic or any other ...
8
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1answer
245 views

What if…? (Interrogative conditionals)

In English, "what if...?" is a succinct way to ask what would happen if some counterfactual happened to be true. Is there an idiomatic equivalent in Latin? The sequence of tenses gives plenty of ...
6
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2answers
106 views

Preparing food “al dente”

Is there a Latin idiom for food that is cooked just right (not too much, not too little), similar to the popular Italian phrase "al dente"? I doubt the direct translation denti or ad dentem makes any ...
9
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2answers
579 views

What is close combat in Latin?

I checked a couple of dictionaries, but I found no translation for "close combat". I am looking for an expression for fighting close to one's enemy as opposed to using long distance weaponry. What ...
5
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1answer
297 views

Phrase equivalent to It's a piece of cake

I'm looking for a Latin phrase that means "very easy", something idiomatic like "It's a piece of cake", or "It's like taking candy from a baby". Any ideas?
13
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1answer
123 views

Is there a Latinism for “under fire”/“in combat”/“under duress”?

This question is partially open ended. I'm looking for a Latin idiom or euphemism or phrase that expresses something being from or related to practice as opposed to being related to theory. ...
8
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2answers
969 views

A verb for networking

What would be a good Latin verb for networking? I don't mean the study of computer networks, but the verb "to network" in the sense of making new acquaintances for business or other purpose. In ...
9
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1answer
131 views

Translating “something leads to something”

How can I translate sentences like "poverty leads to hunger" to Latin? There are several possible verbs for leading, and my first choice is ducere, but I am not sure if it can be used in this sense. ...
13
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1answer
318 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 ...
8
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2answers
206 views

Did the Romans have a selection game?

If there are three people and only two candies — and in other similar dire situations — people sometimes choose to play some kind of game to select who is left without something or who ...
5
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1answer
74 views

Times at the end of daylight saving

I had to wake up before 3 am this morning (on a Sunday!), and I had to worry about the start of daylight saving time. (It always starts on the last Sunday of March in Europe. Other areas have other ...
7
votes
1answer
127 views

Meaning of “vulgo voces”

Is "vulgo voces" an expression with a particular meaning? I have encountered it in an early 18th century text. The full text is: Equidem vulgo voces Thermometrum & Thermoscopium pro synonymis ...
4
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1answer
159 views

What's the Greek equivalent of “Skin in the Game”?

The French equivalent is "Mettre sa peau sur la Table" or "Put your Skin on the Table". Basically this aphorism is explained under the Hammurabi Code in handling risks: If an engineer had to build a ...
9
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2answers
655 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 — ...
10
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1answer
169 views

Quem describit Petrarca?

In a letter dated May 30, 1342, Petrarch invites his friend Cardinal Johannes Columna to visit him in his mountain retreat of Vaucluse. In several places, I've come across English translations of one ...
6
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2answers
155 views

Best translation for 'at sea'

What is the best way of translating 'at sea'? For example, "The sailors fought bravely at sea". The translation 'in mari' seems the closest to me, as opposed to the literal 'ad mare' and treatment ...
8
votes
1answer
466 views

How do you say “I'm having dinner/lunch/breakfast” in Latin?

I know that cena means dinner, prandium means lunch, and ientaculum means breakfast. But how do you say "I'm having dinner" (or lunch, or breakfast)? I can think of a few ideas, such as: Habeo cenam. ...
4
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 ...
6
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1answer
118 views

Waving hands classically

Waving one's hands can mean avoiding details or drawing attention away from a lie of an unsupported part of an argument or story. There is an entire Wikipedia article on the topic if you want more ...
5
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2answers
211 views

When did Latin mottoes first appear?

Latin mottos have been popular in Europe for centuries, but I have never seen anything comparable to a motto from the Roman era. When did first Latin mottos appear? (Examples of individual early ...
2
votes
1answer
257 views

What is a “roll call” in Latin?

I am looking for a word, verb or noun, to describe reading a list of names out loud to figure out who is present. The Finnish word is "nimenhuuto", and it seems that the English phrase seems to be "...
6
votes
1answer
834 views

How to respond to sneezing?

There is an idiomatic way to respond to someone sneezing in many languages, and Wikipedia has a list. Latin is not included. Is there a canonical Latin reaction to someone sneezing? Any era of Latin ...
5
votes
1answer
63 views

Expressing lack of opinion of a binary question

Suppose that my friend asks me if I want to see a movie, and that I have no strong opinion. I do not particularly want to go, but I do not not want to go, either. I am not trying to please my friend ...
6
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2answers
269 views

Quomodo in Latinum vertitur “alternative facts”?

How would you translate "alternative facts" into Latin, in the sense used infamously today by Kellyanne Conway? My first thought is res ad libitum but that too strongly suggests making up facts willy-...
9
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2answers
1k views

Did Cicero say or write “dubitando ad veritatem pervenimus”?

I have seen the phrase "Dubitando ad veritatem pervenimus." attributed to Cicero in some websites and books, some of them claiming to find it in De officiis (for instance Diccionario Akal Del ...