Questions tagged [idiom]

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

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5answers
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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 ...
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690 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 (...
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2answers
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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: ...
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1answer
225 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 ...
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1answer
146 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 ...
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2answers
661 views

"Quemcunque miserum videris nominem scias"

Can someone help me find the meaning of this phrase? Quemcunque miserum videris nominem scias.
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1answer
939 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 ...
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1answer
85 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 ...
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1answer
282 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 ...
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958 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
131 views

Mock up of Coat of Arms

I want to make a coat of arms for my father in law, and we always refer to him doing anything with the phrase - "that'll do". Is there a Latin phrase that this translates to? Google translate has ...
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3answers
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Where does the phrase "mors omnia solvit" come from?

A couple of years ago I stumbled across the phrase "mors omnia solvit", and I got the impression that it was a rather well establihed saying. Now I started to research the source of this phrase (for ...
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515 views

What is the correct way to write "The Prince's Book" in Latin?

Greetings Latin StackExchange. One of my hobbies is to write stories and in one of my stories I would like to incorporate an item called "The Prince's Book". My ideal goal is that this item is written ...
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1answer
107 views

A thing of flesh and blood

Jerome K. Jerome in the preface to his comic novel Three Men in a Boat tells us that his characters are not imaginary, but 'things of flesh and blood'. The best I can do so far is the phrase sunt ...
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485 views

What is the Latin expression for "day one"?

What is the Latin expression for "day one", as expressed as the first day of the rest of your life?
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3answers
221 views

Translation of a phrase about unknown people into Latin

What would be the way to say that you don't care about people you don't know? Something like "I don't care about those I don't know" or "I ignore the faceless masses."
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Flags flying at half-mast

A well-known mathematician passed away recently, and I happened to be in the Trinity College on the day after. As any Cambridge college undoubtedly would, they mourned the loss of a fellow by flying ...
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2answers
361 views

Latin for 'at arm's length'

Idiomatically, the English expression 'at arm's length' means something like 'within sight, but avoiding any form of contact'. It can be used either physically or metaphorically. I'm trying hard to ...
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1answer
80 views

Spatial equivalent to extemporalis/intempestivus?

The term extemporalis refers unusual events in time, such as an exceptional snowstorm in spring time. I was wondering if there is an equivalent term which refers, not to a temporal aspect of an ...
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80 views

Attempting to preemptively disqualify retort

If I were to say: The sky is falling! It undeniably false to claim that I am overreacting, as my detractors are sure to do. Is there a common Latin phrase that encapsulates that, the tactic or ...
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1answer
226 views

A correct title for the book from the Evil Dead movies?

In the Evil Dead movies the infamous book is given an inconsistently spelled name, which vanished in the other installments. The scripts for the original movie and the remake titled it "Naturan ...
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316 views

Is there a colorful term for an uninvited guest?

Is there a colorful Latin term for an uninvited guest? Of course I can say something like conviva non invitatus, but I wonder if there is something less boring, akin to the English "gatecrasher" or ...
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1answer
96 views

What is the meaning of the phrase "solitō māiōre"?

A fellow member of a Latin Discord server I participate in posted this link to an article with a question regarding how one would interpret the phrase "solitō māiōre". Despite our efforts to interpret ...
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Is my interpretation of "Ad Astra per Aspera" correct?

I came across the phrase ad astra per aspera — "to the stars through difficulties." I think I know what it means, but my interpretation appears to be at odds with others. For example: The ...
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1answer
254 views

Can someone suggest a medical name conveying "idiopathic unfulfilled potential"?

The diagnosis of ADHD is effectively a clinical opinion that an individual is not reaching their full potential. It's also a claim about the underlying mechanism (being mediated by dopamine; a ...
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What is "cold war"?

How should I translate "cold war" in Latin? I can see two ways to approach this, using a classical phrase for a similar hostile political situation, or finding a suitable adjective for "cold" to go ...
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3answers
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How to parse "Dis Manibus" syntactically?

Almost everyone who has ever seen a Roman grave inscription has seen the phrase Dis Manibus or its abbreviation DM. It starts almost every Roman tombstone I have seen. I know it means "to/for the ...
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72 views

Parsing pro rata temporis

Recently when reading some material related to research grants, I came across the Latin phrase pro rata temporis in English text. It was easy enough to understand in the context. For example, a 600&...
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1answer
199 views

How to say that it rains on something?

How can I say in Latin that it is raining on something? I can find ways around like pluvia rem tingit, but I would like something more literally "it rains on something" than "the rain makes something ...
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1answer
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How do I welcome someone in Latin?

When someone comes to visit me at my villa, I would like to greet them and welcome them in. I know how to welcome English ("welcome"), German ("wilkommen"), and French ("bienvenue") guests in a single ...
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1answer
64 views

How to say by/on the basis of?

In mathematics, the following phrase is common: By Theorem 5.6, the function is differentiable. How do I say 'by' in Latin? I don't think 'ab' is appropriate to use here. One way is to put '...
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Is there a Latin idiom for a set date for an event?

Suppose I have a meeting, a court hearing, or any event that is set by some authority at a specific time in the future. Is there a word for such a "due date"? I don't mean a deadline (see the separate ...
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1answer
83 views

Latin for "worth a hundred times its weight in gold"

I'm trying to figure out how to say something is "worth a hundred times its weight in gold" in Latin, and everything I come up with feels cumbersome, unLatinate, and unclear. Hoc textīle centuplex ...
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1answer
912 views

Meaning of "quod si"

I'm having trouble with quod sī. L&S offers, under the definition of quod, With other particles, as si, nisi, utinam, ubi, etc., always with reference to something which precedes (very freq.), ...
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1answer
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What would be a "lark" or "early bird" in Latin

Inspired by this question What would be a "night owl" in Latin? and its excellent answers, I's like to know about the antonym of a "night owl": What would be a "lark" or "early bird"? I was ...
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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?
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1answer
177 views

(Loose) Translation of "seize the loyal"

I'm considering getting a tattoo with the phrase "Seize the loyal" in Latin, but I'm not 100% how to translate it. I am trying to get at something like "keep the loyal close" but it can be a very ...
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1answer
285 views

With which verb can I park a car?

What would be a good Latin translation for the verb "to park"? I mean contexts like "I parked my car in front of his house". I would prefer to have a classically attested verb, so my main question is ...
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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 ...
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1answer
92 views

How do you show something from a window?

Suppose, for example, that a child is watching his dad come home from work. She can't wait any longer to show what she's got, so she goes to the window and shows her new teddy bear to her dad. How can ...
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2answers
245 views

Quōmodo v. Quā ratiōne

I'm looking at a Latin translation of the Apology of Socrates by Marcellus Ficinus and I'm puzzled by the very first clause. Quā vōs quidem ratiōne, Ō virī Athēniēnsēs, affēcerint accūsātōrēs meī, ...
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1answer
399 views

How to say 'For a [period of time]'

How would I say that something won't end for a period of time, for example: Dinner isn't over for another hour. I considered Cena non finet ante hora, but that didn't quite sound right. Update: I'm ...
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800 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 ...
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1answer
129 views

"On the run" in Latin

Is there a Latin equivalent to the English phrase "on the run" to indicate someone who's avoiding capture/recapture? For example, "The prisoner is on the run." Would something like in fuga be ...
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1answer
109 views

Does Latin have an animal-based term for "coward," like "scaredy-cat" in English?

In English, a lowbrow way to call someone a coward is to call him or her a "scaredy-cat" or "fraidy-cat." Apparently, somewhere along the way cats got a reputation for being easily frightened. ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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3answers
119 views

Is there a more emphatic version of posse?

If I want to say "I can" in Latin, I will usually use posse. But what if I want something stronger and more emphatic, like "I am capable of", "I am able to", or similar? I am not aware of a Latin ...
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1answer
220 views

(Heart) White/Bright and Absit Invidia

I want to engrave a Latin phrase on a necklace for a family friend with the surname Whiteheart. I'm came up with "A Heart White/Bright and Without Malice", which in Latin I'm thinking might be ...
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Peace and Good Will in Latin

I want to engrave "Peace and Good Will" on my ring in Latin. I have less then a quarter available for the engraving so it can't be too big. I originally wanted to use something from the Bible (even ...

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