Questions tagged [idiom]

The tag has no usage guidance.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
7
votes
1answer
201 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
262 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?
9
votes
2answers
381 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
834 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
806 views

What's the most idiomatic way to say, “thanks, you too”?

We were discussing this question in the chat room, and came up with the possibility, gratias similiter, but we are not sure whether it's idiomatic. The context is this. Let's say a co-worker says to ...
11
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, ...
10
votes
2answers
820 views

Blowing one's own horn

Is there a Latin idiom for praising oneself in classical Latin? In English one can blow one's own horn (there are variants of this saying), but I doubt tuba sua ludere is likely mean the right thing. ...
7
votes
2answers
848 views

How did “status quo” get its meaning?

A literal translation of status quo would be, "the state in which". I think this touches on the present-day meaning of the phrase, but I think most would agree that it does not fully capture it. I am ...
8
votes
2answers
190 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
351 views

What is a runny nose?

I got a cold, and the most irritating symptom so far is a runny nose (rhinorrhea). But what is "runny nose" in Latin? It can be a noun, a verb, or any kind of way to describe the situation. I don't ...
15
votes
5answers
4k 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
73 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
840 views

Variable Interpretation of Memento Mori

I'm given to understand that "memento mori" literally translates to "remember dying," which is in turn frequently taken to mean "remember that you will die." Could someone also interpret it to mean "...
7
votes
1answer
113 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
163 views

He is known for…?

How would one best translate the English idiom "to be known for", as in "he is known for defeating the Gauls"? This came up when discussing uses of the gerund, but in English the idiom also works with ...
9
votes
1answer
109 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
123 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
298 views

How does “recte admones” mean “you do well to remind me”?

When reading this question's accepted answer about phrases for forgetting, I saw the phrase recte admones translated as "you do well to remind me". But, doesn't that mean "you remind directly"? I don'...
6
votes
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
153 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
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
votes
1answer
113 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
131 views

What is a single parent?

Is there a Latin expression for a single parent? By single parent I mean the only (present) parent of a child, and I don't want to comment on the reason the other biological parent is not there. Was ...
2
votes
1answer
250 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
728 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
155 views

What does the Latin phrase “argumentum ab invidia ductum” mean?

How would one translate "argumentum ab invidia ductum" into English?
11
votes
1answer
376 views

In search of a Latin idiom expressing suspicion, i.e., a translation of “I smell a rat” or “something smells fishy”

Is there a Latin idiom, preferably one that was in currency in the classical period, that expresses the speaker's suspicion that something pertinent is being maliciously concealed from him? For ...
5
votes
1answer
59 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
votes
2answers
252 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
votes
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 ...
6
votes
4answers
475 views

How to say “as” emphatically?

Consider the sentence "Marcus spoke as a manager". Imagine that Marcus was speaking at a company event, and he gave his speech as a manager, not as a coworker — as a representative of the ...
8
votes
2answers
213 views

Translating “taller by a head”

In English one can write either of these to indicate a height difference: Marcus is taller than Gaius by a head. Marcus is a head taller than Gaius. I am looking for an idiomatic way to ...
7
votes
3answers
119 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
528 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
votes
1answer
218 views

Is there a Latin construction for “she must be” as in “I bet she is”/“She probably is”?

Say my friend is supposed to meet me, but she's late, and I think it's because she was reading, I might say, "She must have been reading." Is there a way to express this in Latin other than something ...
6
votes
1answer
62 views

As fit as an animal

If someone is in good health, one can say that they are as fit as a flea (or fiddle) in English or as healthy as a billy goat ("terve kuin pukki") in Finnish. What would be a similar idiom in Latin, ...
8
votes
1answer
399 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. ...
7
votes
1answer
132 views

Unsure about my translation of “se una cum propinquis et amicis eorum … dolere dixit”

On its December 23rd broadcast, Nuntii Latini had this to say about Angela Merkel. Angela Merkel, cancellaria foederalis Germaniae, se una cum propinquis et amicis eorum, qui strage Berolinensi ...
10
votes
2answers
571 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 ...