Questions tagged [idiom]

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6
votes
2answers
107 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
163 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
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 ...
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
126 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
134 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
259 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
887 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
221 views

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

How would one translate "argumentum ab invidia ductum" into English?
11
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1answer
410 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
64 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
278 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
488 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
231 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
135 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
803 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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1answer
238 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
68 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
580 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
199 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
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2answers
876 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
411 views

Translating a saying about love into Latin

Where I come from, we have an ironic saying about love, it could be translated into English as: Love is warming, but coal is coal (Or perhaps less literally as "Love is heartwarming, but coal will ...
11
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2answers
877 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 ...
10
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2answers
262 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?
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Phrase grammar, curae or curo

I have a phrase and I'm concerned with grammar. Which one would be more proper? et ego non curae or et ego non curo Phrase meaning would be "I don't care."
7
votes
2answers
3k views

How did the Romans wish happy holidays?

The Roman year included many festive occasions. In today's world it is customary to wish merry Christmas, happy Easter, and other such things. Did the Romans do the same during their own festivals, ...
6
votes
2answers
227 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
205 views

What is “idiom” in classical Latin?

What would be an idiomatic way to say "idiom" and "idiomatic" in classical Latin? One could perhaps use the Greek loan word idiōma (neuter), but I feel there should be a more Latin way of ...
19
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
399 views

Independence in classical Latin

Next year is the centennial of the independence of Finland, and I would like to learn how to speak of independence of countries in Latin. It seems to me that the Latin words independens and ...
11
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
961 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
119 views

Is it idiomatic Latin to paraphrase a condition using an imperative plus a future indicative?

In English, there's a common construction which consists of two coordinated clauses, the first with an imperative verb, the second with a future-tense verb: Take the first left and you'll find my ...
8
votes
3answers
577 views

How to say “elämä kantaa” or “life will prevail”?

How can one translate the Finnish phrase "elämä kantaa" or "elämä voittaa" to Latin? The literal English translations are "life carries" and "life wins". The first phrase means roughly "even in hard ...
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 ...
10
votes
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 ...
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
885 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 ...
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.
4
votes
3answers
127 views

Word order with relative clauses

Last night I watched the movie Matilda, which I really liked, and I decided to write a few sentences about it in Latin. I was attempting to write a sentence involving a relative clause, when I became ...
4
votes
4answers
881 views

How to describe collaboration?

I am looking for ways to describe collaboration in Latin. My main interest is scientific collaboration, if the type matters. I would like to have both a verb "to collaborate" and a noun "collaboration"...
7
votes
1answer
408 views

“Desinat in piscem” in Horace's Ars Poetica: morphology or looks or what exactly?

This is about the core meaning of desinat in piscem as in: Humano capiti ceruicem pictor equinam iungere si uelit et uarias inducere plumas undique collatis membris, ut turpiter atrum desinat ...

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