Questions tagged [idiom]

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

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5
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1answer
81 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 ...
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1answer
2k 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 "...
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1answer
161 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 ...
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1answer
203 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
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1answer
243 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. ...
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1answer
195 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 ...
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1answer
332 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'...
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2answers
116 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 ...
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2answers
196 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 ...
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1answer
4k 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
148 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 ...
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1answer
152 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 ...
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1answer
272 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 "...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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2answers
263 views

What does the Latin phrase "argumentum ab invidia ductum" mean?

How would one translate "argumentum ab invidia ductum" into English?
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1answer
460 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
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1answer
67 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 ...
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2answers
313 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-...
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2answers
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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 ...
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4answers
505 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 ...
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2answers
271 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 ...
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3answers
185 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 ...
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1answer
1k 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?
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276 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 ...
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1answer
79 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, ...
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1answer
865 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
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1answer
274 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
557 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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3answers
333 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?
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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."
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2answers
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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, ...
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2answers
269 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 ...
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1answer
266 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 ...
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2answers
11k 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 ...
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2answers
545 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 ...
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2answers
12k 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 ...
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6answers
17k 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 ...
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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 ...
6
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1answer
130 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 ...
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3answers
683 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 ...

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