The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

Questions tagged [idiom]

The tag has no usage guidance.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
6
votes
1answer
678 views

Is “ræda in fossá est” an actual Latin saying/metaphor?

I heard this on a podcast the other day to mean that the conversation had gotten stuck. I looked it up and it seems to be a reference to the textbook Ecce Rómání, in which a cart gets stuck in a ditch ...
4
votes
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
67 views

Quid velit “Quid tibi vidétur dé [aliquó]” dícere?

Epistólió in electronicó quídam mihi sic scrípsit: "Quid tibi vidétur dé Epistuliís Leónínís?" (Epistulæ Leónínæ acta sunt hebdomadália ab eó missa, quás nóndum vídí.) Sententia (síve phrasis) "Quid ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Translations of “ad nutum”

According to this post "ad nutum" can be used to mean "instantly." However, in this translation of a text of Thomas Aquinas, the translator uses the word "blindly" to translate "ad nutum." Aquinas's ...
5
votes
1answer
587 views

How did the Romans say “bad news”?

I would like to have an idiomatic way to say "good news" and "bad news" in Latin. For example, I would like to be able to say "I have some good news" or "The bad news is that you need an operation". I ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What is an idiomatic translation of “practice makes perfect”?

In English, we say "practice makes perfect" to indicate that practice of a skill leads to mastery. So a Latin teacher might attempt to inspire a student to diligence by saying "Write out these ...
9
votes
2answers
589 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 — ...
7
votes
1answer
980 views

How to parse “semper eadem” grammatically?

The phrase semper eadem, "always the same", is a fairly popular motto. It is easy enough to interpret semantically, but I could not convince myself about the exact grammatical interpretation of the ...
7
votes
1answer
371 views

Is “scholaris opus, scholaris vox” a correct translation of “student work, student voice”?

Some students of mine are creating a school publication featuring student work, and the proposed subtitle of their publication is: Scholaris Opus, Scholaris Vox The intended meaning is "student ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the “re” in emails have an ancient origin?

The Latin ablative re has become a word in English, meaning "regarding" or "with reference to" or something along those lines. This is also used in emails as an automatically generated prefix "Re:&...
11
votes
1answer
450 views

Is there a John or Jane Doe in Latin?

In English, John Doe or Jane Doe is understood not to be an actual name of a person, but to be some kind of a placeholder name or mean an average citizen. There are many variants of this name in ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the difference between “media” and “medio” in “virtus in medio stat”?

In Wikipedia's list of Latin phrases, the expression virtus in medio stat is included, with the explanation: Idiomatically: Good practice lies in the middle path. There is disagreement as to ...
13
votes
1answer
120 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. ...
5
votes
2answers
85 views

Translation of “trumped up charges”

There was a Greek play translated to Latin wherein a term was translated then to English as "trumped up charges". Might somebody know the play and more particularly the term itself?
4
votes
1answer
352 views

eadem mutata resurgo

What is the role of eadem mutata in this phrase? I'm guessing either neuter plural accusative of extent, or feminine nominative as apposition to an implied ego. The original context of this line is ...
7
votes
1answer
249 views

How to burn one's bridges in Latin?

If you leave a situation or a job in a way that makes you unwelcome to return ever again, you can be said to burn your bridges in English. Is there an idiom in classical Latin for irrevocably ...
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 ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Proper parsing of “Ite, missa est”

In the Catholic liturgy at the dismissal, the Latin phrase used is "Ite, missa est." The usual translation for this is "Go, the Mass has ended." Can someone suggest a proper parsing of this somewhat ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How to say “I regret to inform you that”?

How to express the following sentence in Latin? I am after a good choice of structure, not a literal translation. "I regret to inform you that our old teacher has died." My suggestion is Doleo te ...
6
votes
1answer
142 views

How to wear unusual clothing?

If I wear a toga, I can say toga me vestio/induo or toga vestior/induor or I could use the adjective togatus. For normal clothing it is clear what it means when I say that I wear it. I do not know, ...
9
votes
1answer
112 views

How to say “it's a question of” or “it's all about”?

How can I express something like the following sentences in Latin? Being a teacher is simple; it's a question of discipline. I don't care if I win or not; it's all about surviving. I can offer some ...
9
votes
2answers
869 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
2answers
716 views

How can I roll up my sleeves in Latin?

Is there a Latin idiom for preparing for work? In English one can roll up one's sleeves, and the corresponding expression has the same meaning in Finnish. I doubt a direct translation of this idiom ...
15
votes
3answers
871 views

Is “esse est percipi” grammatical, even with infinitives?

According to the Crash Course Philosophy video today, George Berkeley summarized his empirical philosophy with the phrase "esse est percipi", to be is to be perceived. However, it feels somewhat ...
9
votes
3answers
839 views

Is there a Latin euphemism for going to the toilet?

In some situations it might be considered vulgar or lower style to say "I have to go to the toilet". In English there are many ways around this: you can call the toilet something finer (bathroom, ...
8
votes
1answer
86 views

Does “quidam Ciceronis” indicate respect for the person?

In Augustine's Confessions, book 3, chapter 4, he writes: et usitato iam discendi ordine perveneram in librum cuiusdam Ciceronis (source) Henry Chadwick translates the bolded phrase as "a certain ...
10
votes
3answers
491 views

What era of Latin does Vox Populi come from?

I noticed there is a Vox Populi badge. Which era of Latin does Vox Populi come from? I only know a very little bit of classical (I'm starting the second unit of the Cambridge course), and from that, ...
15
votes
1answer
279 views

Addressing a superior in Latin

Apologies if this is too basic, and feel free to delete, but I am curious to know how Romans would address a person of higher status - not a slave his/her master/mistress - but, for instance, a wage-...
4
votes
1answer
970 views

What is the phrase “Above all the hunt” translated into Latin?

I'm designing a sigil for my special forces team in a sci-fi book I'm writing, and without making this a 10,000 word post with backstory, the phrase on the sigil is "Above all, the hunt". Google and ...
12
votes
1answer
631 views

“All the more so”

How, in classical Latin, did one say "all the more so" or otherwise indicate that a proposition harder than you're trying to prove has just been proven, so your proposition must be at least as certain?...
7
votes
1answer
295 views

What's the difference between *quisquis* and *quicumque*?

Quisquis and quicumque are both described as indefinite (or generic) relative pronouns, and are both defined in dictionaries as "whoever, everyone who...". Is there any difference at all between the ...
10
votes
1answer
156 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
9k views

How did the Romans say “good night”?

There are a lot of different things in a lot of different languages that mean basically the same thing: Sleep well. English: Sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite Italiano: Buona notte, sogni d'oro ...
10
votes
1answer
185 views

Quando “a fortiori” ortum est?

Quando vocabulum a fortiori (sive a fortiore) ortum est ut nomen artis legis logicæve? In quo opere scripto primum apparuit? Volo intellegere eius rationem originis verificareque verbum elisum "...
13
votes
2answers
11k views

What did the Romans use to close their letters?

As anyone who's written a proper letter knows, one begins with a salutation and ends with a valediction (or, in normal English, opens with "hello" and ends with "goodbye"). Right now, I'm interested ...
-1
votes
2answers
988 views

“Et tu, Brute?”

"Et tu, Brute?" Julius Caesar's last words; according to William Shakespeare's play of the same name. There seems to be a difference of opinion regarding the exact translation and thus, too, ...