Questions tagged [idiom]

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7
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1answer
244 views

“With respect to” in mathematics

The expression "with respect to" is common in mathematics. Consider these example sentences: The derivative of x^2y with respect to y is x^2. Let us reflect the point A with respect to the line L and ...
10
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3answers
262 views

For the sake of the plot

In my Sanskrit dictionary, the Latin phrase metri causa ("for the sake of the metre") is used to alert the reader to forms which may be used irregularly in order to fit the metre. For example, in the ...
5
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1answer
134 views

How to say “that can be arranged”?

The phrase "that can be arranged" can be useful, and I would like to know an idiomatic way to put it in Latin. This phrase could be a response to "can we meet tomorrow at ten?", "I'd like to eat ...
5
votes
1answer
338 views

What is a phrase like “annus horribilis” but meaning a year of change?

What is a Latin phrase similar to "annus horribilis" meaning a year of change, as in a year where everything changes? For example - a year in which I moved across the country, totally changed job etc ...
7
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2answers
210 views

How to refer to reserve military?

What would be an idiomatic Latin way to refer to reserve military? I mean troops that have previously served and have returned to civilian life but can be called back on duty. I would much prefer ...
7
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1answer
446 views

“Ladies and gentlemen”

Is there a Latin phrase that could be used like "ladies and gentlemen" when addressing a large audience but without commenting the circumstances or identities of the people involved? In special cases ...
9
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2answers
612 views

What is close combat in Latin?

I checked a couple of dictionaries, but I found no translation for "close combat". I am looking for an expression for fighting close to one's enemy as opposed to using long distance weaponry. What ...
9
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2answers
405 views

“Initium doctrinae sit consideratio nominis”

I'm looking for a Latin phrase for starting your exposition by explaining the terms, i.e. its title. I believe the quote is "initium doctrinae sit consideratio nominis," but I'm not sure that that's ...
13
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1answer
344 views

Wordplay with “Vox Populi” (populus, m vs. populus, f)

Say I want to mock up the idiom "Vox Populi" using not "populus" (m, people) but "populus" (f, poplar tree). Meaning something like "the sound of the poplar leaves rustling". Do I have a way to ...
14
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1answer
555 views

Omnia vincit amor: vincere or vincire?

The phrase omnia vincit amor (from Vergilius' tenth Ecloga; see full text in Latin and English) is typically translated as "love conquers everything". However, vincit can come from either vincere (to ...
8
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1answer
5k views

How to say 'Such is life'?

As an expression of the fact that much of life is beyond one's control, the English phrase 'Such is life.', or 'That's the way the cookie crumbles.', or, more vulgarly, 'Shit happens.' is common. How ...
11
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1answer
149 views

Who invented the common expression “et cetera”?

This question seems to assume that the Romans actually used et cetera as we do. But did they really? By that, I mean: did they use et cetera at the end of a clause or phrase, without any noun agreeing ...
4
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2answers
195 views

How do you say “You can't automatize a mess”?

I don't know if phrase translation requests are on-topic but I would really like to know is there's a way to convey this meaning in Latin: "You can't automatize a mess" or "Disorder cannot be ...
12
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1answer
126 views

apud + place name vs. locative

What is the difference, if any, between using apud with the name of a town, and using the locative form of that name? Reading Suetonius Tiberius 40, I noticed this usage: statimque reuocante ...
5
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1answer
216 views

Indirect question vs. relative clause

In circumstances where the same meaning can be expressed by an indirect question depending on a verb of speech, or by a relative clause modifying an (implicit or explicit) object of that verb, which ...
5
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3answers
616 views

How to say “don't rock the boat” in Latin?

A friend is interested in conveying the sense of "don't rock the boat", but in Latin. Is there an equivalent saying in Latin, or a phrase which would convey the correct meaning?
2
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4answers
914 views

Please help to translate “A life, mine…” to Latin

I am writing a blog and I want to have the title in Latin. It's a personal blog and I want to share about my personal experiences, the thing to do when there is no one else to share it with ;) I want ...
18
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2answers
2k views

What is “slipped my mind” in Latin?

In English and other languages, we often use alternatives to "I forgot," apparently to shift blame from ourselves to inanimate objects. So in English, we say, It slipped my mind. And in Spanish: ...
7
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1answer
651 views

How to say “I look forward to hearing from you” in Latin?

It is sometimes appropriate to add "I look forward to hearing from you" at the end of a letter or other similar communication. I am looking for a phrase that says more "I am happy if you react to this ...
12
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1answer
368 views

Parsing “quod Deus optime vertat”

I want to understand a diploma text: DIPLOMA QVOD DEVS OPTIME VERTAT EX LEGIBVS VNIVERSITATIS JYVÄSKYLÄENSIS ATQVE EX DECRETO FACVLTATIS (…) If I consider Diploma as a ...
6
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1answer
1k 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
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1answer
88 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
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1answer
76 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 ...
6
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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
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1answer
684 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 ...
7
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3answers
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 ...
10
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2answers
713 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 — ...
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2answers
1k 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
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1answer
415 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
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2answers
2k 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:&...
12
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1answer
595 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
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1answer
2k 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 ...
14
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1answer
134 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
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2answers
88 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
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1answer
466 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
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1answer
286 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
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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
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4answers
2k 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
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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
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1answer
169 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
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1answer
119 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
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2answers
1k 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
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2answers
732 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
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3answers
999 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 ...
10
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3answers
1k 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
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1answer
96 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 ...
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3answers
552 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, ...

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