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Questions tagged [meaning]

For questions regarding the meaning or connotation of a word or phrase.

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Did “supradictis” ever meant “aforementioned”?

In 1 Samuel 7:16 we read: et ibat per singulos annos circuiens Bethel et Galgala et Masphath, et judicabat Israelem in supradictis locis. The English translation (see link) of supradictis is (the ...
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1answer
101 views

Why did the Ro­mans per­ceive dark­ness, ᴛᴇ­ɴᴇ­ʙʀᴀᴇ, as a plu­ral count noun?

Why did the Ro­mans per­ceive dark­ness, te­ne­brae, as a plu­ral count noun? [Per­se­us cor­pus-search ref­er­ence] Or per­haps the bet­ter ques­tion is: what spe­cial nu­ance is con­veyed by the ...
6
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1answer
55 views

how to interpret ‘formosus’ via its morphological components

The adj. formosus can be decomposed as follows: forma + -os-us where forma means ‘shape, form’ and -os- ‘with abundance’. However, when the two notions come together, the whole, which literally ...
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1answer
45 views

Did the “-ālis” and “-āris” suffixes have the same meaning in Latin?

In Spanish we have two suffixes -al and -ar with the same meaning: "after a noun it indicates an abundance of the original word". So from naranjo ('orange tree') we have naranjal ('a group of orange ...
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1answer
40 views

how to interpret the diminutive-suffixed adj. **lacteolus**

I read the following content in the Oxford Latin Dictionary: lacteolus = lacteus+ -olus, where -olus is a diminutive suffix. The ‘normal’ form lacteus and the diminutive form lacteolus share ...
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2answers
724 views

What does “dives fluminarum” mean?

Can anybody explain the two last words in the following sentence? Veni, venite, spiritus sylvani, dives fluminarum. The beginning seems to be "Come, come, the spirit of woods" or something of the ...
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Does “divertere” ever meant “to have fun/entertain” in Latin?

According to Wiktionary, the Latin verb divertere means: This meaning has been preserved in equivalent terms found in Latin-based or Latin-influenced languages like French, Catalan, Portuguese, ...
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2answers
150 views

“Malo” in Motto Maelstrom

The motto for Concordia University Saint Paul (MN) reads: "In litteris proficere volo, malo diligere Jesum." The CSP website, magazine (Spring 2009), and various internet sources offer these ...
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1answer
889 views

Does the word “negotium” literally mean “not otium”?

Spanish word ocio (English: 'leisure') and negocio (English: 'business` among other meanings) come from Latin otium and negotium. Spanish ocio also gave ocioso, as in estar ocioso (English: 'to be ...
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What is the difference between nego, ignoro, and nescio?

Trying to understand the subtle differences between the three words "nego", "ignoro", and "nescio". This question is not about the meanings in modern English, but the original meanings of the ...
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8answers
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What is the Latin joke here?

The other day I watched Evil under the sun, a film about Agatha Christie's homonymous novel, where the following lines were said: Patrick Redfern: It's funny to think, if Giuseppe Verdi had been an ...
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5answers
3k views

What did “actuālis” actually mean in Latin?

The word actual is a false friend between the Spanish and the English languages. When we say in Spanish "la hora actual" we really mean "the current time" and not "the actual time". So in Spanish we ...
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5answers
1k views

What does “Vivos voco pedibus ioco” mean?

I am not familiar with Latin, but I found an engraving on a bench at the graveyard, that made me curious. It says, vivos voco pedibus ioco. Google Translate is not really helpful, as it ...
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3answers
837 views

What is the best way to translate 'remember' into Latin?

Id like to get a tattoo saying 'remember' but translated in Latin. I have learned that the translation depends on what message it would like to convoy with 'remember'. The message id like to convey ...
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1answer
203 views

What’s the difference between meminisse and memini?

I’d love to get a tattoo saying ‘remember’ in Latin, but would rather not use memento. Would it be possible to either use meminisse or memini? I’d like remember to be like a reminder for myself to ...
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1answer
54 views

Are there any Latin words with sharply contrasting meanings?

The English word madam can mean A polite form of address for a woman or lady. (slang) A woman who runs a brothel, particularly one that specializes in finding prostitutes for rich and ...
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42 views

Did Alexander the Great change the meaning of “Hellenes”?

The Hellenistic era was launched by Alexander the Great, and his death is usually defined as the starting point. The Greek word Hellenes (Ἕλληνες) was in use before, during, and after the Hellenistic ...
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1answer
39 views

Which modern cities are urbes?

I have understood that urbs is not just a "city", but more properly a "major city". The L&S entry implies that it refers to a walled town, but city walls are rare nowadays. What makes a city an ...
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1answer
72 views

How did the literal meaning of “putare” develop into “to judge, to think, etc.”?

For the verb puto -are, Cassell's and Lewis & Short give a primary meaning of "to clean, cleanse" and a literal meaning of "to trim, prune or lop trees or vines". I can easily imagine the path ...
2
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1answer
69 views

Does the avenger arise from bones or ashes?

A famous quote of Dido's from Aeneid 4.625 is exoriare aliquis nostris ex ossibus ultor of which my preferred poetic translation is Fitzgerald's Rise up from my bones, avenging spirit ...
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2answers
3k views

Please help translate this short Latin phrase left behind by a deceased man

I worked an estate sale a few years ago and the experience has never left me. The man who passed away left this note on a chalk board and I found a photo of it the other day. I have wondered what it ...
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1answer
114 views

How “sōlā fidē” means what it is supposed to mean

The question is whether the phrase (a) denies there being more than one faith or (b) excludes there being any other means of salvation. BACKGROUND I am assuming that the phrase is intended to ...
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1answer
130 views

Prae- & Ante- (before)

The prefixes prae- and ante- both have the same meaning of 'before' in place or time. Why is the existence of both words necessary?
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How did the figurative meaning of 'iniungere' develop from the literal one?

The verb iniungere (a compound of in- and iungere) literally means "to join, fasten, attach". However, an Etymonline entry also gives it a figurative meaning "to inflict, to attack, impose". How was ...
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1answer
384 views

Anima vs. Animus

I keep mixing up animus and anima, and it seems their meanings overlap somewhat. For example, Wiktionary gives the following: animus: mind, soul, life force; courage, will anima: soul, spirit, life; ...
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1answer
964 views

What does “et alibi” mean?

Here are few definitions, which I found, of what "et alibi" means: And elsewhere; used to terminate lists of passages in a text (link). In lists of places, et alibi (meaning "and elsewhere") is used ...
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1answer
52 views

How to capture the meaning and connotation of Self-respect, Compassion, Curiosity?

I have a friend who asked me for help translating some words into Latin (because I took a few courses over a decade ago...), which the internet does for us, but we're not sure that the web is ...
2
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1answer
64 views

Confusion regarding reference to Latin in “Infinite Jest” book

In he book Infinite Jest there is a part where a character says It strikes me that EXIT signs would look to a native speaker of Latin like red-lit signs that say HE LEAVES. What does this mean?
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1answer
211 views

Is a 'caper' just a goat, or also a boar?

Lewis and Short have this: căper, pri, m. [cf. κάπρος, wild boar], a he-goat, a goat. How come the Greek word means boar, while the Latin means goat? I presume the words are related; how could ...
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3answers
6k views

What does “Attero Dominatus” mean?

"Attero Dominatus" is the title of an album and song by the band Sabaton. According to this article, which does not cite any source, it means "destroy tyranny", according to this Wikipedia page it ...
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1answer
113 views

What does “ratio doloris” mean?

What does ratio doloris mean? I want to translate ratio doloris from Latin to English in all contexts for which it would make grammatical sense, because I want to know if -is is the correct suffix for ...
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2answers
7k views

Is my interpretation of “Ad Astra per Aspera” correct?

I came across the phrase ad astra per aspera — "to the stars through difficulties." I think I know what it means, but my interpretation appears to be at odds with others. For example: The ...
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1answer
55 views

What's the logic of sub- in words like suppleo and sufficio?

The words suppleo and sufficio both derive from the prefix sub- ("under"), in which the 'b' of sub- is assimilated into the following consonant. Both these words carry the connotation of "being enough"...
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0answers
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What is the relation between -men and -mentum?

When answering this question about incrementum, I recalled the similarity of the suffixes -mentum and -men. If the linked Wiktionary pages are to be trusted, they are etymologically related, both ...
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1answer
66 views

What “ment” means in “incrementum”

What "ment" means in "incrementum"? On Wiktionary I have found meaning of only first parts of the word.
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1answer
126 views

Can ἀνήρ refer to a woman?

The name Alexander fairly transparently comes from ἀλέξω "defend" + ἀνήρ "man". As an epithet of Hera, I've heard it translated as "defender of mankind". But I generally think of ἀνήρ as being ...
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3answers
319 views

Can “gēns” be used to exclude outsiders, as in English “Gentile”?

I'm examining a work by Tertullian, Adversus Iudaeos, and in it he uses the word "gentibus" in a way that seems to indicate peoples or nations: Hunc enim oportebat pro omnibus gentibus fieri ...
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0answers
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Are there meaningful differences in meaning and usability between 'calculare' and 'computare'?

Is there any meaningful difference, from the point of view of classical philology (not from the point of view of contemporary usages and dictionaries which more or less seem to consider them synonyms) ...
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1answer
603 views

What does “tellus” mean?

What does the word tellus mean? In the research sites we see the word "Earth" as meaning, but there is an article that cites the Latin word as "sense of the way of man".
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1answer
68 views

What can “dicere” mean in the context of a musical instrument?

Apuleius, Metamorphoses VI.24.3: scaena sibi sic concinnata ut Musae quidem chorum canerent, tibias inflaret Saturus, et Paniscus ad fistulam diceret. This is from the Loeb edition, which ...
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1answer
105 views

Was Nero tyrannical, despotic or dictatorial? (Greek)

What would an educated, bilingual Roman of Nero's time say of Nero to mean that he was a 'tyrant' etc. in our sense—i.e. a bad, unjust, arbitrary ruler—in (a) Latin and (b) Greek? ...
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2answers
2k views

Double meaning Ex pluribus unum

Ex pluribus unum means (simplified) "From many, one", in the sense that many parts build one whole. Can I also use the phrase in the sense that from many possible solutions or things only one (the ...
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2answers
165 views

Has the meaning of any Latin adjectives narrowed in a way similar to English “gay” transitioning from a meaning of “happy” to “homosexual”?

The English words "gay" and "queer" are originally adjectives with a broad range of possible use contexts, but currently they are used almost exclusively in reference to certain minorities. It has ...
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1answer
49 views

A semantic question about αὐτόματος

Here is a question related to the one I asked about an hour ago: As an adjective, the main meaning of αὐτόματος is self-willed, but as a noun, it primarily means accident or chance, according to this ...
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1answer
155 views

Should motum be translated as emotions?

Calvin's commentary on Romans 1:18 (Latin, English translation by MacKenzie): Ira, ἀνθρωποπαθῶς, more Scripturae pro ultione Dei: quia Deus puniens, prae se fert (nostra opinione) irascentis faciem....
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1answer
72 views

“Ad populum” idiom

Is "ad populum" ever seen as an idiom for "popular", or can it only mean "to the people"? For example, if something is considered popular, would "ad populum" be an acceptable phrase to use?
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0answers
69 views

When should the perfect tenses be used?

No matter the language, it seems as if the perfect tenses (except for the future perfect) can be replaced with the imperfect. In translation, why do these sets of tenses have different meaning? I don'...
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2answers
314 views

What's the best translation of “vindice” in Met. 1.89?

I was translating this verse, and although I came up with several candidates for translating vindice, I am still not sure about the intended meaning. Aurea prima sata est aetas, quae vindice nullo,...
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6answers
4k views

What is the meaning of “Ex Lux”, the name of Lucifer Morningstar's new bar?

I've been a fan of Mike Carey's Lucifer comic series, for its believable portrait of a fallen angel. The series spun off from Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, which established this incarnation of Lucifer ...
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1answer
1k views

What was a draco?

The Latin dictionaries I checked suggest that the word draco is attested in classical literature and it is often translated as "dragon". However, it is my impression — which may well be wrong! &...