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Questions tagged [meaning]

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

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59 votes
5 answers
14k views

Are "-que" and "et" equivalent?

I was taught that one can use the '-que' suffix to string together multiple words, in a similar way to putting 'et' between them. Are these two equivalent? Did one have a connotation in classical (...
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13 votes
6 answers
60k views

What does memento mori actually mean?

I'm wondering what memento mori actually means. From Wikipedia, I see the meaning is "you must die" but that makes it sound like a threat. Legend said that one of the war prisoner use the word for ...
geomars's user avatar
  • 165
12 votes
3 answers
594 views

Is "victa serpente" an ablative absolute?

I'm reading Ovid's Metamorphoses, and there's this sentence: Delius hunc nuper, victa serpente superbus, viderat adducto flectentem cornua nervo “quid” que “tibi, lascive puer, cum fortibus ...
user avatar
33 votes
2 answers
10k views

What's the difference between vel, aut, -ve, et cetera?

So I see "vel", "aut", and "-ve" being used (mostly) interchangeably in the Latin I read. Is there any idiomatic difference, or can they be used interchangeably? For ...
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7 votes
2 answers
441 views

What is the difference in meaning/usage between "nasciturus" and "nascendus"?

Both nasciturus and nascendus seem to exist. Words ending in -turus are often described as future active participles, and words ending in -ndus as future passive participles (they are also called ...
Asteroides's user avatar
18 votes
1 answer
2k views

How can I use "quippe" properly?

Lewis & Short gives the following definition: surely, certainly, to be sure, by all means, indeed, in fact certainly, indeed, forsooth for, for in fact for, because, inasmuch as for ...
Joel Derfner's user avatar
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17 votes
2 answers
1k views

What colours did different colour words mean, exactly?

There are many different words for colours in Latin, but it's not easy to tell what kind of colour was exactly meant by each word. Do we know what different colour words meant? In particular, is there ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
20 votes
7 answers
5k views

"Miserando atque eligendo"

There seem to be two schools of thought about the meaning of the motto on Pope Francis's coat of arms: miserando atque eligendo These words are taken from the 21st homily of the Venerable Bede, ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
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19 votes
1 answer
2k 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! &...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
5k views

What is the distinction between gaudium and laetitia when both denote "joy"?

Both gaudium and laetitia denote joy, but appear to be used differently depending on the circumstances. What is the distinction between the two (or more) Latin words for joy?
Mark M.'s user avatar
  • 197
16 votes
1 answer
3k views

Both "fēmina" and "mulier" mean "woman": what's the difference?

The word fēmina is used with the meaning "woman": Of human beings, a female, woman (cf.: uxor, mulier, matrona; conjux, marita) (Lewis and Short) (Fēmina also means "female" when ...
Asteroides's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
718 views

Is there a semantic difference between the two perfect tenses in medieval Latin?

In medieval Latin active perfect forms started to use the auxiliary verb habere with perfect participle. Thus amavi would be replaced with amatum habeo. These two constructions must have coexisted for ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
5k views

How did mundus come to mean both world and clean?

Basically what's in the title: How did mundus come to mean both world and clean? L&S lists a number of other meanings, but in my knowledge these are two very frequent uses, that do not seem to ...
Rafael's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
784 views

What's the difference between fessus and defessus?

I'm curious to know what the difference is between fessus and defessus. Is de- simply acting as an intensifying prefix? Suppose I were tired at the end of night, and wanted to go to sleep. Would I say ...
ktm5124's user avatar
  • 12k
11 votes
3 answers
6k views

What is the definitive definition of rem?

The word rem seems to mean all sorts of things depending on the context — sometimes it means "the thing", sometimes "it", and sometimes rem can be entirely omitted from the English translation. ...
Bob Eret's user avatar
  • 353
9 votes
2 answers
7k 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; ...
Expedito Bipes's user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
3k views

Does 'duco' refer to the art of leadership?

This follows on from my prior question. I'm working on the name for an art project concerned with physical, emotional and psychological optimisation with a view to nurturing wholesome leadership. I ...
DVCITIS's user avatar
  • 609
8 votes
2 answers
986 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, ...
ktm5124's user avatar
  • 12k
7 votes
2 answers
782 views

What did "quid pro quo" originally mean?

The phrase quid pro quo means "what for what" in Latin, but that makes very little sense to me. Wikipedia hints at the original meaning having to do with substitutions. That makes sense, as pro can ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
Sylvia's user avatar
  • 141
2 votes
2 answers
7k views

Is the adjective in latin put after the noun or before?

E.g Is the legal term essentialia negotii correct use of the grammar(declension, agreement, word order) rules or not? Should it not be negotiorum essentialium so that the case, the number and the ...
George Ntoulos's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
259 views

Does 'ipse' truly mean change?

This quote hails from the liner notes to this CD: John Adams's Violin Concerto performed by Leila Josefowicz, David Robertson of St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Alice Miller Cotter has a BA in Music (...
user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
787 views

Is there a difference between 'a' and 'de' when the meaning is 'from'?

The Latin preposition de takes an ablative object and has several different translations including 'about', 'of', 'down from' and 'from'. The preposition a/ab also has multiple meanings including '...
LJD200's user avatar
  • 271
14 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to use immo?

What does the word immo really mean and how can I use it? I read this and this dictionary entry, and I was left confused. Some of the uses I can understand, but some I cannot. Either I do not have ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
4k views

Does liberi only refer to free children?

This issue came up in an answer and comments to this earlier question about comparing liberi and filii, and I think it's important enough to be treated in a separate question. Also, the answer to this ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
17k views

Why does "ut" mean such different things when it has a subjunctive verb vs. an indicative one?

We all know that ut, when paired with a subjunctive, is translated as "in order to" (purpose), "to" (indirect command), and, with some words, "that" (result/fear). However, ut with an indicative ...
user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
16k views

Difference between super and supra?

Is there a difference in meaning between super and supra (both with accusative)? Would one indicate motion and the other one position?
user18798's user avatar
  • 221
11 votes
5 answers
8k views

On the literal meaning of "in saecula saeculorum"

Literally, this phrase (found originally in the New Testament of the Vulgata) is translated as "into [the] ages of [the] ages". It's supposed to be an expression of eternity, and it's commonly ...
luchonacho's user avatar
  • 12.4k
11 votes
2 answers
470 views

Quid a "hic", "munere" significat Linnæus?

These words are inscribed over the entrance to the University of Pavia: Quid hic? Intueri naturam. Quo munere? Curiosum esse. They're translated here into Italian, which I'll translate into English ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
  • 15.9k
10 votes
1 answer
538 views

Does animal include human?

In today's English the word "animal" can include or exclude humans, depending on context. How about the word animal in classical Latin? Does it include humans? If not, is there a term that would cover ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
300 views

Why does a future passive participle have a sense of necessity?

Let me use an example to clarify: Puer librum legendum habet Very, very literally, this would be: The boy has a book going to be read This has the sense of happening in the future and ...
user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
205 views

Aut *celer* aut *vēlōx*?

Celer and vēlōx are often treated as synonymous. I feel certain that I learned the technical distinction between them once: that celer was potential speed, while vēlōx was actual speed. So Usain Bolt ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 67.2k
9 votes
2 answers
11k 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 ...
jamjam's user avatar
  • 213
9 votes
1 answer
2k views

Colors of the rainbow

The classical Latin word for a rainbow seems to be Iris (Iris or Iridis, f.). Did the Romans ever list or otherwise discuss the colors of the rainbow in extant literature? I asked about colors in ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
491 views

Is "ergo" an appropriate word for this context?

I'm translating this sentence into Latin: You said that I could do anything, so I went to the strip club. (It's for a late Valentine's card for my girlfriend.) So far, I have the first and second ...
user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
5k views

What is the meaning and use of the word 'Duco'?

I want to confirm my understanding of the word duco. According to Wiktionary, it is a third conjugation, irregular short imperative. The examples are: I lead, guide I draw, pull I think, consider I ...
DVCITIS's user avatar
  • 609
7 votes
2 answers
5k views

How can we distinguish "Si vis pacem, para bellum" translations?

On Wikipedia it is said that Si vis pacem, para bellum means "If you want peace, prepare for war". But I think that It also seems like "If you want peace, prepare war". What makes ...
Nabla's user avatar
  • 365
7 votes
2 answers
6k views

What is the meaning of Satanas?

Satanas is a name I have encountered on several occasions, such as when hearing of a lost silent movie of this name by F. W. Murnau. What is the meaning of the as ending in Satanas?
Abdul Al Hazred's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
3k views

How did "status quo" get its meaning?

A literal translation of status quo would be, "the state in which". I think this touches on the present-day meaning of the phrase, but I think most would agree that it does not fully capture it. I am ...
ktm5124's user avatar
  • 12k
6 votes
3 answers
334 views

What does Bede's phrase, "suae genti ducatum praebebat, obtinuit," mean?

In Bede's Ecclesiastical History, 2.5, there's a phrase that appears to be the subject of some debate: Nam primus imperium huiusmodi Aelli rex Australium Saxonum; secundus Caelin rex Occidentalium ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
744 views

Is "necesse" an adjective or an adverb

Introduction My enquiry arrises from a passage in “Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata: Familia Romana” in its tenth chapter which is entitled “BESTIAE ET HOMINES” on its fifty-ninth line which is as ...
Mr. Blythe's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
96 views

"In tanto spatio"

Lines 617–623 of De Rerum Natura, book VI: Praeterea, magnam sol partem detrahit æstu. Quippe videmus enim vestes humore madentes Exsiccare suis radiis ardentibu’ solem. At pelage multa et ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
  • 15.9k
6 votes
2 answers
402 views

"ne paelici suspectaretur" (Tacitus)

Tacitus, Annales 4.3: pellit domo Seianus uxorem Apicatam, ex qua tres liberos genuerat, ne paelici suspectaretur. The translation on Perseus (Church and Brodribb) gives: Sejanus, to avert his ...
TKR's user avatar
  • 31.3k
6 votes
1 answer
105 views

Is "their" being masculine or feminine?

The phrase I'm wondering about is "causas sui odii" — 'the cause of their hatred'. The men are discussing the cause of their (the men's) hatred? or the cause of their (the women's) hatred? If ...
Narf's user avatar
  • 61
5 votes
1 answer
218 views

What "ment" means in "incrementum"

What "ment" means in "incrementum"? On Wiktionary I have found meaning of only first parts of the word.
Yola's user avatar
  • 153
5 votes
2 answers
34k 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 ...
Morgoth's user avatar
  • 237
4 votes
2 answers
324 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 ...
Verbiwhore's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
223 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"...
ktm5124's user avatar
  • 12k
3 votes
2 answers
472 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'...
Middle School Historian's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
99 views

Fair Enough--Revisited

A recent Q concerned the use of "fair enough" at the termination of a conversation/ debate-cum-argument about Brexit, or extending the Empire, or whatever. The OP (What does OP stand for?) advised a ...
tony's user avatar
  • 8,732