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Questions tagged [origin]

For questions regarding origins of words, phrases, structures, and other things. Consider also using the tag "etymology".

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What is the origin for the act of “sex” and definition?

What is the origin for the word "sex" in its various grammatical forms (the noun "sex" and the verb "sex")? What is the historical definition of this word? How has it morphed into the definition of ...
7
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3answers
476 views

Are “vir” and “virgo” etymologically related?

Are vir and virgo etymologically related? St. Isidore says, in his Etymologies p. 242, that virago and vir are related: A ‘heroic maiden’ (virago) is so called because she ‘acts like a man’ (...
13
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0answers
159 views

Where did the Romans think Latin comes from?

Did the Romans have a theory for the origin of their language? I assume there were several ideas, and it would be great to see a summary of them. No need to go very deep on any individual theory; a ...
4
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1answer
55 views

Quinquies and quinquiens

Consider the word quinquies/quinquiens ("five times"). It has two alternative spellings. Having the options -ies and -iens seems to be common for numerals of this kind. What is the origin of these ...
5
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2answers
266 views

How productive was the participle in -menus in Latin?

Greek has the medium participle ending in -menos. It has a couple of occurrences in Latin, too, of which I only seem to remember alere > alumnus now. How many words are there in Latin that contain ...
5
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2answers
84 views

Comparing decem and -decim

The Latin cardinal numbers starting at ten are decem, undecim, duodecim… Does the -decim (roughly "-teen") come from decem or from the same root? (I faintly recall decem and δέκα coming from ...
13
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2answers
439 views

Latin passive endings: Why is -mini sticking out

The Latin passive ending usually feature an additional letter R compared to the active endings: laud-or, -aris, -atur, -amur, -antur. However, the second person plural is different, using the ending -...
5
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1answer
25 views

Source of quote attributed to Suidas

"Sophocles is wise, Euripides is wiser than Sophocles; but Socrates is the wisest of all men." I've come across this quote in various places on the internet, including many scholarly books, and it is ...
16
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2answers
1k views

When and why did the ablative form?

When did the ablative originate? Additionally, I’d like to know which case was used before the ablative for adverbials. I think it replaced the dative, as I also study Ancient Greek. In that language, ...
7
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1answer
276 views

What does the “Lorem Ipsum” mean?

"Lorem ipsum" is a filler text commonly used to demonstrate the graphic elements of a document or visual presentation. But what does it mean? Can you give a brief review of the text's origin? Lorem ...
6
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1answer
231 views

Origin of the following phrase: Ambulatoria enim est voluntas hominum usque ad vitae supremum exitum

I can't find where this text comes from: Ambulatoria enim est voluntas hominum usque ad vitae supremum exitum. I can't find the author on the internet. What is the source of this phrase?
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0answers
71 views

How many of Latin words became part of English and Spanish?

For example, if we were to take one of the most used Latin dictionaries (Lewis and Short?), and find out the percentage of total entries that have made it one way or another into English and Spanish, ...
4
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1answer
120 views

Is there any connection between “ave” (as in Ave Cesar) and “aveo”?

Ave, as in Ave Caesar, has the meaning of "hail". Yet, according to Wiktionary, it is also the "second-person singular present imperative of aveō". Now, aveō is a verb which means either "I desire", ...
12
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1answer
232 views

-eris, -oris, -uris?

Much to students' annoyance, nouns ending in -us can belong to either the second (servus), third (tempus), or fourth (circus) declensions. I understand the origin of the second and fourth: Proto-Indo-...
10
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1answer
142 views

Mediaeval Latin adopted the Greek word 'grapheus' as '-gravius' (which led to Dutch/German 'graaf/Graf', “count”); where and when did this happen?

Philippa (2003–2009) says about the Dutch word graaf, "count", that it came from Greek grapheus "writer/scribe", through Mediaeval Latin -gravius, "royal administrative official, overseer". Now I ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Are “sex” and “sexus” etymologically related?

Are sex (the number 6) or sextus (⅙ or ordinal sixth)(From where the English word "sextant" comes.) and sexus (sex or gender) etymologically related?
7
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1answer
351 views

“Memento quod es homo”

In the essay "Of Empire", Francis Bacon wrote: All precepts concerning kings are in effect comprehended in those two remembrances: Memento quod es homo and Memento quod es Deus or vice Dei—the one ...
26
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3answers
1k views

Why are there no native Latin words with a Z?

I have always been told that all Latin words with a Z are ancient Greek loanwords. Why doesn't Latin have any native words with a Z?