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This tag is for questions concerning the meaning and usage of individual words or a few words in conjunction with each other.

4
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1answer
61 views

Does a form “spiritum”, second declension neuter, exist?

Today, as I browsed Quora, I saw a question with an (apparently) blatant case error. I opened it, and curiously, one answer stated it could have been a correct case, since, while there is indeed "...
3
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1answer
797 views

What is the meaning of “e pluribus smart assimus”?

I am just curious what a phrase "e pluribus smart assimus" means.
3
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1answer
257 views

How do I do something “hard”?

"Hard" is sometimes used as an adverb in English to emphasize a physical action, or indicate that it was especially vigorous or forceful. For example, "he hit the ground hard when he fell", or "she ...
2
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0answers
51 views

How the Greek word “oikonomia” got meaning of “thrift”?

Some dictionaries seems to include the word "thrift" at the end of definition for oikonomia (good examples here and here): Greek oikonomia "household management, thrift. I would like to know the ...
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0answers
28 views

Seeking simple Latin translation for motto “fire, flow, transcendence”

I am in a community of flow artists and fire performers. I'm putting together a "coat of arms" of sorts for this community, and would like to include a motto in Latin. The motto in English would be ...
8
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2answers
36 views

What is a good deed?

Suppose I wanted to talk about good deeds. Generally this means acts done by someone for selfless reasons, solely to benefit others. For a literal translation I could go with bona facta, but the ...
4
votes
1answer
52 views

What exactly are βροτολοιγῶ?

From Procopius's Secret History (or Arcana Historia) XII.12-14: Διὸ δὴ ἐμοί τε καὶ τοῖς πολλοῖς ἠμῶν οὐδεπώποτε ἔδοξαν οὗτοι ἄνθρωποι εἶναι, ἀλλὰ δαίμονες παλαμναῖοί τινες καὶ ὥσπερ οἱ ποιηταὶ ...
3
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5answers
107 views

Translating “child of freedom”

How would I translate the phrase “child of freedom" in feminine form?
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0answers
28 views

meaning of “status” and “condiciones”

I'm reading Olaus Magnus's 1550 Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus, earumque diversis statibus, condicionibus, moribus, ritibus, superstitionibus, disciplinis, exercitiis, regimine, victu, bellis, ...
4
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1answer
62 views

Art and science in Greek and Latin (Greek)

Consider these pairs: τέχνη και ἐπιστήμη (?) ars et scientia (?) art and science Kunst und Wissenschaft Did Antiquity have this opposition or division between art and science? If not, when ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Is there an Ancient Greek verb with this very particular (and nsfw) meaning?

I heard it claimed recently that Ancient Greek had a verb similar to irrumāre, but specifically for irrumātiō performed on a corpse. This seems somewhat absurd, and the claim had no source attached, ...
2
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0answers
36 views

What is “sense of humour” in Latin?

What would be a good classical Latin translation of "sense of humour"? I can find words for "humour", but I am not sure how to go about "sense of". Would one of the humour words be adequate on its own ...
2
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1answer
16 views

Proper use of De Jure and De Facto in the context of “what is” and “what is right”

I work in IT. For a long time I've said to my team "Build for de jure, change for de facto". Meaning: Build a perfect world version, change it to fit the way things are. An example: When planning ...
2
votes
2answers
42 views

What is an opera in Latin?

The genre of "opera" (as in, a particular type of theatre involving a lot of singing) post-dates the Roman Empire, and the English word for it transparently comes from the plural of opus. In most ...
11
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2answers
718 views

What is “parecbolae”?

Researching an answer for this question, I found a book of regulations of the University of Oxford, dating from the early 19th century. The title is: I cannot find the meaning of Parecbolae anywhere. ...
8
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1answer
95 views

Does mentula (“penis”) derive from the same root as mens (“mind”), and if so why?

The Latin word mentula isn't properly defined in the Lewis & Short dictionary, but it does show up on Latin-Dictionary.net and Wiktionary. Both those dictionaries define mentula as "penis". But ...
3
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0answers
36 views

Idiom like “Fair enough!”

If someone disagrees with you and the argument makes you change your opinion, you might say "Fair enough!" in English. This seems to be essentially equivalent to "Oh, good point! I agree." Is ...
4
votes
1answer
60 views

What is an undergraduate student?

What would be a good way to say "undergraduate student" in Latin? The exact meaning depends on context: in Finland I would use that to refer to a student without a master's degree even if they have a ...
3
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3answers
38 views

What is “mechanical”?

If I wanted to describe something as "mechanical", as opposed to electronic or human-run, how would I do this in Classical Latin? As the Romans had no electronics, the main distinction I'm interested ...
4
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1answer
57 views

Has “tribalis” ever been used in Latin?

I was recently looking up the etymologies of some obscure words related to the English word tribe (like the adjective tribual), and I came across a Wiktionary page that asserts that there is or was a ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Forming compound words in Latin: helicopter

I would like to understand the formation of Latin compound words through the example of the word "helicopter". This obviously has a Greek origin, and I would like redo the construction with two Latin ...
5
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2answers
543 views

What is “legendary” in Latin?

The English word "legendary" obviously comes from Latin, from the gerundive legendus, "that which is to be read". (Less clumsy wording ideas are welcome!) I might base a translation of the noun "...
9
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1answer
72 views

Ablative considered as an accusative

In my Latin-Italian dictionary I found this expression: arva sanguineo gyro scribo that is translated as: I draw a blood circle on the ground. But, gyro is an ablative. Why is it considered as ...
7
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1answer
52 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 ...
6
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2answers
67 views

Quōmodo rēctē “derivative of f(x)” dīcere?

I am currently struggling to figure out how to translate the following phrase: [...] derivative of f(x) [...] I had a couple of initial ideas, namely: dēductīva [fūnctiō] dē f(x) dēductīva ...
5
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1answer
62 views

Roman children's diminutive for parents

I read - I believe on here - that a Roman child's equivalent for, eg "Daddy, Pop" etc was tata. Was there an equivalent for "Mummy"?
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139 views

What is the proper parsing of “macte virtute”?

As indicated in another answer, macte virtute is a common way of saying, "Well done." The consensus seems to be that macte is the vocative of mactus. L&S states (contradictorily?): (only in ...
4
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1answer
105 views

Does nux also mean a toy?

In his translation of the following passage from Seneca's De Ira, John Basore renders nucibus as "toys": Non pietas illam iram sed infirmitas movet, sicut pueris, qui tam parentibus amissis ...
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0answers
76 views

How to translate “sexy”?

How would one translate “sexy” into Latin? In particular, I’m looking for a word or phrase that has a similar “slangy” feel to the English version. I’ve considered a few possibilities: Catullus 10 ...
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5answers
493 views

Touching emotionally

In English or Finnish I can say that I was touched by something or an experience was touching, meaning that I was touched emotionally, not physically. How can I express the same in Latin? Does tangere ...
2
votes
1answer
34 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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vote
0answers
27 views

How to translate “associative movement”

How could we translate "associative movement" in Latin? I know "association" is usually "consociatio", but what about the adjective? "Associative movement" means (more or less) the fact that people ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

What is chat in Latin?

What would be a good Latin noun or verb to translate "chat" in the sense that would apply to our chat room, for example? There are verbs like garrire, fabulari, verbigerare, and simply colloqui but I ...
3
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0answers
110 views

What is the best Latin word for “career”?

What would be the best Latin word(s) for "career", to be used together with a specification such as "academic", "military", or "industrial"? The Roman phrase cursus honorum might refer too ...
6
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1answer
67 views

How to describe qualifications?

I recently obtained formal qualifications to teach Latin (and mathematics and physics) in a number of Finnish schools and I got my diploma yesterday. How should I go about expressing this in Latin? Is ...
2
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3answers
112 views

What is analysis in Latin?

The word "analysis" is found in some form in a number of languages, and it is of Greek origin. I could not think of a Latin term meaning "analysis" (as the word is used today, which may or may not be ...
8
votes
1answer
71 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 ...
5
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3answers
95 views

What is “obituary” in Latin?

The English word "obituary" seems to come from the Latin verb obire. One can derive the adjective obituarius from that verb, and using the neuter obituarium would make possible translation. However, I ...
2
votes
1answer
44 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
247 views

Does Vires acquirit eundo translate to “He gathers…” or “We gather…”?

Does Vires acquirit eundo actually translate to "we gather strength as we go", or, "he gathers strength as he goes", or "he gathers strength along the way"? This is part of a possible tattoo design so ...
11
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2answers
87 views

Is the usage of “id est” in Latin exactly like the usage of “i.e.” or “that is” in English?

There was a question a little while back on the English SE asking about the "plural form of i.e." (unfortunately, it got closed because the author didn't clarify what they meant). While I was trying ...
10
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2answers
1k views

What is “gullible” in Latin?

Did you know that Lewis and Short's dictionary doesn't contain the word "gullible"? That is an appropriate question for the first of April, but it turns out that I indeed found no trace of that word. ...
3
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2answers
42 views

How to describe a gazette to stakeholders in Latin?

Suppose a university sends a periodic magazine or gazette out to alumni, companies, and other stakeholders. What would be a good Latin word for this kind of a publication? Would it be simply nuntii? ...
3
votes
1answer
50 views

What would be a traffic circle or roundabout in Latin?

Out of idle curiosity, how would you translate "traffic circle" or "roundabout" into Latin? I assume the Romans did not have them, but there must be some analogues to draw on. The best I could think ...
5
votes
2answers
133 views

What is the meaning and history of the word Imperator?

As most people with historical interests know, the English word "emperor" is derived from Old French empereor which is derived from Latin imperator. IMHO it seems more correct to refer to a Roman ...
6
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1answer
70 views

Did “paganus” mean a non-believer before Christianity?

The adjective paganus is derived from pagus and seems to originally mean roughly "belonging to a village". According to the L&S entry the sense "non-military" is also classically attested. In ...
8
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3answers
367 views

Where does Pliny, or any ancient author, write about a stilus plumbeus?

Researching the history of the pencil the German speaking web is full of quotes that attribute to Pliny the mentioning of a stilus plumbeus as the historical and etymological source for the word ...
5
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1answer
40 views

What is “Sleep debt” in Latin?

How can I say "sleep debt" or "chronically not sleeping enough" in classical Latin? I have big doubts that this term was not used by doctors, but can not find a correct translation.
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2answers
2k views

What are the moon phases in Latin?

Here is a list of phases that we distinguish in English (taken from here): Full Moon Waning Gibbous Moon Last Quarter Moon Waning Crescent Moon New Moon Waxing Crescent Moon First Quarter Moon Waxing ...
6
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1answer
882 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 ...