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Questions tagged [vocabulary]

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

2
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1answer
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What is a ball as in meat ball?

There are various foods that are called "balls" in English, perhaps most famously "meat balls". What would be a good Latin word for a ball in this sense? I can think of words for a ball in general, ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
49 views

Can “libella maris” be “sea level”?

I came across the expression libella maris in a scientific text from 19th century. There are many ways to parse it in the context, and one option that occurred to me is that maybe it stands for "sea ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

About an Athenaeus quote marginally related to Sappho

Here is the quote: ἐκαλεῖτο δέ τις καὶ βαλανωτὴ φιάλη, ἧς τῷ πυθμένι χρυσοῖ ὑπέκειντο ἀστράγαλοι. Σῆμος δ᾽ ἐν Δήλῳ ἀνακεῖσθαί φησι χαλκοῦν φοίνικα, Ναξίων ἀνάθημα, καὶ καρυωτὰς φιάλας χρυσᾶς. ...
5
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2answers
104 views

Tantibus: genuine Latin word, or made-up?

I came across the word tantibus while reading this page (as part of a bigger word, amalgotantibus), where it's claimed to be Latin for "nightmare"; a little bit of digging also revealed that it's the ...
5
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2answers
61 views

How would I talk about supernatural “possession”?

Many stories, both ancient and modern, concern "possession": a supernatural entity of some sort takes over a human or animal body and controls it. Is there a Classical Latin word for this phenomenon? ...
5
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0answers
48 views

How do you call your aunt's or uncle's spouse?

In Latin, a paternal aunt is an 'amita', a paternal uncle is a 'patruus', a maternal aunt is a 'matertera' and a maternal uncle is an 'avunculus'. However, how do you call each of these people's ...
7
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1answer
47 views

Is there a canonical list of Latinized names?

I'm not only talking about names that existed during the classical period, but also the standard Latinization of modern European names; for example hugo, hugonis is the standard medieval Latin ...
4
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1answer
47 views

Meaning of Aquae Sextiae

The Battle of Aquae Sextiae is the site where the Teutones and Ambrones were defeated by the Romans under Gaius Marius in 102 BC. What does this place name in English? It is located in modern-day ...
4
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2answers
89 views

How to translate “morning breath” into Latin?

Would “mane spiritum” / “mane anima” translate accurately to morning breath please? I am very new to Latin. I would be very grateful for any help moving forwards please as there are a number of ...
4
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1answer
61 views

How to say “viral” in Latin?

Consider the phrase: The video went viral How could the concept of "viral" in the above meaning be expressed in Latin? This is clearly a recent word, so there will not be a native one. Virus is ...
4
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1answer
73 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
835 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
261 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 ...
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0answers
57 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
46 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
43 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
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1answer
57 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 ...
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5answers
128 views

Translating “child of freedom”

How would I translate the phrase “child of freedom" in feminine form?
3
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0answers
31 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
68 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
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1answer
76 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, ...
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0answers
46 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 ...
3
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1answer
37 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 ...
3
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2answers
56 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 ...
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2answers
741 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. ...
9
votes
1answer
103 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
43 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
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1answer
63 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
votes
3answers
42 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 ...
5
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1answer
65 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
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1answer
58 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 ...
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2answers
644 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
74 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
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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2answers
70 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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0answers
237 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
109 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
83 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
494 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
37 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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0answers
28 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 ...
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0answers
190 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 ...
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1answer
69 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 ...
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3answers
164 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
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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 ...
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3answers
103 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
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1answer
55 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 ...