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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.

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What was the standard ancient term for a thermopolium?

This page on thermopolia reports a quotation from Mary Beard, classics professor at Cambridge University: “The best way to escape a diet of bread, cheese and fruit, eaten in small lodginggs over a ...
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How to say “of the” as in “Church of The Blessed Virgin” with the sense of “belonging to” or “patronage”?

I would be glad if anyone could help me how to translate the name "Church of the Virgin Mary" or at least how to place "of the" in the sense of "belonging in patronage" in such contexts? Other ...
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What is a boyfriend or a girlfriend in Latin?

When answering this question, it occurred to me that I don't know what to call a "boyfriend" or a "girlfriend" in Latin. What would be good words? I assume that the same solution will work for both ...
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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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Is there a verb for people of the same sex marrying in latin?

As far as I know there are two words in Latin that indicate two people marrying nubere This means to veil oneself for marriage. It thus has to be said by a female member and it is implied that this ...
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on the word–analysis of ‘viridis’

According to OLD, the adj. viridis derives from the verb vireo, but nothing is mentioned about the suffix that turns the verb to the adj. Could anyone tell about the suffix that transforms the verb ...
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Putting “spread” on a bread in Latin

There are various kinds of spreads one can put on a bread, made from butter, vegetable oils, or other ingredients. What would be a good general word for these products for use in contemporary Latin? ...
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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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Is it idiomatic to say “Intellego” to assure the speaker you're understanding?

In other words, when an English speaking person would say "I see" meaning "I understand what you're saying", is it natural in classical Latin to say Intellego, as in, maybe even more than once? If not,...
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41 views

What to call a visa in Latin?

Is there an established Latin word for "visa", the kind of document you need to enter some countries? The English word seems to come from the past participle of the Latin verb videre, and so does the ...
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How to choose correct word variants?

I asked a question earlier. For some time now, it's occured to me that a pattern is forming: All my questions about the Latin language are basically the same. The subjects change, but the underlying ...
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Are there Latin angry oaths like the English “damn it!” or “for God's sake!”?

Nowadays (I guess) every language has both vulgar and non-vulgar ways to express anger, frustration and/or exasperation , in response to some nuisance. Looking e.g. at Catullus, it seems unlikely that ...
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When and how was “bombax!” used?

I found the exclamation bombax! in Plautus' Pseudolus (Pl. Ps. 1.3.131), where note 19 specifies it is a Greek loanword (βομβάξ in fact) used as an interjection of contempt. This agrees with what is ...
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2answers
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What is the general word for a religious ceremony or observation?

Suppose I wish to talk about the various aspects of Roman religion: prayers, festivals, sacrifices, and everything else. In English, "observances" is a fairly general term for all of these aspects ...
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What does a versipellis turn into?

I asked a question before about a passage in the Satyricon describing a werewolf: a man who transforms into a wolf and back. The Latin word used for this creature is versipellis, from vertō "turn" + ...
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What's the Latin or Greek for ladybug?

I'm curious whether we know the Classical Latin or Greek names of the ladybug. I can't find the word in any of the dictionaries I have access to at the moment, and googling turns up this reddit thread ...
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Why is plural of “mons pubis” not “montes pubum”

Latin newbie here. Was talking with a friend about Martian landforms like Olympus Mons. Then we talked about other uses of mons, like mons pubis. But then I realized I didn’t understand something. ...
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Hesychius quote: where are those words from?

Sappho Voigt 117A Campbell 117A number 2 (Campbell has two 117As, one is a quotation from Michael of Italy, the same as Voigt 194A, and the other one is Voigt 117A) is a quote from Hesychius, which ...
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1answer
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Need translation Please of: Promissary of the future

Dear Translation Helpers, Could you please help me translate "Promissary of the Future" into true Latin? I have looked the words up, but they don't seem to make sense as the syntax is different and I ...
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Meaning of “naturam unibilitatis”

In Summa theologiae (ST I q. 29 a. 1 ad 5) one can read: Ad quintum dicendum quod anima est pars humanae speciei, et ideo, licet sit separata, quia tamen retinet naturam unibilitatis, non potest ...
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Does *meditari* mean “measure”?

Does meditari have a meaning like "measure"? Using Google (I don't know which dictionary it's quoting), I see ... However I don't think I'm seeing that in a Latin dictionary, e.g. Lewis and Short or ...
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Does “plurimi” imply “vast majority” in Augustine's Enchiridion?

In Augustine's Enchiridion, §112, he writes: Frustra itaque nonnulli, immo quam plurimi, aeternam damnatorum poenam et cruciatus sine intermissione perpetuos humano miserantur affectu, atque ita ...
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2answers
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“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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467 views

What is “terror” in Latin?

If I have understood correctly, the English word "terror" roughly means various activities invoking fear, such as attacks on civilians, and "terrorism" is the use of terror for political purposes. The ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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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? ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 "...
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856 views

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

I am just curious what a phrase "e pluribus smart assimus" means.
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265 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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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Translating “child of freedom”

How would I translate the phrase “child of freedom" in feminine form?
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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. ...