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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55
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5answers
9k 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 (...
17
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1answer
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Are there feminine and neuter versions of "professor"?

From many verbs one can derive an agent noun for each gender: computare > computator (m), computatrix (f), computatrum (n) scribere > scriptor, scriptrix, scriptrum Some of these derivatives ...
29
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2answers
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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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5answers
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Examples of "homo" used for a woman

Any beginning Latin learner discovers that English "man" has two translations: homo, when referring to a man as opposed to another species, and vir, when referring to a man as opposed to a ...
31
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5answers
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How do you say "yes" and "no" in Classical Latin?

I'm wondering how the Romans would have said "yes" as in "yes please" or "no" as in "no thank you". I don't know if they would have said it exactly like that, but what would they have said if they had ...
17
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1answer
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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 ...
9
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1answer
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What is the difference between plus and magis?

The dictionaries I have checked give translations for both plus and magis, and they seem to have a different tone. However, I have found no comparison between the two. They both mean "more" one way or ...
11
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1answer
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What is the imperative of velle?

The conjugation tables of irregular Latin verbs that I have seen do not give any imperative forms for the verb velle. The verb nolle has the imperative forms noli and nolite, and they are fairly ...
10
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3answers
507 views

What is "user account" in Latin?

I was thinking about expanding our help page in Latin, and I realized I don't know a good expression for "user account" in Latin. A "user" can be reasonably translated as usor, but "account" is harder....
23
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3answers
2k views

What did Romans call their language?

I was taught that Latinus is an adjective related to the area of Latium. Latin would be called lingua Latina, "the language of Latium", never merely Latina. There is a single-word expression referring ...
30
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7answers
18k views

How do you say "please" in Classical Latin?

I'm wondering how to say "please" in Classical Latin like "please" as in "can I PLEASE have that?" or "PLEASE go away" or something like that.
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4answers
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Is Duolingo good for Latin?

On August 28*, 2019 Duolingo announced its Latin course for English speakers. Out of curiosity, I subscribed, but I'm just starting to peek into it. My question is (if anyone has tried it in depth ...
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2answers
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Are there any Roman/Latin equivalents of the English interjections um, huh, uh, etc.?

Listening in to any conversation, one will quickly realize that people don't always know what they are going to say when they start speaking. This causes them to say things like "ummm," "uhhh," or "...
12
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4answers
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A complete family tree

There are many Latin words for relatives: father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, uncle, aunt, cousin… Different languages have slightly different sets of words for relatives and some ...
11
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1answer
3k views

What is "living room" in Latin?

I would like to find a good Latin word for "living room". I know some options, but my list might not be complete and I am not sure what is the best choice. It may well be that different words are ...
4
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2answers
263 views

About supplemented word ὀλόφῳ in a fusion of Lobel-Page fragments from an Italian Sappho anthology

This Italian Sappho anthology, on p. 57-58, has a fusion of several Lobel-Page fragments (cfr this question of mine), among which is 67(a). In l. 3 of that fragment, which is l. 16 of the fusion, the ...
24
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4answers
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How do I say "Brexit" in Latin?

Londinium, Britannia, 284 AD. The military commander Carausius is leading a movement to take Britannia out of the Imperium Romanum. He thinks there is a conspiracy between locals and foreigners to ...
13
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3answers
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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 ...
8
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2answers
160 views

Translating "understand" in a conversation

What is the best verb to be used in phrases like "I'm sorry, I didn't understand" or "Did you understand?" in Latin? In English one might use "understand" or "get", in Italian perhaps "capire" is the ...
7
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2answers
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Latin Phrase for "It goes without saying"

The title of the question pretty much sums it up. I am looking for a Latin phrase for the English expression "It goes without saying." I am not sure if an analogous expression exists- although I would ...
6
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1answer
277 views

Why is "paeniteo" considered more correct than "poeniteo"?

Through answers to another question, I came across Lewis & Short's definition of paeniteo, which begins: paenĭtĕo (less correctly poen- ) L&S say that it comes from the Greek ποινή, which ...
5
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1answer
718 views

Are there any words in Latin that are "light"?

In Latin, every syllable is either "light" or "heavy". A "heavy" syllable is one that has a long vowel and/or a coda consonant, and a "light" syllable is anything else. This distinction is important ...
5
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1answer
181 views

Does using quippe in a relative clause require conjunctive?

One can insert the particle quippe in a relative clause to give it a causal or otherwise explaining tone.1 Does quippe require using conjunctive in the relative clause? If not, are there some rules ...
18
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2answers
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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?
12
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3answers
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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. ...
12
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4answers
3k views

What's the Latin word for "jade"?

I'm trying to write a short thing about a jade statuette that my family has had for roughly forever, but when I looked up "jade", I found... nothing. Well, I found plenty of results, but there was ...
12
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2answers
611 views

Is there an exclusive word for octopus in Ancient Greek?

I was having the great "octopuses vs. octopi" debate with a scientist friend the other day, and decided to check the lexicon. The only entry I could find relates the word to measurement, either of ...
11
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1answer
4k views

What is the difference between Spiritus and Anima?

Both spiritus and anima seem to have the definition of soul, but it is mentioned on numerous sites that they are different from one another. What is the difference?
10
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1answer
130 views

Is angulus a diminutive?

The word angulus (angle or corner) looks like a diminutive. Was it derived from some other word or stem using the diminutive -ulus suffix, or is looking like a diminutive coincidental? It looks like ...
9
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3answers
2k views

What is "vocabulary" in Latin?

Having read the recent meta discussion concerning the tag vocabulary and remembering that we prefer to have our tags in Latin, I started to wonder how one might translate the word "vocabulary" in ...
8
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2answers
762 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, ...
7
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2answers
269 views

What is oculus a diminutive of?

My Latin teacher has said that osculum is the diminutive of os, describing the way one puckers one's mouth when kissing, and that the -culus ending is a diminutive. So what is oculus a diminutive of?
6
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1answer
611 views

How do you say "We stand upon the shoulders of giants" in Latin?

I would like to translate "We stand upon the shoulders of giants" to Latin. I don't know how to say "shoulders", "giants", and "upon", but I do not trust Google Translate.
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3answers
224 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 (...
36
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1answer
9k views

Did the Romans use any swear words?

I was reading the book Lingua Latina, Per Se Illustrata by Hans H. Ørberg, and I often saw scenes in which persons were angry. In the book, the writer doesn't use any swear words or anything to that ...
16
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2answers
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What do animals say in classical Latin?

It is well known that the way animals "speak" is amusingly different in different languages. (See lion below.) This makes it hard to guess what kinds of words the Romans would have put in the mouths ...
30
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3answers
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What is the most common classical Latin word that we don't understand?

I assume that we do not know the meaning of every single word attested in classical and older Latin (literature, inscriptions, and other material). If this assumption is false, it makes this question ...
15
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4answers
10k views

Why doesn't Latin have words for "Yes" and "No"?

I mean, it seems like pretty elementary words that can occur in different type of situations. Why wouldn't they exist ?
24
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3answers
9k views

"Oh no!" in Latin

Are there idiomatic Latin exclamations similar to the English "oh no!" used when one finds oneself in an unfortunate situation? The only thing that I came up with is that I might want to use vae or o ...
16
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2answers
293 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 '...
16
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1answer
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What are the key differences between the main Latin verbs meaning "to kill"?

I'm a student and my class laughs when we learn a new verb for "to kill". Just to list some of them: necare interficere extinguere There are of course many others. What are the key differences ...
17
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1answer
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What's the difference between amare and diligere?

In honor of the day (at least in the US): what specific differences can we point to in the usage of amo and diligo, as well as their corresponding nouns amor and dilectio? Lewis and Short indicates: ...
15
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2answers
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What did the Romans use to close their letters?

As anyone who's written a proper letter knows, one begins with a salutation and ends with a valediction (or, in normal English, opens with "hello" and ends with "goodbye"). Right ...
13
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1answer
4k views

Usage of nihil and nihilum

I know that nihil is an irregular noun, being undeclinable and used only in the nominative and accusative cases. I know that nihilum is a more regular 2nd-declension neuter word, with all the usual ...
12
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4answers
900 views

How do I say that something will "probably" happen in Latin?

I was recently writing in Latin and had the misfortune of getting an English construction in my head that I had a difficult time fitting into a Latin thought pattern: I will probably be there soon. ...
9
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1answer
262 views

Substantive adjectives "Latīna, Graeca" as language names

For example, I want to say: Latīna placet mihi magis quam Graeca, quamquam in Graecā multō plūra et doctiōra dē philosophiā scrīpta sunt. I've seen people claiming that this use is incorrect and that ...
9
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2answers
184 views

Translating -ish and -aster endings

There are ways in Latin of expressing less-than-completeness, but I'm intrigued by the strange-ish (!) and allegedly related etymologies given in English dictionaries for these two endings, which are ...
14
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1answer
1k views

What does the suffix -mentum add to a word's meaning?

Lewis and Short lists 275 words ending in -mentum, many of which have come into English: argumentum augmentum documentum fragmentum pigmentum segmentum etc. Wiktionary (cited as an example, not as ...
13
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2answers
351 views

Is there a Latin word for "respectively"?

I am looking at some English translations of Latin texts (direction which I think is important to highlight), and I'm not sure there is an equivalent word in Latin. Example 1: English: These ...
13
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4answers
4k views

Origins of the word "hodie"

Hodie is a Latin adverb meaning "today" or "at the present time". I am rather curious as to how this word developed. Was it originally a compound of hōc and diē, which would be translated as "on this ...