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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40
votes
17answers
14k views

Which online Latin dictionaries should I use and why?

What good online Latin dictionaries do you know? What are their benefits and drawbacks? Please give only one dictionary per answer. If you have many dictionaries to suggest, give multiple answers &...
55
votes
5answers
6k 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
votes
1answer
930 views

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 are ...
19
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5answers
4k views

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 ...
27
votes
2answers
6k views

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 ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

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
votes
1answer
610 views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
799 views

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
votes
3answers
435 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....
20
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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 ...
28
votes
4answers
53k views

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 ...
28
votes
7answers
14k 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.
7
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2answers
736 views

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 "...
11
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
228 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
votes
4answers
12k views

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 ...
8
votes
2answers
137 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
214 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
votes
1answer
140 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
votes
2answers
3k views

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
votes
3answers
4k views

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
votes
2answers
350 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
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
2k 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?
9
votes
1answer
120 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
votes
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
215 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
votes
1answer
424 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.
2
votes
3answers
187 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 (...
35
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

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 ...
23
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
7k 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 ?
20
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
16
votes
1answer
799 views

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 ...
15
votes
2answers
181 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 '...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
222 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
votes
2answers
155 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
votes
1answer
952 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
votes
2answers
277 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
458 views

Does animal include human?

In today's English the word "animal" can include or exclude humans, depending on context. How about the word animal in classical Latin? Does it include humans? If not, is there a term that would cover ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Are there Latin words for hair color?

English words like "brunette", "blonde", and "redhead" refer to people of a particular hair color. Are there similar words in Latin? It is easy to express hair color in English or Latin with several ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

When can “qui” mean “how”?

From brianpck's comment on another answer: "qui" quite often means "how" in Plautus This took me by surprise, since I'd never seen that use before. In what contexts can quī mean "how"? And where ...
4
votes
3answers
164 views

What is on or off topic?

When defining the scope of a site like this one, we need to decide what is on topic and what is off topic. How can I discuss such things in Latin? It can be a pair of adjectives or some other ...
3
votes
4answers
622 views

Translating “child of freedom”

How would I translate the phrase “child of freedom" in feminine form?
1
vote
2answers
260 views

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 ...
13
votes
2answers
9k views

Ars gratia artis

I would like to know the meaning of the following Latin expression, as well as a grammatical analysis of the individual words in this context: ARS GRATIA ARTIS as it appears in the following logo ...
13
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the correct way to say “Noctis Avem”?

I'm looking to use "Night bird" as a name or title for something. I don't know which, if any, of the following would be correct: Noctis Avem Avem Noctis Avis Noctem Avem nox etc. What rules come ...