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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4
votes
1answer
92 views

“vel” in Tusculan Disputations V.iii

In the Tusculan Disputations V.iii, Cicero writes about Pythagoras declaring that life seems to him like the great Greek games: Nam ut illic alii corporibus exercitatis gloriam et nobilitatem ...
7
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2answers
125 views

does there exist “valde <superlative>”?

Are there any examples in classical texts where the word 'valde' is used before a superlative? For example 'valde stultissimus' to mean very, very stupid.
9
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1answer
224 views

Usage of adjective solus

I'm trying to translate the sentence "The whole state was thanking this man's brother alone." (that is, the brother the only one being thanked) My try is: Tota civitas fratri huius soli gratias agebat....
7
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1answer
708 views

Is there an example where res publica is not republic?

The word res alone can mean state, and especially res publica means that (or republic). Looking at meanings of res and publicus, this is not the only possible translation of res publica, if no context ...
5
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1answer
764 views

Translating “Contra principia negantem non est disputandum”

In the legal and logical maxim Contra principia negantem non est disputandum, what exactly does principia mean? In English, the word principle means an abstract proposition, or something deep in the ...
11
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3answers
3k views

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 ...
3
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1answer
2k views

How can “visio” and “novus” be correctly combined to mean “a new vision/perspective”?

What would be a correct way of combining the words visio and novus? Could I just combine those two or is visio + nova a better option? I would like the phrase to mean something like "a new vision/...
17
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1answer
5k views

Why are the words for “children” (liberi) and “book” (libri) so similar?

While working in class, I came across this. They have a similar spelling, yet mean completely different things. Is this just random or does it have an actual purpose in the Latin language? Book = ...
6
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1answer
199 views

Using “sáné” v. “certé” v. “profectó”?

The dictionary definitions of these three words aren't particularly helpful in figuring out when to use which one. Lewis Elementary's definition of sáné includes indeed, doubtless, by all means,...
5
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2answers
88 views

Translation of “trumped up charges”

There was a Greek play translated to Latin wherein a term was translated then to English as "trumped up charges". Might somebody know the play and more particularly the term itself?
7
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1answer
336 views

Flavor/meaning/nuance of “aliquando” in “tandem aliquando”?

The first sentence of Cicero's second Catilinarian reads in part Tandem aliquando, Quirites, L. Catilinam . . . ex urbe . . . ejecimus. (I realize I'm leaving out all the fun parts; forgive me.) ...
46
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17answers
17k 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 &...
4
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1answer
153 views

What is the meaning of “ratio” in the second Catilinarian V.9?

Having finally gotten a basic handle on the sorts of things rés can mean, I find myself stymied by ratió. I've understood it as meaning essentially "process of (logical) thinking," and that tends to ...
7
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1answer
203 views

What does 'ad tantam mollem' refer to in this context?

This is from an explanation of the six Ptolemaic statements, the one that concludes that the world is round (terram esse rotundam). Terra tamen ob duritiem non potuit perfectam rotunditatem ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Is there a difference between septimana and hebdomas?

My dictionary gives two translations for "week": septimāna and hebdomas (gen. hebdomadis, feminine). Is there a difference between these two words? Are there contexts where only one of them is ...
7
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1answer
401 views

Classical words for spelt

The Latin Wikipedia article about spelt mentions two ancient Latin names for spelt: spelta and scandala. I have found spelta used in more recent Latin, but nothing ancient. I have never seen scandala &...
4
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1answer
137 views

Resources that classify words/definitions by period in Latin history?

I'm trying to develop a stronger sense of what/how Latin vocabulary was used at different points in the history of the language. In looking around Google and archive.org, I've found dictionaries from, ...
5
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1answer
256 views

When were trivialis and quadrivialis introduced?

The seven liberal arts were divided into trivium and quadrivium. The easier half, trivium, gives rise to the adjective trivialis, which has connotations of simplicity and vulgarity. The adjective ...
8
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1answer
357 views

Size of Latin vocabulary by period

What is the size of attested (or accepted) Latin vocabulary by period (Old, Classical, Late etc.)? I am specifically interested in the Classical period, but I have added the other ones to the ...
6
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2answers
138 views

What does “condó” mean in this sentence?

In the odds and ends section of Ephemeris, a Latin news site, a recent article tells the story of a cat whose owner accidentally put him in the mail along with some DVDs. (Happily, Cupcake survived.) ...
9
votes
3answers
532 views

Semantic differences between verbs of thinking

Latin has lots of verbs which can be translated as "think", including puto, opinor, arbitror, existimo, reor, censeo, cogito, and doubtless many others. How might one get a handle on the semantic ...
12
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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 ...
16
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1answer
1k 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 ...
10
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3answers
482 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....
10
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2answers
4k views

Is there a plural of Jesus in Latin?

The name Iesus has peculiar declension in Latin. The declension of this word in every source that I have seen only gives singular forms. However, I can imagine situations where a plural is needed: a ...
6
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1answer
254 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 ...
17
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2answers
4k 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?
6
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1answer
189 views

Meaning of “cepeo”

What does cepeo mean? According to Google Translate, this means "onions". Are there any connotations, other words that carry the same meaning, or anything else specifically related to it?
8
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2answers
380 views

DVCITIS, DUCITIS, DŪCITIS

Are all three of these valid spellings and have I listed them in the chronological order they would have been used? DVCITIS DUCITIS DŪCITIS Would the C have been pronounced with a hard 'K', or a 'CH'...
2
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1answer
594 views

What is the Latin translation for “showcase”?

I need the Latin translation for the word "showcase". I should use it in a blog, replacing the English word to indicate a collection of products or things to be shown to all the visitors.
7
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1answer
1k views

“Fighting with someone” and the different uses of “with” in Latin

I am learning latin on my own and I came across this (quite comical) picture. When looking up the word "with", I found the following translations: apud, cum, per, and qum. But I am unsure of what the ...
17
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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 ...
11
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1answer
2k views

Evolution of the meaning of sacramentum

I am interested in the development of the word sacramentum, from the classical to the current ecclesiastical usage. The Lewis & Short entry lists the following meanings: I A. Jurid. t. t., the ...
8
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3answers
4k views

What is the meaning and use of the word 'Duco'?

I want to confirm my understanding of the word duco. According to Wiktionary, it is a third conjugation, irregular short imperative. The examples are: I lead, guide I draw, pull I think, consider I ...
7
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1answer
260 views

What are some examples of “subicio” being used to mean “submit, subject, present”?

In English, the epigraph of A Christmas Carol reads I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with ...
8
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2answers
1k views

What does “eo” mean in this passage of Hyginus?

In his account of Œdipus, Hyginus writes: [Œdipus] fortissimus præter ceteros erat eique per invidiam æquales objiciebant eum subditum esse Polybo, eo quod Polybus tam clemens esset et ille ...
7
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1answer
97 views

Can “simultas” simply mean “task,” or does it always connote hostility?

In his tale of Æetes, Hyginus writes Itaque Æeta Jasoni hanc simultatem constituit: Si vellet pellem auratam auferre, tauros æripedes … jungeret … Lewis & Short gives this ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Why is there no word meaning firearm in contemporary Latin?

I noticed that there is no word meaning firearm according to this site.Why is this? I've tried synonyms such as gun and pistol but none work. Has no one gotten around to making one?
12
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1answer
655 views

When did *discere* come to mean “to teach”?

In Anselm's Cur Deus Homo, 1.9.12, he writes: Verbum autem quod positum est, didicit, duobus modis intelligi potest. Aut enim didicit dictum est pro: alios fecit discere, aut quia, quod per ...
10
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1answer
257 views

meaning of “non omnínó”

Omnínó is defined in Lewis Elementary as altogether, wholly, entirely, utterly, at all [with numerals] in all, altogether, only, but, just by all means, indeed, doubtless, yes, certainly,...
7
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1answer
105 views

Why does Parthenope refer to Naples?

Vergil's tomb bears the inscription: Mantua me genuit; Calabri rapuere; tenet nunc Parthenope; cecini Pascua, rura, duces. Why does "Parthenope" refer to Naples?
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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 ...
15
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3answers
623 views

Was the plural future imperative ever used?

In Latin today, we ran across the word "esto", which our teacher told us is the future singular imperative of "sum, esse". When I half-jokingly asked what the plural was, he thought for a few seconds ...
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 ...
7
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1answer
57 views

What nuances distinguish statuó, cónstituó, and ínstituó?

I'm asking mostly in the context of living Latin and trying to figure out how to say things like "I decided," "I started a blog," "I set up an organization," "I instituted a policy," and so on, for ...
13
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2answers
4k views

What does “quidem” REALLY mean?

The Lewis Elementary Latin Dictionary (via latinlexicon.org) gives the following definitions: quidem [expressing emphasis or assurance] assuredly, certainly, in fact, indeed [in answers] certainly, ...
12
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3answers
5k 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. ...
8
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1answer
166 views

When is/was *vesper* second declension, and when third?

I've seen both, so obviously both were used, but are there circumstances that determine which option to use? Or is it something that changed over time?
17
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1answer
755 views

How can I say “undo” in Latin?

The question of how to express my username, Undo, in Latin recently came up in chat. As Ben Kovitz notes, Latin seems to lack the word 'defacio' or similar. How can I say my name, the verb "undo", in ...