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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9
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1answer
202 views

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,...
5
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1answer
116 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 ...
3
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2answers
307 views

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 ...
7
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1answer
575 views

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 ...
13
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2answers
873 views

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 ...
4
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2answers
69 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
310 views

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" + ...
9
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1answer
479 views

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 ...
4
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2answers
322 views

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. ...
5
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2answers
220 views

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
46 views

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 ...
5
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2answers
133 views

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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0answers
123 views

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 ...
8
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1answer
140 views

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
222 views

“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 ...
4
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2answers
1k 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 ...
4
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1answer
590 views

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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2answers
9k 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
97 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
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1answer
106 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. ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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3answers
469 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? ...
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0answers
207 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
237 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
206 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
253 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
212 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
88 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
1k 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
274 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 ...
3
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0answers
128 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
256 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
160 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
86 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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4answers
802 views

Translating “child of freedom”

How would I translate the phrase “child of freedom" in feminine form?
3
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0answers
59 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, ...
6
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1answer
162 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 ...
4
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1answer
252 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, ...
2
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0answers
295 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
200 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
667 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 ...
11
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2answers
796 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. ...
12
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2answers
711 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 ...
5
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4answers
664 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 there a ...
4
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1answer
168 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
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3answers
137 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
173 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
313 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 ...
6
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2answers
2k 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
112 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 ...

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