Questions tagged [word-choice]

For questions concerning how to choose the correct word from a selection of similar-looking alternatives

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17
votes
1answer
4k views

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
votes
2answers
1k views

In Romans 3:22, why did Jerome prefer to use crēdunt rather than fīdunt?

The Greek text of the Textus Receptus (1550) states, ΚΒʹ δικαιοσύνη δὲ θεοῦ διὰ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς πάντας καὶ ἐπὶ πάντας τοὺς πιστεύοντας οὐ γάρ ἐστιν διαστολή TR, 1550 which Jerome ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Pulvis aut Favillae in 'Dust and Ashes' in the Book of Job?

The famous phrase "Dust to Dust, Ashes to Ashes" does not come from the Bible but from the English Burial Service of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, reading: "we therefore commit his body to the ...
13
votes
6answers
9k views

What should the corona virus be called in Latin?

The corona virus (or a specific kind thereof) is a hot topic, and one should of course be able to discuss it in Latin. But what should we call the thing in Latin? Both corona and virus are Latin words,...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Saints: sanctus or divus?

I was in Bologna last week, and a couple of churches had an inscription about their dedication to a saint. To my surprise, they used the word divus instead of sanctus. For example, a church may be ...
12
votes
1answer
16k views

Most accurate Latin word for "book" in this context

The English word "book" has many potential Latin translations, such as liber, monumentum, carta, codex, and volumen. If, in this context, the book refers to a textbook or collection of stories, what ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

How do you say "perhaps" or "maybe"?

I have a very good guess about how to say "perhaps" or "maybe". But I suspect there are several ways of saying it, with varying degrees of certainty. I wanted to get a better idea. ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

What Latin word could I use to refer to a grocery store?

I would like to say "I am eating in the grocery store", and so far I have come up with "edo in foro" and "edo in emporio". But I'm not sure if either of these would be the best fit. What word would ...
11
votes
2answers
245 views

Generic use of Italian "fare": analogue in Latin?

The Italian word "fare" is often used in a very generic way. English doesn't use "do" or "make" that much, but it can still be a good comparison. Let me give some examples. We may say "fare Greco" ("...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the superlative of ipse?

In later Latin, as ipse started to lose its force, Petronius uses ipsimus for emphasis: Tamen ad delicias ipsimi [domini] annos quattuordecim fui. Nec turpe est, quod dominus iubet. Ego tamen et ...
10
votes
1answer
136 views

Can decisions be wise?

I was asked recently how to translate "a wise decision" (as either the act of deciding, or the result) into Latin. "Wisdom" could perhaps be the Greek loanword sophia or the native Latin sapientia; a ...
10
votes
1answer
122 views

How do you say "imply" in Latin?

I need to know how to say the present, past and future tense of "imply" in Latin. I don't know much Latin, I just need the grammatically correct way to say: "Implied ______" For example, for "Implied ...
10
votes
1answer
471 views

Is there a latin word for 'plausible deniability'?

Plausible deniability in English is a condition in which a subject can safely and believably deny knowledge of any particular truth that may exist so as to shield the subject from any responsibility ...
10
votes
1answer
326 views

What is the closest Latin equivalent to the modern conception of "(nuclear) family"?

When translating the word "family" into Latin it seems obvious to go to "familia". However, multiple sources (most quoting Richard Saller) tell me that "familia" derives ...
9
votes
2answers
409 views

Is "ergo" an appropriate word for this context?

I'm translating this sentence into Latin: You said that I could do anything, so I went to the strip club. (It's for a late Valentine's card for my girlfriend.) So far, I have the first and second ...
9
votes
2answers
467 views

What's the difference between fessus and defessus?

I'm curious to know what the difference is between fessus and defessus. Is de- simply acting as an intensifying prefix? Suppose I were tired at the end of night, and wanted to go to sleep. Would I say ...
9
votes
2answers
150 views

How to select dictionary translations

I was looking for a translation of the word "government" and I found in Pons dictionary (German–Latin) that it could be regnum or imperium. On the other hand, I also checked it in Collins ...
9
votes
1answer
814 views

Are "parvus" and "magnus" the best adjectives to describe the length of a river?

In the first chapter of Lingua Latina per se Ilustrata, there are a series of sentences used to teach the usage of two adjectives, magnus and parvus. For example: Nīlus fluvius magnus est. Tiberis ...
9
votes
1answer
143 views

Aut *celer* aut *vēlōx*?

Celer and vēlōx are often treated as synonymous. I feel certain that I learned the technical distinction between them once: that celer was potential speed, while vēlōx was actual speed. So Usain Bolt ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Did the Romans have a word for "volcano"? How did they describe Vesuvius?

I'm curious to know whether the Romans had a word for "volcano", and, more specifically, whether they thought of Mount Vesuvius as a volcano.1 After the eruption of AD 79, I'm sure they had some ...
8
votes
3answers
339 views

What's the logic behind "eritque Israel in proverbium" (Vulgate bible)

In the Vulgate bible, I encountered the sentence, Eritque Israel in proverbium, et in fabulam cunctis populis. And Israel will be a proverb, and a story for all people. (1 Kings 9:7) I'm curious to ...
8
votes
2answers
880 views

How to say that I have used up all of something?

Suppose that I have a book that has given me a lot of good hints but now I feel that I have exhausted the book and used up all it can give. Is there a Latin verb that I could use to express this? The ...
8
votes
2answers
648 views

How do you say "grumpy" in Latin?

I would like to say, "I am a grumpy dog," since I did not get my proper sleep last night. I have a few guesses about "grumpy", but these are only guesses. I looked up "grumpy" on Whitaker's words and ...
8
votes
1answer
343 views

Why does Müller read "accusatius" in Satyrica 119.11?

Petronius' Satyrica 119.11-12, in Konrad Müller's Teubner edition (1995), reads: hinc Numidae †accusatius†, illinc nova vellera Seres, atque Arabum populus sua despoliaverat arva. What reasons could ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What verb is wine made with?

Which verb did the Romans use for making wine? I can imagine saying vinum facio/conficio/primo and maybe some other options as well. Different verbs might emphasize different aspects or steps of ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What would "I Discover" be in Latin?

I need the Latin for "I Discover" - as in "I learn new things, by gathering information about it and/or trying it myself (by trial and error)". I've looked for it in several online dictionaries, but ...
8
votes
1answer
870 views

How do you say "I'm having dinner/lunch/breakfast" in Latin?

I know that cena means dinner, prandium means lunch, and ientaculum means breakfast. But how do you say "I'm having dinner" (or lunch, or breakfast)? I can think of a few ideas, such as: Habeo cenam. ...
8
votes
1answer
132 views

When/whether to use "ineō" instead of "eō"

I am learning Latin for the first time this year, and I have a question about the usage of the verb 'eō', I go. The textbook that I am using, Henle Latin 1st Year, lists 'eō' as follows: eō, īre, ...
8
votes
1answer
104 views

Usage of "Have to" before The Middle Ages

Medieval-esque phrases like "habeo abire" and "is habet scire" do not break the rules of Classical Latin, but I know that they were much more common afterward. This construction interests me greatly, ...
7
votes
4answers
551 views

Softeners for conversational topic transitions: "Well, …", "So, …"

In conversation, we often introduce a new topic or make a transition with a little introductory word, like "Well, …" or "So, …" in English or "Allora …" in Italian. For ...
7
votes
2answers
158 views

How to translate "main"?

I am looking for a Latin adjective — or several adjectives if no single one is enough — meaning "main". I might want to talk about a main building or the main idea of a theory. The only ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

John 3:16 In Latin

I know that there exist many Ecclesiastical Latin and Medieval translations kept by professors and most catholic churches, but I decided, just to test my vocabulary, to translate John 3:16 into ...
7
votes
1answer
153 views

What is the difference between ἀρχαῖος and παλαιός?

What is the difference between the two adjectives ἀρχαῖος and παλαιός? In particular, what word would fit the best to mean "history" between ἀρχαιολογία and παλαιολογία?
7
votes
1answer
326 views

Difference between 'urbe' and 'oppidum'?

I have found that LLPSI uses oppidum to describe cities (at least in the early chapters) while Duolingo uses urbe. What is the difference, and which should I usually use?
7
votes
1answer
625 views

Making a strong machine vs. making a machine strong

Consider the two English expressions: He made a strong machine. (He built a machine, and the machine is a strong one.) He made the machine strong. (There was a pre-existing machine but it was not ...
7
votes
1answer
210 views

Tellus' "briny robes"

I read in Keats' Hyperion: [...] No, by Tellus and her briny robes! (Hyperion, 246) Tellus is a Latin goddess, her Greek counterpart being Gaia. I am looking for the Greek or Latin source of the ...
7
votes
2answers
230 views

Should you repeat the same verb twice in a ὁ μὲν ... ὁ δέ construction?

Let's say you want to translate the following English sentence to Attic Greek. We believed that they were good friends, for whithersoever this one went, that one also went. The first clause calls ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What are oranges in Classical Latin?

From the book Rebilius Crusoe by Francis William Newman, the term aurea mala, or golden apples is used to describe oranges. Did any of the Latins have an actual name for this fruit, or was it simply ...
7
votes
1answer
140 views

Job 5.7 in the King James version

This extract from the novel 'Three Men in a Boat' refers to Job 5.7: This world is only a probation, and man was born to trouble as the sparks fly upward. I hoped to quote the source, expecting ...
6
votes
2answers
620 views

How do I best translate "A big window into history"?

As I've only recently begun to study Latin, I'm not yet sure how to best translate "A big window into history". First of all, I'm not sure whether the adjective should precede, or rather ...
6
votes
2answers
239 views

Using pro and ab in place of ante and post?

I wanted to change windows to use the unabbreviated ante meridiem and post meridiem for A.M. and P.M., but they're one letter too long. Google Translate lists pro and ab as alternate translations for "...
6
votes
1answer
763 views

Which adjective to use for tallness of people?

If a person is tall, which adjectives can I use? Which one of them is most common in classical Latin? The most suitable-looking adjectives I know are altus, procerus and longus, but I found no clear ...
6
votes
3answers
479 views

Correct translation(s) of "state" when referring to a US state by name or nickname

I'm working on a project that may use one or more Latin phrases that refer directly to a US state or its nickname, but I'm having difficulty interpreting which translation of the word "state" would be ...
6
votes
2answers
233 views

N & H Waxing Poetry: Why is "clam deductus est" used to translate "was led aside"?

In North & Hillard, Ex. 191, q. 3, the following English sentence needs to be translated into Latin: While the conspirators gathered round Caesar, Antonius was led aside by Trebonius. The ...
6
votes
1answer
631 views

Why is "formas" used for bodies and "corpora" for forms? (Metamorphoses 1.1.1)

The first clause of the Metamorphoses goes, In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas / corpora; My mind inclines me to speak of bodies changed into new forms. As an English speaker, this seems ...
5
votes
2answers
155 views

Aurora Natalis or Aurora Natalicus?

I have practically no experience with Latin, but from what I understand Aurora Borealis roughly means northern dawn, and Aurora Australis roughly means southern dawn. What would be the equivalent way ...
5
votes
3answers
247 views

Why there are several words for swimming?

The words nō, natō, adnō are all verbs which means to swim. They have their own conjugation respectively. Maybe there are not only three, but I'm not sure. I wonder why there are several words in ...
5
votes
2answers
88 views

Which verb do insects fly with?

Having read a question (and answer) about flies flying, I started to wonder whether flies would really fly with the verb volare. I had always somehow imagined that volare referred to more elegant and ...
5
votes
2answers
104 views

Time as a Measure of Separation

I recently can across the following phrase when watching a video about the Battle of Ilerda: With Caesar still weeks away... This got me to wondering how one would translate such a phrase. It is ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

What’s the Latin word for “information”?

I'm creating a Latin quiz game and want to know the best word/noun for “information”. The word will be used as a title for an information/welcome page on my quiz. I searched the word on the internet ...