Questions tagged [word-comparison]

For questions about comparing two or more words, not for comparative forms of adjectives.

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2
votes
1answer
84 views

How was 'fissiparus' mistakenly analogized with 'vīviparus'?

Is the Wiktionary entry on fissiparous below correct? Why's the analogy "mistaken"? The compounding makes sense to me? Etymology An adaptation of the New Latin fissiparus, from fissus (“split”...
1
vote
1answer
111 views

Why is the phrase “horror vacui” commonly interpreted as “nature abhors a vacuum”?

Why is the Latin phrase: horror vacui commonly interpreted as: nature abhors a vacuum? It may well be Aristotle's intended message, given the context, but it seems like a bit of a jump. Doesn't it? ...
14
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6answers
9k views

Is Cola “probably the best-known” Latin word in the world? If not, which might it be?

I found this in an ecological park: Cola is actually a Latin word (a scientific one, referring to the plant), albeit its etymology is African. I am curious about whether it is "probably" the best-...
3
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2answers
246 views

Uter vs. Uterque

The way I learned 'uter' and 'uterque' was as follows. 'Uter' is like the Greek 'πότερος', meaning (in interrogative uses) 'which, of two?' and (in non-interrogative uses) 'either, of two'. I learned ...
6
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1answer
136 views

<quality> even for being a <noun>

Salvēte omnēs, hocc erit mihi prīmum rogātum hāc in sēde. Haud dūdum vīdī quendam hominem scīscitārī, quōmodo posset Latīnē dīcī "he has a long tail, even for a cat". Ad quod rogātum cum respondēre ...
5
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0answers
46 views

ἤ = vel or ἤ = aut?

LSJ says ἤ is a "disjunctive or", but does it correspond Latin's vel ("inclusive disjunction") or aut ("exclusive cunjunction")?
6
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0answers
54 views

παντοκράτωρ - a matter of power or authority?

παντοκράτωρ, pantokrator is generally translated as "almighty," interpreted as a matter of power. I.e. the bible talks about one infinite God, El shaddai. But im curious if we may have been ...
4
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1answer
81 views

Comparing 'ita' and 'sic'

Both ita and sic mean roughly "so" or "in such way". I know they are not identical and I have a relatively good feeling of their respective meanings, but I couldn't quite put my finger on the ...
4
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2answers
74 views

Was there any difference between “grātĭa” and “făvor”?

The Lewis & Short dictionary defines gratia as: grātĭa, ae, f. gratus; lit., favor, both that in which one stands with others and that which one shows to others. I. Favor which one finds ...
3
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2answers
166 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 ...
3
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1answer
35 views

What is the difference between “return” and “yield”?

In the Python programming language, "yield" and "return" are keywords with specific meanings. A function can either yield a result (sending that result back and then continuing to work), or return it ...
6
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1answer
109 views

Is there a difference between 'pluvia' and 'imber'?

It occurred to me yesterday that I know two Latin words for rain: pluvia and imber. However, I don't seem to know how these two words compare to each other, and the L&S entries offer little help. ...
10
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2answers
174 views

What is the difference between “novi” and “scio”?

Latin has at least two words that straightforwardly translate to English "know": novi (perf. of nosco) scio Plautus combines the two pleonastically: nec vos qui homines sitis novi nec scio Here'...
4
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0answers
92 views

What is the difference between nego, ignoro, and nescio?

Trying to understand the subtle differences between the three words "nego", "ignoro", and "nescio". This question is not about the meanings in modern English, but the original meanings of the ...
5
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2answers
60 views

What is the difference between ingenitus and innatus?

When discussing things "running in the blood", I suggested the word ingenitus for "innate", while Tom Cotton preferred innatus. Is there a difference in meaning between these two words? The second ...
3
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1answer
42 views

How do extra and ultra compare?

The adverbs (and prepositions) extra and ultra are somewhat similar but not identical. While I can read the two dictionary entries and get an idea what they mean, I don't feel that I fully grasp how ...
9
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1answer
277 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 ...
6
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1answer
82 views

What was the most common and generic word used in classic Latin that meant “to speak” or “to talk”?

Nowadays in Spanish the verb used for "to speak" or "to talk" is hablar, which comes directly from Latin fābŭlor, meaning: 1 to talk familiarly, to chat, to converse 2 to invent a story, to make ...
12
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4answers
888 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 ...
3
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1answer
96 views

What is the difference between “enim” and “quia”?

Consider the following two phrases: noli timere: exaudivit enim Deus vocem pueri de loco in quo est (Genesis 21:17b) et benedicentur in semine tuo omnes gentes terrae, quia obedisti voci meae (...
7
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1answer
72 views

-ne as an Indication of Fear in a Question

I was recently taking a sort of multiple choice quiz on just general Latin knowledge, and I came upon one question that threw me for a loop, so to speak. The question asked which of the options best ...
19
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6answers
2k views

Was “oscŭlum” a cultured word in Latin?

The Spanish language has two words for kiss: Beso, from Latin basium. Ósculo, from Latin oscŭlum. The second one is very seldom used, and only in literature as it is a cultured word. Nonetheless, it ...
3
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1answer
72 views

Pairs like quot/tot and quantum/tantum

There seem to be a lot of pairs of words in Latin where a "question" starts with qu- and the corresponding "answer" by t-. For example: quot/tot, quantum/tantum, qualis/talis, quotiens/totiens. The ...
5
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2answers
76 views

Comparing the etymologies of the adjective and participle 'latus'

What are the etymologies of the adjective latus ("wide") and the participle latus ("carried")? I had assumed that they are the same and the participle just started a new life as an adjective after a ...
2
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1answer
40 views

How does ancient and modern arbitration differ?

There is a legal thing called arbitration in modern world, and the Romans seem to have had the word arbitratio. I wonder whether the modern arbitration and the Roman arbitratio (and the related words ...
8
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1answer
507 views

Prae- & Ante- (before)

The prefixes prae- and ante- both have the same meaning of 'before' in place or time. Why is the existence of both words necessary?
5
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1answer
1k views

Anima vs. Animus

I keep mixing up animus and anima, and it seems their meanings overlap somewhat. For example, Wiktionary gives the following: animus: mind, soul, life force; courage, will anima: soul, spirit, life; ...
3
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1answer
97 views

Politically (in)correct Latin

I am looking for an example of a pair of adjectives or nouns (broadly defined) in classical Latin which mean the same thing but one is considered rude and the other one polite. I could list several ...
5
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1answer
297 views

How to translate machine learning?

Machine learning is a roughly method where a machine learns to perform a certain task by learning on its own. The machine gains experience and can solve a very specific problem intuitively. It is not ...
3
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2answers
70 views

A polite word for female facilities

What would be a good Latin word for "women", "ladies", "female(s)", or the like when I want to indicate the gender designation of a sauna or a toilet? In English I would choose "ladies", or perhaps in ...
5
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3answers
149 views

Different registers of urination

In English and Finnish (and probably most languages) there are different verbs for urination to be used under different circumstances: clinical: urinate, mictuate; virtsata childish: pee, wee; ...
9
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1answer
1k 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?
5
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1answer
157 views

Different levels of friends

Are there Latin words for friends of different depth? A more shallow friend might perhaps be called "mate" or "pal", and a deeper one "friend". Perhaps a shallow friend could also be called "...
6
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1answer
82 views

A rough comparison of different derivatives of plere

There seems to be a large number of verbs derived from plere, all meaning "to fill" to some extent: plere, supplere, complere, implere, explere, opplere. I understand that replere means "to refill" ...
3
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0answers
35 views

What are the nuances between ἀποδίδωμι and δίδωμι, especially in this context?

In the following text, how does ἀποδίδωμι add a nuance that would be lost with the simpler δίδωμι? Why do you think Plato chose the former over the latter? If we do a quick search on ἀποδίδωμι in ...
13
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0answers
2k views

Dust to Dust, Ashes to Ashes

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 ...
1
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0answers
76 views

What is the relation between -men and -mentum?

When answering this question about incrementum, I recalled the similarity of the suffixes -mentum and -men. If the linked Wiktionary pages are to be trusted, they are etymologically related, both ...
7
votes
1answer
237 views

What is the difference between ira and furor?

The words ira and furor are quite similar, but apparently not synonymous. I found myself unable to give a clear comparison of the two words. How would you describe the difference between the meanings ...
7
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3answers
1k views

Are “vir” and “virgo” etymologically related?

Are vir and virgo etymologically related? St. Isidore says, in his Etymologies p. 242, that virago and vir are related: A ‘heroic maiden’ (virago) is so called because she ‘acts like a man’ (...
4
votes
2answers
127 views

Quōmodo v. Quā ratiōne

I'm looking at a Latin translation of the Apology of Socrates by Marcellus Ficinus and I'm puzzled by the very first clause. Quā vōs quidem ratiōne, Ō virī Athēniēnsēs, affēcerint accūsātōrēs meī, ...
4
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0answers
47 views

Comparing citizens and subjects

There is a difference between a citizen and a subject. Roughly, a citizen holds some power in the state (through voting or otherwise), whereas a subject is subordinate to their leader and has no say. (...
3
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1answer
39 views

Comparing similis and par

When giving suggestions to a recent translation question I could not decide between similis and par. I realized that I don't understand the difference of the two sufficiently well. They are obviously ...
9
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1answer
413 views

Comparison of omnes, cuncti, and universi

The three adjectives omnis, cunctus, and universus appear to be essentially synonymous. They are often used in the plural. The entries in L&S suggest very strong similarity, but I find it unlikely ...
5
votes
1answer
43 views

How to distinguish assistant and associate professors?

Latin has an obvious word for a professor: professor. But what would be good Latin translations for assistant and associate professors? I am looking for two adjectives to go with professor (or ...
5
votes
1answer
94 views

Comparing words for resistance

The English word "resistance" is obviously etymologically related to resistentia, and I would like to understand how good of a translation resistentia. To be clear, I mean resistance in the sense of a ...
5
votes
2answers
572 views

What is the difference between “ubi” and “in quo” as relative adverbs?

Let's start with some example sentences: This is the house where I was born. Ecce domus ubi natus sum. This is the house in which I was born. Ecce domus in qua natus sum. Both sentences ...
6
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0answers
138 views

Etymology of “ingeniōsus” and “ingenuus”

Can someone please explain how these two words, ingenuus ingeniōsus both deriving from gignō, come to mean what they respectively do? BACKGROUND According to Wiktionary, ingenuus is made of in- +‎ ...
5
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0answers
102 views

Comparing per- and de- as intensifying prefixes

Both per- an de- can be used as intensifying prefixes. It seems that per- is far more common, but also de- occurs (detritus, defetisci, deplorare…). There is also deperire, where de- seems to ...
6
votes
1answer
715 views

What is the difference between niger and ater?

L&S gives descriptions of niger and ater, but the difference is is not clear to me at all. Both mean black, but there appears to be a difference in nuance — as practically always when two ...
5
votes
1answer
96 views

What is the difference between Asianus and Asiaticus?

There seem to be two Latin adjectives that mean "Asian": Asianus and Asiaticus. The dictionary entries in Lewis and Short linked above suggest that the two adjectives are different, but no comparison ...