Questions tagged [word-comparison]

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

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20
votes
1answer
2k views

Are the two cums related?

In short, is there a relation between the preposition cum and the conjunction cum? It makes some sense that the conjunction would come from the preposition. One could interpret some cum clauses so ...
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 ...
17
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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-...
17
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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?
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 = ...
17
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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: ...
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 ...
15
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2answers
6k views

Do *Mundi* and *Mundum* mean different things?

I came across this expression in the book: The Invisible Man, (H.G. Wells) Griffin contra mundum...with a vengeance From my very basic knowledge of Latin (I'm a Bio. student) I take it that contra ...
15
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1answer
1k views

How does forem compare to essem?

The verb esse has two sets of imperfect conjunctive forms: essem, esses, esset… and forem, fores, foret… What is the difference between these two, in meaning and in use? Are there cases ...
15
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2answers
209 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 '...
14
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2answers
510 views

Are there many irregular adjectives for the Latin comparison?

I just learned the comparison for adjectives. Most adjectives have regular conjugations (every case/grammatical gender has its own output). But I learned a few irregular adjectives as well (all in ...
14
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2answers
3k views

What is the difference between “ac” (or “atque”) and “et”?

What is the difference between ac (or atque) and et? And how do I know when to use atque instead of just ac? It seems that ac "binds more tightly" than et. Is this true? Or is the difference between ...
14
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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
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1answer
3k views

Usage of nihil and nihilum

I know that nihil is an irregular noun, being undeclinable and used only in the nominative and accusative cases. I know that nihilum is a more regular 2nd-declension neuter word, with all the usual ...
12
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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
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2answers
6k views

Breakfast, lunch, dinner?

How to translate 'breakfast', 'lunch', and 'dinner' into Latin? I gather cena is an adequate translation of 'dinner', but google translate produces many possibilities for 'breakfast' and 'lunch', and ...
12
votes
2answers
728 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 ...
12
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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. ...
12
votes
1answer
671 views

Comparing ius sacrum and fas

I would like clarification on two related divine and legal terms: ius sacrum and fas. They can both be translated as "divine law", but I do not think they are the same thing. I have an idea of what ...
11
votes
2answers
710 views

What is the difference between aula and atrium?

When researching for the living room question and the question that inspired it, I came across some dictionary definitions of aula and atrium. Aula is a Greek thing and atrium is Roman, but otherwise ...
11
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1answer
606 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
15k 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 ...
11
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2answers
5k views

Are there any subtle differences in the greetings, “Ave” and “Salve”?

When greeting someone, are there any subtle differences between "Ave" and "Salve"? Can both be used to greet and respond? E.g. Marcus: Ave, Cicero. Cicero: Salve, Marce. Or, vice ...
11
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2answers
10k views

Difference between super and supra?

Is there a difference in meaning between super and supra (both with accusative)? Would one indicate motion and the other one position?
10
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2answers
3k views

Are “sex” and “sexus” etymologically related?

Are sex (the number 6) or sextus (⅙ or ordinal sixth)(From where the English word "sextant" comes.) and sexus (sex or gender) etymologically related?
10
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2answers
606 views

Difference between filiī and liberī

I was reading Orberg's Lingua Latina per se Illustrata and I found the following sentences: Marcus et Quīntus sunt dūo filiī. [...] In familia Rõmāna tres līberī sunt. Now I deduce both words ...
10
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3answers
165 views

“To shed blood” – profundere or effundere?

In a 1957 encyclical titled Invicti Athletae, Pope Pius XII wrote: ... non solum profuso sanguine fidei nostrae testimonium Deo praebetur ... which the official translation renders ... not only ...
10
votes
1answer
179 views

Lonely vs. alone

A person is alone when there are no other people around. A person is lonely when the presence of other people is missed. Neither implies the other; you can be lonely but not alone or alone but not ...
10
votes
2answers
591 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'...
10
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1answer
3k 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?
10
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1answer
426 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
284 views

Is the -que in quinque at all related to the conjunction -que?

I noticed that quinque ends in -que. I asked my teacher if this was sheer coincidence or so reason for it. He didn't know but he thought it was coincidental. I, however, think that they probably share ...
9
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1answer
2k 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?
9
votes
1answer
917 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
138 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
112 views

Niveus and nivosus

I would like to compare the two adjectives niveus and nivosus derived from nix, "snow". My prior understanding of these words was that niveus is "snow-white" and nivosus is "snowy", but L&S tells ...
8
votes
2answers
895 views

What is the difference between “lux” and “lumen”?

Latin has two common words for "light": lux and lumen. What are the differences between these two words? Are there any contexts in which one would be appropriate while the other would not? It would ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between Ob and Propter?

I am new to learning Latin, and I read on some random Latin site that "ob" means "on account of" or "because of". But, I thought that "propter" meant "on account of". Is there a difference in ...
8
votes
1answer
190 views

Is there a relation between ascendo and accendo?

I have always learnt that ascendo means to go up and accendo means to ignite. Do they even originate from the same word and if so how have they come to be as they are?
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the relationship between “cuius” and “quoius”

In most Latin grammars, cuius is introduced as the genitive of qui (relative pronoun) or quis (interrogative): Cuius soror es? — Whose sister are you? Marcus, cuius pater sum, miles est. — Mark, ...
8
votes
1answer
397 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
152 views

Comparing verto and vertor

Here I have two words: verto, vertere, verti, versum (versus) vertor, verti, versus sum, — (I assume it's deponent) They both mean "turn" according to the Cambridge Latin Course Book V, ...
8
votes
1answer
126 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
518 views

How to distinguish “lecturer” and “reader” in Latin?

Universities in the UK have two distinct titles (among others): "lecturer" and "reader". A reader is more senior than a lecturer but both are below a professor. The US (rough?) equivalents are "...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What do you call a horseman?

I have seen that miles can be used for a footsoldier, but does eques or equester refer to a knight on horseback? Are there ant Classical examples of this? Are there any dictionaries that specifically ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Distinguishing house from home

The common word domus can mean both "house" and "home". How can I make a distinction between a house and a home in Latin? For example, I might buy a house but it doesn't feel like ...
7
votes
3answers
3k 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’ (...
7
votes
2answers
306 views

Comparing quicumque, quilibet, quisquis, quivis

The pronouns quicumque, quilibet, quisquis and quivis have a somewhat similar meaning, roughly "anyone". What exactly are their differences? The dictionary entries I have seen do not provide a clear ...
7
votes
1answer
229 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. ...