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44 votes
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Are "-que" and "et" equivalent?

The way I was taught was that, as a general rule, -que is used: When this list of things contains two items When the two are logically linked as being two of something (parent and child, master and ...
25 votes
Accepted

What's the difference between vel, aut, -ve, et cetera?

Simply, vel is inclusive and aut is exclusive. As Lewis and Short put it: In general aut puts in the place of a previous assertion another, objectively and absolutely antithetical to it, while vel ...
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21 votes
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Meaning of "cum inter nonnullos"

Bulls and other papal writings generally do not have a formal name. For convenience, the first few words of the text are often adopted as an informal name. This is the case here. The bull was issued ...
19 votes

What does memento mori actually mean?

"Memento" means "remember". Literally it's "remember to die", which means: "Remember you must die." The Christian meaning is not just "remember you are a mere mortal", but especially "remember you ...
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19 votes
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How did mundus come to mean both world and clean?

It's possible that the identity is a coincidence and that the adjective and the noun are unrelated homophones. De Vaan's etymological dictionary lists the two words as separate entries and does not ...
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19 votes

Please help translate this short Latin phrase left behind by a deceased man

Pray to God but row away from the rocks. You are correct in that ora means "pray" (it is the singular imperative of oro). Deo (dative of Deus) is the "to God" bit. Sed means "but," ab saxis (ablative ...
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19 votes

Can one translate ἀθάνατος as 'living' rather than 'immortal'?

"Living" is an undertranslation of "ἀθάνατος." "Living" has a straightforward translation from "ζῆν" (to live): the participle "ζῶν"; "ἀθάνατος," however, means "not mortal," as opposed to "not dead....
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18 votes
Accepted

What colours did different colour words mean, exactly?

This might not be the best question to ask for this format chiefly because there are so many color words in Latin, and their meanings are not always as simple and exact as English would have you ...
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18 votes
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What was a draco?

The word dragon is far older than the Medieval dragon or the West's knowledge of the Chinese dragon. In fact, it's no coincidence, either, that dragon is derived from draco. It's the meaning of the ...
  • 41.9k
18 votes
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What is the meaning of "Ex Lux", the name of Lucifer Morningstar's new bar?

Lux can mean "light", and ex can mean "out (of)"; but that sign is wrong. The grammar is impossible; you can't just combine words like that in Latin. To give you a feel of the type of wrongness, ...
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17 votes

What did "actuālis" actually mean in Latin?

I'll try to answer my own question, if I may. After a bit of research I discovered that no more than 300 years ago the meaning of Spanish actual was actually the same as English actual, as seen by ...
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17 votes
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What is the meaning of _voci populi_ in this quote?

It's a mistake in the English translation. As Adam Bishop in the Wiki discussion you link to says, the quote in German is Aber es gibt keine vox populi, sondern nur voces populi "But there is no ...
  • 28.7k
16 votes

Are "-que" and "et" equivalent?

In Ecclesiastical Latin "-que" would be used in order to avoid to much repetition of the use of "et" and for drawing similarities to the original first noun in a statement, as is sometimes found ...
16 votes
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What does cōcutit mean?

The line or mark of abbreviation above a vowel often stands for n or m in Mediaeval and Early Modern texts, so this is concutit, "pounds, shakes", possibly related to English quake. You will also find ...
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14 votes

What is the distinction between gaudium and laetitia when both denote "joy"?

Laetitia is a state of being, from laetus happy. Someone who is laetus has gaudium, in the sense that someone who is rich has money. It more generally should be translated as happiness instead of joy. ...
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14 votes
Accepted

Meaning of "io" in Christmas carol

Iō is an interjection, defined in Lewis & Short as expressing joy, like English "Hurrah!"; or pain, like English "Oh!"; or hurriedly calling to someone, like English "Come ...
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13 votes
Accepted

Does animal include human?

Animal is certainly applicable to men, both in classical literary usage and in prevalent philosophical discourse. Classical Literary Usage Referring to man First, a few examples of animal being ...
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13 votes
Accepted

Does liberi only refer to free children?

It is generally accepted that liberi “children” is the same word as liber “free, not slave”. So, etymologically liberi are “free-born offspring of either sex”. But it is an error to assume that the ...
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13 votes
Accepted

What is "capult"?

I'm guessing it's probably a typographical error. The actual passage comes from chapter 50 (caput L). Originally it might have been spelled "caput l" and somewhere along the way it might ...
  • 41.9k
12 votes

"Miserando atque eligendo"

I read through Ron Conte's blog post and find it sloppy and unscholarly. He makes the (correct) point that Fr. Z's proposed translation sounds literal and stinted and, almost in the same words, asks ...
  • 37k
12 votes
Accepted

Meaning of *iuvenis*

Others pointed out the dictionary definition of iuvenis, but it would help to have a solid example. In Livy book 21.50, Ti. Sempronius met with Hiero at Syracuse. statum deinde insulae et ...
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12 votes

What is the best way to translate 'remember' into Latin?

Memento precisely conveys that meaning, in my opinion. It is an imperative (like "do this", "do that"), which means "Remember!", as in "Do remember". This word is part of a very famous expression: ...
12 votes

Can one translate ἀθάνατος as 'living' rather than 'immortal'?

ἀθάνατος uses the privative ἀ- (from [ἀν-][2] = "not"). Adding the privative prefix to a noun makes a compound meaning "one who is without [noun]". Since θάνατος means death, ...
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12 votes
Accepted

Meaning of "τρίχας" in Anacreon's Περι Γέροντος

Accusative of respect: 'He's old/an old man with respect to his hair(s)' – i.e., his hair is that of an old man. Draconis has alluded to this in the other answer, but it's worth making explicit that ...
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11 votes

What's the difference between vel, aut, -ve, et cetera?

I'll just add that there's another word for "or," sive (or seu). It's used to mean "also known as" or to indicate that the speaker is indifferent as to which option is chosen. Si ...
11 votes

Are "-que" and "et" equivalent?

Both et and -que can often translate "and". The use of -que is more limited (see James's answer), so et is a safer choice. The suffix -que only means "and", whereas et can also be ...
11 votes
Accepted

Does 'verbum' mean both word and verb?

The OLD provides several examples of verba meaning "verb" (as opposed to vocabulum or nomen, "noun." Aside from two instances in Varro: Hor.Ars 235; nec a ~is modo, sed ab nominibus quoque deriuata ...
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11 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning of Satanas?

It came to Latin from Hebrew (שָּׂטָן satan), through Greek (Σατανᾶς satanas) and means enemy, adversary. In Judaism and Christianity, it is also one of the names given to the devil, a supernatural ...
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11 votes

What is the Latin joke here?

I think you are having trouble with idiomatic English, in particular with the meaning underlying 'funny'. In response to being told that something is funny, you have to decide which is intended — ...
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