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24 votes

Both "fēmina" and "mulier" mean "woman": what's the difference?

In Republican and early Imperial Latin, mulier was more common, and fēmina was more markedly respectful Although it might seem surprising to speakers of modern languages where using the word "...
Asteroides's user avatar
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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 ...
Sebastian Koppehel's user avatar
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 ...
TKR's user avatar
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19 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, ...
Cerberus's user avatar
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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 ...
Sam K's user avatar
  • 3,998
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....
brianpck's user avatar
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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 ...
cmw's user avatar
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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 ...
Charlie's user avatar
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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 ...
TKR's user avatar
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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 ...
Cerberus's user avatar
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15 votes
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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 ...
fdb's user avatar
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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. ...
cmw's user avatar
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14 votes
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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 ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
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13 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 ...
brianpck's user avatar
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13 votes
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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 ...
brianpck's user avatar
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13 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: ...
luchonacho's user avatar
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12 votes
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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 ...
cmw's user avatar
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12 votes
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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 ...
cmw's user avatar
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12 votes

Did "benedicere" ever mean "to blaspheme"?

Benedixit is a perfectly literal translation of ηὐλόγησεν and of בֵּרַכְתָּ with the difference only that the Latin and the Greek use 3rd sing. where the Hebrew uses 2nd sing. in oratio obliqua. ...
fdb's user avatar
  • 17.9k
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, ...
Geremia's user avatar
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12 votes
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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 ...
cmw's user avatar
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12 votes
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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 ...
cnread's user avatar
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12 votes
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Is there something special about "corpus"?

Here corpora is what's sometimes called a Greek or synecdochical accusative (in Greek the accusative of respect). Stellatus actually goes with the person whose body it is, and the accusative is the ...
cmw's user avatar
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11 votes
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How can I use "quippe" properly?

I have typically encountered quippe with relative pronouns. It strengthens the relative pronoun in a way that is often best translated with something other than a relative structure. The word quippe ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
11 votes
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What's the difference between fessus and defessus?

Usage Lewis and Short glosses fessus as: wearied, tired, fatigued; worn out, weak, feeble, infirm It lists defessus (which is the past participle of dēfĕtiscor as a synonym. It has a similar meaning:...
brianpck's user avatar
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11 votes
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What does the phrase "nec non" mean? (Metamorphoses I.612-614)

Necnon can be written as two words, "and not not"; it has a positive meaning because of the double negative. It can be translated as and with an appropriate adverb, such as and yet, and in fact. The ...
Cerberus's user avatar
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11 votes
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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 ...
Rafael's user avatar
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11 votes
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What does "dives fluminarum" mean?

Venī, venīte means "come" in both singular and plural. Perhaps "come one, come all" would be a good translation? Personally I would just have used venīte twice. Spīritŭs means "spirit", while ...
Draconis's user avatar
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11 votes

On the literal meaning of "in saecula saeculorum"

It is a Semitic idiom, as in “king of kings” or “vanities of vanities”. “X-singular of X-plural” means “X to the highest possible degree”. This particular expression (“eternity of eternities”), is ...
fdb's user avatar
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