Hot answers tagged

19

Irony is certainly present in the Latin lexicon: it was one of the classical rhetoric techniques in fact. Joel's reference to Cicero's credo is a good example of its use. Other common semantic inversions, most of which we would recognize as a kind of irony, include: Paralipsis: mentioning something in the context of "leaving it out," as Cicero is rather ...


11

A look at Lewis & Short suggests that perhaps bíbó is what you want: to drink to arrive at the region of the river the inhabitants of the country through which the river passes to be drowned to founder, to be wrecked to draw blood, to kill So the definition doesn't mention alcohol. The notes do suggest, though, that a connotation of ...


11

In the Oxford Latin Dictionary (which only covers Classical Latin): An infant, little child (strictly, one not yet able to talk). The use of "strictly" in the parenthesis implies that even in Classical Latin the definition wasn't always applied strictly. The dictionary cites two examples from the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum: (used expressly of ...


11

Another partial answer. Tl;dr: kissing had a social role in Judaism that was inherited into Christianity (as osculum in the Vulgate), where it even had/acquired a ceremonial role (not sure if this one existed among Jews). Maybe—and this is pure speculation—this ceremonial role was what later made the word osculum a matter of respect and created ...


11

I cannot provide a complete answer either, but perhaps a few points one the subject of kissing, and the semantics of the words for it. I cannot, unfortunately, provide immediate literature references for these, The elder word for the kiss is osculum, attested in the earliest writing, and with a very transparent meaning (“little mouth”). Romans had a ...


10

Oh, God, the prudish lengths to which dictionaries go to avoid translating profanity correctly! I feel your pain—I too feel cheated and betrayed when this happens. It's like, aren't you supposed to tell me what this word means? Well, "to practice unnatural vice" is not what this word means. I don't know of any dictionaries that do their jobs properly in ...


10

Whenever Cicero uses crēdō parenthetically, he means it ironically. For example In Catilinam I: Si te iam, Catilina, comprehendi, si interfici iussero, credo, erit verendum mihi, ne non potius hoc omnes boni serius a me quam quisquam crudelius factum esse dicat. And In Verrem: At, credo, in hisce solis rebus indomitas cupiditates atque effrenatas ...


10

Scilicet .2. ironically As much space in Smiths is given to the ironical use 'forsooth,' 'you may be sure,' as to the simple emphatic particle. When used in this sense Sc. is sometimes placed first and immediately followed by the object of derision/ suspicion. Scilicet is omnino talia curat. He really cares about such things. (meaning he doesn't) ...


9

I posted this question here because it was something I struggled with for a long, long time, right up until I read Caroline Kroon's article "Latin Particles and the Grammar of Discourse" in A Companion to the Latin Language, ed. James Clackson. The difference between the two isn't so much semantic as it is . . . dí immortálés, I'm terrible with terms . . . ...


9

There's no „classical Latin“ when it comes to grammar, as Latin grammarians flourished during Late antiquity. The most famous of them all (and synonymous with „grammar“ through the Middle Ages), Aelius Donatus, wrote his Ars Maior and Ars Minor during 4th century. Donati Ars minor, de verbo: modi qui sunt? indicatiuus, | ut lego; imperatiuus, ut lege; ...


9

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 emphasizes that the relative clause contains an explanation. Artificial examples: Amicus meus non cantat, quippe qui ne loqui quidem potest. "My friend does not ...


9

Officially, imprimo means I mark/stamp (hence English impression), where premo just means I press. The nuances of Latin prefixes have long fascinated me, and it took me forever to realize that they’re basically equivalent to English verbs that contain prepositions. So here it‘s a case of to press vs. to press in. Other examples are: rideo = I laugh; ...


9

Just to tack on to Mar Johnson's post and our subsequent discussion, the Oxford Classical Dictionary does not support the notion that verum or vero is in itself a stronger contrasting conjunctive than sed. However, the phrase verumvero or verum enim is: uero, adv., particle. 2 In fact, really, truly. 3 (emphasizing the truth of an assertion) For ...


9

A scholar named Joseph Solodow wrote an entire book called "The Latin Particle Quidem". To boil his work down as much as possible, the function of the word (because it's always safer to think of particles in terms of their function, not their dictionary translation)--the function is to acknowledge the truth of a claim, but to let you know that the speaker is ...


9

Quidem took me forever to figure out, and none of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century texts and grammars I went to gave me any help at all, because they all said things like, "it means forsooth!" and I was like, yeah, great, thanks, dude. There seem to be three main contexts in which quidem is encountered. The most frequent one sets up an implication of ...


9

Certainly there are differences between the three, which I hope the following will demonstrate with sufficient clarity. The roots of universus indicate 'turned into one', which describes a group formed from [objects] for a single purpose; homines universi in servitium ducti sunt, 'the whole population was led into slavery'. Derived from coniunctus,cunctus ...


9

Here's counter-evidence for you, from Ovid Amores (2,5). inproba tum vero iungentes oscula vidi— illa mihi lingua nexa fuisse liquet— qualia non fratri tulerit germana severo, sed tulerit cupido mollis amica viro; qualia credibile est non Phoebo ferre Dianam, sed Venerem Marti saepe tulisse suo. or here's an excerpt from Platus Mercator (744-...


9

Smith's Copious & Critical English-Latin Dictionary (p. 430) in longish articles is good on this, giving suavium as the "most suitable word for ordinary use", osculor as "the term most suitable for the highest composition" (cf. the original question) and so on. In his arch, Victorian way, Smith cites basium as "esp. an amorous or lewd kiss" and, in fact,...


8

From an entry (which includes references here omitted) in Döderlein's Hand-book of Latin Synonymes: Citus; Celer; Velox; Pernix; Properus; Festinus. 1. Citus and celer denote swiftness, merely as quick motion, in opp. to tardus, ... velox and pernix, nimbleness, as bodily strength and activity, in opp. to lentus; properus and festinus, haste, as the ...


8

The expression non omnino is not1 rare in literature, but in most occurrences both interpretations make sense. I found some examples where only one of "not entirely" and "not at all" makes sense. Augustinus in Confessiones 1.2.2 writes "non ergo essem, deus meus, non omnino essem, nisi esses in me". Judging by context, he means that he would not exist at ...


7

Champneys/Rundall have a good run down of the words. They break them down into four categories: Think = to have an opinion puto. existimo. credo. reor. arbitror. opinor. = to have an opinion and express it— censeo. = to think over, reflect upon— cogito. reputo. delibero. considero. meditor. an animo agito. = to think of doing something— cogito. in ...


7

I'm afraid you might be out of luck, my friend, if you are looking for a word that means "drink" while excluding the possibility of alcohol consumption. I don't believe there is any way to prevent common parlance from taking innocuous words and using them with derived meanings. A quick tour of how Plautus uses bibere and potare might serve to illustrate ...


7

Lewis & Short II.B.5 has this definition: To bring forward, propose, adduce; to bring to mind, prompt, suggest with these examples: "cupio mihi ab illo, iudices, subici, quoniam de militari eius gloria dico, si quid forte praetereo." (Cic. Verr. 2.5.25) "I wish, O judges, to be prompted by him, since I am speaking of his military renown,...


7

Both uero and uerum can often be translated as 'in truth' rather than 'but' in some cases, yielding something stronger than sed. When we have sed, it just means that what we're about to say is different from what we were just talking about in some way. But when we use uero or uerum as in truth, we tie the second sentence more closely to the first. The two ...


7

(will add examples later) Obviously, immo had several different uses in Classical Latin. Hannah Rosén (Rosén 2009) classifies it as a connective particle used for juncture and separation. She proposes four different uses of immo: supplemental: contrasting: adjoining+contrasting: adjoining+correcting (substituting): She also argues that immo is not “...


7

Plaire (à) has many connotations, some of which overlap with the Latin meanings of placere – to please/be pleasing (to), to enjoy, to be acceptable (to), to like/be liked (by), to be agreeable (to). There is perhaps also some overlap with the formulaic constructions such as si tibi placet/God willing (OLD) and plût à Dieu /may it please God or ce qu’à Dieu ...


7

This may not be perfect, but consider the verb vaporo as an alternative to fumo. Comparing the underlying nouns vapor and fumus suggests that it is in the right direction. One option to consider is using an adjective or an adverb. I think tenuis is a suitable word for "thin" in the context of smoke. The corresponding adverb is tenuiter, "thinly". This ...


6

While unrelated to monere (which is instead related to memini), it seems to me that minari overlaps with it partially in the sense that the threats are warnings. This makes sense since the word comes from minae. It seems to me that the type of threats involved with minari seem to warn away someone (or something) from their present course of action lest there ...


6

Excerpted from Döderlein's Handbook of Latin Synonymes: Instituere; Instaurare; Restituere; Restaurare. Instituere means to establish a profane, instaurare, a sacred, or honorable, or generally important institution, such as sacrifices, sacred games, wars and battles. Hence is instituere itself a usual, instaurare, a solemn, select expression. In the same ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible