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19 votes
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Is there a way to make a sentence ironic in Latin?

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 ...
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14 votes
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Comparison of omnes, cuncti, and universi

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 ...
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13 votes
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What does "quidem" REALLY mean?

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!" ...
12 votes
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What's the difference between nam and enim?

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 ...
12 votes
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Are there dictionaries that translate profanities profanely?

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 ...
11 votes
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Which verb for drinking is least related to alcohol?

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 ...
11 votes
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Can infans refer to children who can speak?

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 ...
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11 votes

Was "oscŭlum" a cultured word in Latin?

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 ...
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11 votes

Was "oscŭlum" a cultured word in Latin?

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 ...
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10 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 ...
10 votes

What nuances distinguish sed/vērō/vērum as words for "but"?

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 ...
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10 votes

Is there a way to make a sentence ironic in Latin?

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 ...
10 votes

What does "quidem" REALLY mean?

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 ...
10 votes
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How to translate the Finnish "muka"?

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 ...
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10 votes

Was "oscŭlum" a cultured word in Latin?

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 ...
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9 votes
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meaning of "non omnínó"

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. ...
9 votes

What's the difference between coniunctivus and subiunctivus?

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), ...
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9 votes
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What is the difference in meaning or nuance between 'premō' and 'imprimō' in the sense of 'I press'?

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’...
9 votes

Was "oscŭlum" a cultured word in Latin?

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 ...
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8 votes
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The word *quick* in Latin

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 ...
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7 votes

Semantic differences between verbs of thinking

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 ...
  • 41.7k
7 votes

Which verb for drinking is least related to alcohol?

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 ...
  • 37k
7 votes
Accepted

What are some examples of "subicio" being used to mean "submit, subject, present"?

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 ...
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7 votes
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What nuances distinguish sed/vērō/vērum as words for "but"?

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 ...
7 votes
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Using "sānē" v. "certē" v. "profectō"?

Ramshorn's Dictionary of Latin Synonyms, pg. 113, has a helpful entry on the four related terms certe, certo, profecto, and sane: Certe: certainly, of a thing; at least, if it applies to a given ...
  • 37k
7 votes

How to use immo?

(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 ...
  • 11.3k
7 votes
Accepted

French and Latin "s'il te/vous plaît"

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). ...
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7 votes
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Word for "fumo" but less thick, thin smoke

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 ...
6 votes
Accepted

What nuances distinguish "minor" and "ínstó" when they mean "threaten"?

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 ...
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