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17 votes

Why is the Latin word for plum so close to the name of Damascus?

Apparently so! Even in English, we still have the word "damson" for a particular type of plum (Prunus insititia), which comes from Damascena. However, just like in English, it didn't refer ...
Draconis's user avatar
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14 votes
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Why is the Latin word for plum so close to the name of Damascus?

Isidore of Seville gives the following explanation in his Etymologiae, an encyclopedia that summarized and organized a wealth of knowledge from hundreds of classical sources: Coccymela, quam Latini ...
Charo's user avatar
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11 votes

Best modern translation for "Emperor"?

Another example I could have used was the Emperor of China or Japan. I'm going to lean more heavily on this one and suggest that none of your above options are ideal. Instead, you should go with ...
cmw's user avatar
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11 votes
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Does "virtus" apply to women?

Yes, they did, with some caveats. And not just women, but inanimate things as well. Here's but one example, from Juvenal's sixth satire, showing its more neutral use with which English adopted: ......
cmw's user avatar
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10 votes
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What does "Potochoterophii Fohsiensis" possibly mean in a Latin cryptogram from "Cocker's Decimal Arithmetic" textbook?

The text is corrupt: the first word is meant to be Ptochotrophii, as reflected in e.g. this transcription from an encyclopedia from 1837. Ptochotrophium is a variant of ptochotropheum, which is a ...
Cairnarvon's user avatar
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10 votes
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What does "nosse" mean?

It's a contraction of novisse. Both novisse and nosse are listed in the L&S entry for nosco. It's a typical contraction in perfects with V, akin to amavisse > amasse.
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
9 votes

"Ghost", as in the noun

Latin has quite a lot of words that can refer to a ghost or similar apparition. Like the English word "vision", some of them are vague or ambiguous and don't clearly mean "ghost" ...
Asteroides's user avatar
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9 votes

"Ghost", as in the noun

In addition to Asteroidis answer, it is perhaps worth mentioning that Plinius Ep. 4, 27, 4–11 – arguably the most famous ghost story in Latin literature – uses the word effigies for the ghost that ...
Sebastian Koppehel's user avatar
8 votes
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Having a hard time finding classical examples of eo (the verb)

Try searching through PHI instead. To search for a word, place #'s around it, like #it#. See here for the first page of the results, which, as you can see as you go through the pages, show up many ...
cmw's user avatar
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7 votes

How to translate "It is easy to remember"?

How about an adjective memorābilis, "memorable, remarkable, easy to remember"? It no longer has a verb in it, but you can still use the "it is" construction.
Draconis's user avatar
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7 votes
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encrypt / to hide a message in Latin

Here is one relevant passage in Suetonius, Divus Iulius, 56.6, describing the Caesar cipher: Extant et ad Ciceronem, item ad familiares domesticis de rebus, in quibus, si qua occultius perferenda ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
7 votes
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Is there a singular of 'mānēs'?

Judging by the entry in Lewis and Short, the plural is also used to refer to a single entity. Section I.B mentions examples like manes Anchisae/conjugis/Virginiae/Galbae. The same section also ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
7 votes
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Would a cat be considered a "bestia"?

Going off the L&S entry for bestia, I think the answer is more subtle than "yes" or "no." Bestia can signify different things in different contexts. More generic sense In one ...
brianpck's user avatar
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7 votes
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Is there any difference between "Benedicat tibi" and "Benedicat te"? Which is the correct translation for "Bless you"?

In this case, both te (accusative) and tibi (dative) are right, though the latter seems to be less common, ("sometimes", according to Lewis and Short.) Which seems to mean except in the ...
Rafael's user avatar
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7 votes

What does POSSVit mean in this latin inscription that appears in a novel?

DEVOMNODENTi FLAvIVSSENILISPOSSVit PROPTERNVPtias quaSVIDITSVBVMBra I'm guessing these are separate lines, since we've got several words joined together on each one. Separating them out would give: ...
Draconis's user avatar
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7 votes
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Incomplete word

The word seems to be iisdem. (Ricciolus avails himself of the same etc.) Not much of it appears to be missing.
Sebastian Koppehel's user avatar
7 votes

Reading latin texts as a beginner

You seem to be reading texts that are above you skill level. You are maximally vague about the type of text you read (your full description of it is, and I quote, “a book” ;-)), but it is simply no ...
Sebastian Koppehel's user avatar
7 votes

Examples where a derived noun and a passive form in '-or' are unrelated

You'll have a field day with minor. The adjective (the comparative form of parvus) is related to minuo, and ultimately comes from the PIE *moih1-uo-, "small, little." Meanwhile, there's the ...
cmw's user avatar
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6 votes

Is there a singular of 'mānēs'?

Appius has the singular attested: In sing.: “nomine Manem deum nuncupant,” App. de Deo Socr. 15, p. 50, 19. He's a bit late, but I suppose this proves it's possible. Running a PHI search "manem ...
cmw's user avatar
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6 votes

Is Pluto a planet(a)?

In the context of ancient astronomical theory a “planet” or “wandering star” is any heavenly body that changes its apparent location in relation to the other stars, as opposed to “fixed stars”, which ...
fdb's user avatar
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6 votes
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Best modern translation for "Emperor"?

There are some excellent answers here, and many great comments, but I am going to add my piece to the mix. You may be overthinking this. The English word "emperor" does not come directly ...
Figulus's user avatar
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6 votes

Is there a way to say the phrase "Buy time" in Latin?

The phrase "tempus redimitis" appears in Daniel 2:8 of the Vulgate. Respondit rex, et ait: Certe novi quod tempus redimitis, scientes quod recesserit a me sermo. Nebuchadnezzar responded, ...
ktm5124's user avatar
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6 votes
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How do you say the verb "switch/switch to" in Latin?

There isn't necessarily a one-to-one correspondence between English and Latin words, but it is true (as MPW said in a comment) that mutare, a very versatile verb, will often be useful when talking ...
Sebastian Koppehel's user avatar
6 votes

How to translate "It is easy to remember"?

This is not an answer to your question but is just an addendum to (my comment on) Draconis's answer. The meaning of memorabilis,-e is not the same as that of 'easy to remember' but rather 'worthy of ...
Mitomino's user avatar
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6 votes
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Can 'superiore' mean 'previous years' (plural)?

No, superiore is clearly singular, anno superiore is a standing expression meaning “the previous year,” and it is unheard of to use the singular annus for several years.
Sebastian Koppehel's user avatar
6 votes
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How can I express "to make a wish"?

"Making a wish" seems to me to be essentially "making a prayer" to some unknown power in hopes that it will be granted. In that case, I might offer preces precari, "to make ...
cmw's user avatar
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6 votes

How can I express "to make a wish"?

A relatively literal translation would be votum facere (literally, “make a prayer”), although it generally seems to be used in the plural, e.g. Cic. Pro Milone 76: Imperium ille si nactus esset, ...
Sebastian Koppehel's user avatar
6 votes

What is the meaning of audio?

It's worth noting, first, that the phrase audire missam goes back at least as far as St. Ambrose (AD c. 339-397). Moneo etiam ut qui juxta Ecclesiam est, et occurrere potest, quotidie audiat missam. (...
brianpck's user avatar
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5 votes

How would you translate "purposefulness"?

The quality of sticking to a purpose is probably well expressed by constantia animi or simply constantia, which Lewis & Short define as: “Firmness of character, steadfastness, immovability, ...
Sebastian Koppehel's user avatar
5 votes

when to use *tria* vs. *tres* and why?

It's a difference of gender. Trēs is used for the masculine and feminine, and tria for the neuter. So in this case, what are the genders of liberī, vocabula, and fluviī?
Draconis's user avatar
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