Questions about the use of Latin words and phrases in English.

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Etymology of 'patch' in the verb 'dispatch'

dispatch (v.) [<--] 1510s, "to send off in a hurry," from a word in Spanish (despachar "expedite, hasten") or Italian (dispacciare "to dispatch"). For first element, see dis-. The exact ...
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78 views

The word “benefit” in Old English or Latin [closed]

Is there a Latin word for benefit or an Old English word? I cannot find any via Google Search, I only get: Beneficium, which doesn't look promising. I am thinking of more ...
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21 views

Did 'inter-' evolve to mean 'together'?

entertain (v.) (<--) late 15c., "to keep up, maintain, to keep (someone) in a certain frame of mind," from Middle French entretenir, from Old French entretenir "hold together, stick ...
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37 views

(Latin) Abbrevation for 'apropos' / 'regarding' / 'with respect to'

I am looking for a convenient abbreviation for the construction of 'with respect to' or 'regarding' or 'apropos'. I used to write "A with respect to B" as "A cf. B" but this is not really correct. Is ...
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31 views

How did “out, away” + “to play” combine to mean 'elude'?

elude (v.) = 1530s, "delude, make a fool of," from Latin eludere "finish play, win at play; escape from or parry (a blow), make a fool of, mock, frustrate; win from at play," from ...
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3answers
71 views

Why Greek morphemes over Latin, or Latin over Greek? *A Call to Lexicographers*

Is there a rationale behind why certain English words take Greek morphemes (or affixes) over Latin morphemes, and vice versa? Why do certain Greek morphemes become standard English idiom over Latin ...
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3answers
132 views

Does “Magna Carta” require an article?

I have seen (the) Magna Carta referred to both with and without an article, a distinction that doesn't seem to have any relation to nationality (i.e. I've seen British sources and American sources ...
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75 views

What is the origin of the use of “Lorem ipsum …” as a placeholder in web design? [closed]

The Wikipedia article pretty much sums up the meaning of this gobbledegook, a mangling of 1st century Latin, but fails to explain WHY variations on this particular filler are used as placeholders on ...
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2answers
92 views

“omni”-prefixed word for “all seeing”?

Is there single word that means "all seeing"? From what I can tell, omniscient is often used to cover this, but that more accurately means "all knowing". It likely stems from a presumption that if ...
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2answers
58 views

The noun “alternative” [closed]

If I am not mistaken, the noun alternative has roots in the Latin word alter, which translates to: the other (of two). My question would be: why does the word alternative have plural in English? It ...
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94 views

Plural of “camera obscura”

While reading an article about history and use of the camera obscura and camera lucida the use of camera obscuras for the plural felt increasingly wrong. (whinge over) In general when a (foreign) ...
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Does the English verb 'project' correctly represent the Latin 'columna'?

kel-2 [=] To be prominent; hill. [...] 3. c. extended and suffixed form * kolumnā‑ . colonel, colonnade, colonnette, column, from Latin columna, a projecting object, column. [M-W:] ...
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1answer
62 views

How does the gerund 'bear, carry'?

[ Etymonline: ] 1510s, from Latin gerundum "to be carried out," gerundive of gerere "to bear, carry" (see gest). In Latin, a verbal noun used for all cases of the infinitive but the nominative; ...
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2answers
78 views

Subtrahendum/Subtrahenda

We are familiar with addendum (and addenda), which we take directly from Latin to mean "something (or things) added" This is used especially in regard to written work such as books. Today I was ...
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Etymology of “amoral”

Many internet sites (like this one) say that the word amoral was coined by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) as a differentiation from immoral. These sites also say that amoral comes from the Greek ...
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28 views

Is there a collateral adjective for 'game'?

I was looking for an adjective that would describe anything game-like that is either taken directly from Ancient Greek or Latin. 'Ludic' comes to mind, but it came to assume the same connotations as ...
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40 views

Short phrase to convey “but consider the source”

Is there a short phrase (one to three words), Latin or otherwise, that conveys "but consider the source"? For example, "I heard that pigs fly on television (your phrase here)." I'm thinking perhaps ...
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46 views

Operator, operand - term for the result?

How the result may be called when applying an operator to its operands? In eg. programming one may be familiar with a so-called "expression" like this one from a SO question: x>y && z==5 ...
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1answer
69 views

Neoclassical Neologisms [closed]

Could anybody give me a few interesting examples of neologisms of Latin or Greek origin, or containing affixes from Latin or Greek which are popular nowadays but haven't entered the dictionaries yet? ...
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1answer
102 views

Using “e.g.” instead of “for example”

I am reviewing a software manual, and I frequently come across sentences like (made-up example): The value is 1, but you can set it to e.g. 100 It seems to me that the use of "e.g." is wrong in ...
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2answers
66 views

How did 'to' and 'to throw' combine to mean 'adjacent'?

adjacent = 1. Next to or adjoining something else Etymonline for: adjacent (adj.) = early 15c., from Latin adiacentem (nominative adiacens) "lying at," present participle of adiacere ...
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150 views

How did 'pick out' evolve to mean 'read'?

Initially, I wanted to know the etymology of eclectic. Then I saw that it referred to lecture {noun}: late 14c., "action of reading, that which is read," from Medieval Latin lectura “a reading, ...
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69 views

Abdominal; Why isn't it 'abdomenal' (with an 'e'), and is there a name for such words?

Why is the word 'abdominal' formed of an altered spelling of 'abdomen'? I have noticed other words similar, but none spring to mind; is there a name for them?
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79 views

Why are i.e. and e.g. abbreviated with periods between each word and etc. not?

Why are i.e. (id est) and e.g. (exempli gratia) abbreviated with periods between each word and etc. (et cetera) not abbreviated as et.c.?
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Where on Earth is “penguin” from?

Fact or fallacy? It's one of those things you hear or casually read somewhere that sticks with you. The word penguin is derived from Welsh; pen refers to "head", while gywn means "white". Well, it's ...
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192 views

How did “Matron” and “Patron” come to mean different things?

Matron: (1) a married woman, especially one who is mature and staid or dignified and has an established social position; (2) a woman who has charge of the domestic affairs of a hospital, prison, or ...
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83 views

What are the plural forms of the words “octopus” and “platypus”? [duplicate]

I've seen "octopuses" and "platypuses", respectively, but I've also seen "octopi" and"platypi". Which is correct, and why?
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225 views

is “modus operandi” singular or plural?

Is the phrase (as used in English) "modus operandi" singular or plural? And if the former, what is its plural form [or vice versa]? (To my untutored eye, "modus" seems to be a singular form, while ...
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63 views

What is the plural of “corpus callosum”?

The Latin "corpus callosum" is also the common English name for a bundle of nerve fibers that connect the hemispheres of the cerebrum. Should the plural be the odd-sounding "corpa callosa" or the ...
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2answers
87 views

Latin phrase to English? [closed]

I am looking to create a family motto in Latin for a character in a book. Using Google Translate, I've been able to translate "More money today than yesterday" into "Plus hodie quam heri". That then ...
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60 views

How did 'wan' evolve from 'lacking lustre' to 'pale' ?

I wish to delve into the definition, which I already understand and so ask NOT about. I heed the Etymological Fallacy. What are some right ways of interpreting the noun 'lustre', so that the etymology ...
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207 views

Etymology: The root of the words 'real' and 'reality'

I wish to identify the oldest known root from which we derive the words 'real' and 'reality', et cetera. I got as far as determining the origin of the English words real and reality is Latin res, ...
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2answers
375 views

What comes after the ducentiquinquagintasexions?

Hypercomplex numbers that use the Cayley-Dickson construction seem to follow a Latin naming convention related to the size of the algebra (which is always a power of two). As an English.SE question, ...
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1answer
86 views

Is there a distinction between “ceteris paribus” and “other things held constant”?

Wikipedia defines Ceteris paribus as: a Latin phrase meaning "with other things the same" or "other things being equal or held constant". It has always struck me as strange that we (primarily ...
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130 views

What's the word for Self Reflection?

There's a Greek (maybe Latin) word for when you reflect on your work. Does anybody know what I'm talking about? For instance, this would be used to describe a essay that you write to look back and ...
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2answers
187 views

How come the Latin word “Vulgaris” acquired such negative meaning in English?

Today, while reading Dan Brown's latest novel Inferno, I came to know that vulgar is actually derived from the Latin word vulgaris, literally meaning "of/pertaining to common people". I really don't ...
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2answers
128 views

Is there an English expression from Latin for “in writing”, “written”, etc?

Is there a Latin expression that is now used in English for "written"? For example, "Here is my request in written form." - to replace "in written form"? Or, "We took written notes.", you get the ...
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1answer
112 views

What are antonym-like prefixes to the Greek “crypto”?

What is a prefix that is similar to "public", or "accessible", or "ubiquitous" such that it is harmonious with the spirit of currency needing to be of public domain, widely adopted, accessible, etc. ...
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64 views

Latin-derived terms for directions

If dextrad, sinistrad, and mediad mean towards the right, left, and middle respectively, what would the related terms be for up and down/top and bottom?
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102 views

Is there a Latin phrase (which can be used in English) for “as per convention”?

I want to say something in an academic setting to the effect of "as expected" or "as per convention", when dealing with repeated lists of things with expected formatting. Is there a Latin phrase that ...
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156 views

Position of stress in English words derived from New Latin

In another thread on this site a question was asked about the pronunciation of the word Caribbean; that discussion focused on the position of the accent. Cognate forms of the word Caribbean have ...
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279 views

Word meaning 'To be pulled'

I am looking for a word that means 'to be pulled' in that same sense of propelled or compelled means to be forced or urged forward. Ideally, it would use the same base pel. Searching Google and ...
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1answer
215 views

Is there a better way to write multiple Nota Bene? i.e “n.b., n.b.b.” e.t.c

What is the preferred way to write: n.b. Thing. n.b. Related thing #2. Can you use an approach similar to P.S.?: p.s (post-scriptum) p.p.s (postquam-post-scriptum) Or, should it be ...
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1answer
64 views

Plural of “dibamus” [closed]

Dibamus is a genus of legless lizards in the family Dibamidae, of the infraorder Dibamia. Genera are usually given in singular, so what is the correct plural of Dibamus? Families and orders are ...
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164 views

What does “datum (sed) non concessum” mean? [closed]

I've encountered the phrase datum (sed) non concessum in various English-language books and articles such as: The Beauty of God's House, quoted in Theologically Speaking, What Intelligent Design Is ...
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4answers
105 views

Not true in general, but possibly true in some cases

Is there an abbreviation, an English or a Latin expression for "not true in general, but possibly although not necessarily true in some cases"? I suppose such a phrase may be used frequently in law ...
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98 views

“omni” - prefixed word for “ prepared to take up any challenge”

Word for someone that will take any challenge thrown at him, prepared to take up any challenge. Preferably with "omni" as prefix. Doesn't have to be word that is commonly used. I have been trying to ...
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512 views

Since the Latin for 'manus' is 'hand' - does that make 'mankind' a non-sexist expression? [closed]

I heard the following view expressed today: Mankind is not a sexist expression, because it comes from the latin manus, which means hand, as in [genderless] means of action. Is this a false ...
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252 views

How is the word “Cactaceae” pronounced?

I was wondering how the word Cactaceae, which is the botanical taxon for the Cactus family, is pronounced. I searched for "Cactaceae pronunciation" and found the following pronunciations: ...
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Why “Jesu” rather than “Jesus” in this carol?

Why does this bit of O Come, All Ye Faithful use Jesu rather than Jesus? Yea, Lord, we greet thee Born this happy morning Jesu, to thee be glory given Am I right in my thinking that Jesus is ...