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

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8
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81 views

Declined Latin nouns in English prose

In German it was customary to decline Latin words used in German prose. One might, for instance, speak of performing a reductionem ad absurdum, using the the accusative form of the word reductio when ...
3
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0answers
59 views

Can penult stress for “stigmata” and similar words be explained or justified by any principle?

I enjoy studying the pronunciation of Greek-derived words in English, and I've found an odd anomaly. There appear to be two possible pronunciation patterns for words ending in the plural suffix -ata ...
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0answers
23 views

Can the stress pattern of “uroboros/ouroboros” be explained by any principle, or is it random?

The word "uroboros," coming ultimately from Greek, has a couple of spellings and also pronunciations (see How to do you pronounce Ouroboros?). As explained by Nohat in the linked page, the two ...
1
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2answers
66 views

What is the plural of status quo?

A quick search suggests that status quos is most common pluralization of status quo. This form, however, is deeply unsatisfying. Clearly, status is the noun in this phrase, while quo is some sort of ...
13
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2answers
1k views

Meaning of the ending “‑exia”?

If a word ends in -exia (such as dyslexia, anorexia, and pyrexia), does this imply anything about the word itself? For example, in electronics a word ending in ‑ance (such as impedance or ...
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1answer
38 views

Are “sola scriptura”, “prima scripture”, and “prima ecclesia” nominative or ablative? [closed]

I need to know so that I can properly form neologisms based on these terms. For example, if I were deferring to the authority of a baker, would I say that I believe in primus pistor or primo pistore? ...
4
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1answer
205 views

verbatim vs verbatum

I know that verbatim has a Latin origin, but why is it not spelled verbatum? English does not seem to have many Latin words that end in ‑im.
3
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3answers
362 views

Expression for the advantage of being in possession of disputed goods in a civil suite?

Some time (years?) ago I saw (In fact it might have been in a comic, possibly Zits.) an expression/proverb that basically said that being in possession of a disputed goods meant that a civil law ...
1
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0answers
44 views

How did 'to intimate' evolve to mean 'suggest indirectly'?

intimate (v.) [⟸] "suggest indirectly," 1530s, back-formation from intimation, or else from Late Latin intimatus, past participle of intimare. [...] intimate (adj.) [...] [⟸] ...
1
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1answer
172 views

“Ex Machina” versus “Deus Ex Machina” [closed]

I have recently watched a movie called Ex Machina. I searched for the meaning, but Deus Ex Machina was the closest to this title. There certainly must be a relation but can someone please tell me ...
2
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2answers
60 views

etymology of predation and predating?

Do predation and predating share a common etymology? Predation seems to imply that one species holds precedence over another species in the food chain, whereas predating seems to imply that one ...
0
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1answer
59 views

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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2answers
103 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 ...
1
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0answers
37 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 ...
1
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2answers
67 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 ...
0
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2answers
48 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 ...
2
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3answers
117 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 ...
3
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3answers
147 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 ...
1
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2answers
95 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 ...
6
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2answers
316 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 ...
1
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2answers
71 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 ...
2
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2answers
145 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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1answer
46 views

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:] ...
1
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1answer
69 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; ...
2
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2answers
82 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 ...
2
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3answers
108 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
35 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 ...
2
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2answers
76 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 ...
0
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2answers
68 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 ...
1
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1answer
89 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? ...
0
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1answer
176 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 ...
3
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2answers
81 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 ...
3
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3answers
158 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, ...
4
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1answer
73 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?
3
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1answer
96 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.?
25
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4answers
6k views

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 ...
6
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1answer
335 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 ...
1
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2answers
97 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?
4
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3answers
364 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 ...
3
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2answers
75 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
118 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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2answers
73 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 ...
5
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1answer
498 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, ...
5
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2answers
398 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, ...
1
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1answer
116 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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3answers
204 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 ...
1
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2answers
245 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 ...
3
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2answers
159 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 ...
1
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1answer
132 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. ...
5
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1answer
73 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?