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

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3
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1answer
147 views

A diptych is a pair of paintings. What is a single painting called?

A diptych (from the Greek di "two" and ptychē "fold") is a pair of paitings. You can also say triptych for a group of three paintings belonging together, septych for a group of seven and so on. ...
7
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6answers
3k views

“Rogative” root (as in prerogative, derogative, interrogative)

Prerogative, derogative, and interrogative all seem to have the root "rogative" (or perhaps it's not a root at all) and I'm wondering what it means. I was having trouble seeing a connection between ...
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1answer
47 views

“Experiments are in vitro” [closed]

In most contexts seem to say "in vitro experiments". Would it be grammatically correct to say "an experiment is in vitro" or "all the experiments are in vitro"?
1
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0answers
52 views

Of the Same Genera or Genus?

I'm into the marine fish hobby and quite a few are aggressive to those that are too similar; usually fish that are congenital to themselves; however most people just refer to the group as conspecifics....
0
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1answer
97 views

Plural of Quorum or synonym thereof

I am writing some APIs and documentation. We have configurable "voting rules" which are methods for deciding when a business process may proceed. Some examples: First valid response Majority Super ...
0
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2answers
91 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 assimilated ...
6
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1answer
2k 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, ...
1
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1answer
76 views

Why use “ex post facto” when “post facto” means the same thing? [closed]

In legal language I have come across the term "ex post facto". Isn't "ex" redundant in this phrase? "post facto" also means "after the fact", so it should be sufficient. This is commonly used in ...
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1answer
178 views

What is the difference between “invasion” and “intrusion”? [closed]

What is the difference between "invasion" and "intrusion", according to the original latin meaning?
10
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4answers
28k views

How is the word “qua” used?

I play Scrabble. I'm learning words with the letter 'q'. What is the usage of the word 'qua'?
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2answers
780 views

Does “syllabus” derive from Greek or Latin?

I'm looking for some hard evidence to determine whether syllabus is a word that derives from Greek or Latin. This came about from a discussion asking whether the plural of "syllabus" is "syllabuses" ...
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5answers
2k views

How is “e.g.” pluralized?

How is "e.g." pluralized? Usually I just see "e.g." used regardless of the number of examples given, but I don't know if that's correct or merely a product of widespread ignorance. More rarely, I've ...
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1answer
104 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 ...
3
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3answers
217 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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2answers
501 views

How is “viz.” pronounced?

How does one read out “viz.”? “Namely”, “to wit”, or something else entirely?
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2answers
132 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
119 views

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

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 ...
13
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3answers
433 views

Term for converting to black&white

Is there a single word to denote reducing the color palette of an image to two colors: black and white? For instance, navy becomes black and beige turns into white. I know there is desaturate, but it'...
3
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2answers
469 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
2k 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 resistance)...
6
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3answers
7k views

What does “imperio in imperium” mean?

I've heard the Latin phrase imperio in imperium used in political discussions a few times. While I understand what the phrase literally means in Latin ("by command into command"), I'm not sure what ...
0
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2answers
407 views

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

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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1answer
56 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? ...
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6answers
2k views

Is “ad hominem” gender-neutral?

My immediate thought is that the term is generic, and yet I read recently a verbal brickbat described as ad feminam. Was that just a po-mo back-formation, or is there some merit to the distinction? [...
4
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1answer
753 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.
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3answers
396 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 suit/...
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2answers
13k views

How should an English speaker pronounce “vice versa”?

When using vice versa in spoken English, I tend to just completely Anglicise it and pronounce it vise VER-ser, with only one syllable in vice. The original would be something like VEE-cay VER-sa, but ...
4
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1answer
4k views

Where do “‑ess” and “‑ine” suffixes come from?

English has a lot of words in which the suffix ‑ess makes a word feminine, such as actress, hostess, huntress. That looks like a suffix that is also used frequently in Italian, so I’d guess it has ...
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4answers
3k views

Abbreviation for “or the rest” (or “or others”)?

The Latin et cetera, abbreviated etc., is often used at the end of an incomplete, inclusive list of items when it is clear that there are more items than can be enumerated conveniently and there is no ...
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0answers
100 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.) [...] [⟸] 1630s, "...
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1answer
3k 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
99 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 ...
194
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7answers
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2answers
237 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 marketing/business/...
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0answers
55 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 together,...
3
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3answers
209 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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2answers
136 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
4k 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
162 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 ...
3
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2answers
455 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) ...
2
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3answers
220 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 ...
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3answers
1k views

Phant Latin root and similar words

I ran into an unfamiliar word recently: sycophant. I am wondering now if phant means anything but simple google searches aren't leading me anywhere. Hierophant - someone who shows sacred things ...
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1answer
83 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
90 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 ...
0
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1answer
54 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
253 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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4answers
7k views

Why is “de facto” often written in italic?

Often when I see "de facto" written somewhere it is in italic. For example: LaTeX website: LaTeX is a high-quality typesetting system; it includes features designed for the production of ...
3
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2answers
100 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 "lie ...
1
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1answer
166 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? ...