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

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What would be the proper usage of “Qua” in a sentence?

I'm a native English speaker, but I'm trying to expand my vocabulary slightly. I looked this up online, and the definition for it baffled me. How exactly would I go about using this particular word?
3
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1answer
142 views

Why 'hippo-paw-tamus?'

The ruminations of an idle mind: Several English words such as potion, potable, potables, poison, derive from the Latin root potare, poto "to drink". In all cases these words are pronounced with a ...
0
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1answer
31 views

What's the difference between “idem” and “ditto”?

I understand that in colloquial American English people retort with "ditto" when they mean "likewise", but I don't know that it is a correct use. I always thought the real meaning was "as I ...
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0answers
44 views

What is the difference between sqq and ff?

What's the difference between sqq. and ff.? The Apocryphal Acts of Paul, Peter, John, Andrew and Thomas by Bernhard Pick has, for example, these 4 references in a row: Hennecke, N ...
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3answers
5k 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 ...
3
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2answers
95 views

How did “RE:” as a “word” come about?

re1 Pronunciation: /riː/ /reɪ/ PREPOSITION In the matter of (used typically as the first word in the heading of an official document or to introduce a reference in a formal ...
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4answers
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Pronunciation of words ending with “‑ae”

For example, Styracaceae, Suidae, Sulidae, Sylviidae, Symplocaceae, etc. I don’t know how to pronounce them correctly.
4
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2answers
118 views

Why do we pronounce a long second vowel in “decide”, but a short second vowel in “decision”?

The "i" in "decide" is pronounced [aɪ], whereas the first "i" in "decision" is pronounced [ɪ], at least in American English. The same with pairs like collide/collision, divide/division, etc., despite ...
3
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1answer
81 views

What is the English saying for “pecunia non olet”

Pecunia non olet is a famous Latin saying: Pecunia non olet ("money does not stink") is a Latin saying. The phrase is ascribed to the Roman emperor Vespasian (ruled AD 69–79). The phrase is ...
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4answers
303 views

Adding an L when appending an -ium suffix to a word? (Metallium vs. Metalium)

I am Romanizing a business name from Hebrew, and am wondering what the most appealing or 'correct' spelling might be - 'Metallium' or 'Metalium'. The owners of the business went with the latter, but ...
3
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1answer
474 views

Latin (in wide use in English) for nonsensical response? [duplicate]

There is a Latin term or phrase (in wide use in English, esp academic discourse) that one uses in situations like the following: one makes a statement or asks a question one's interlocutor makes a ...
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7answers
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Is “et al.” used as a singular or plural subject?

When referring to multiple authors by using the name of the first author and "et al.", is it correct to grammatically treat this as one person or multiple persons? Gamma et al. are saying in their ...
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3answers
196 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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1answer
45 views

i.e. versus e.g. in a sentence [duplicate]

I know what the use of i.e. and e.g. are, but in my sentence I can't seem to tell the difference. If you do land on them, you will get an amount of points depending on what you landed on i.e. if you ...
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3answers
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What is the difference between “Hept-” and “Sept-” prefixes?

As I understand it, both the prefixes "Hept-" and "Sept-" are used to indicate seven of something. We have examples of English words that use both: e.g. Heptathalon, Heptagon, Heptane vs ...
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1answer
19 views

When offering a list of examples that is 3-4 items long in parenthesis, how is it formatted?

When offering a list of examples, I've seen it done 4 different ways: (e.g., x, y, and z) (e.g., x, y, z) (x, y, and z) (x, y, z) Which of these is correct? Are they all okay to use? Example ...
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1answer
2k views

Are “adult” and “adulterate” cognates?

The word adult appear to have derived from the Latin term adultus, meaning grown up, mature, adult, ripe. Adulterate (and its cognate adultery) is reported to derive from the Latin adulterare - to ...
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1answer
28 views

“cactusings” or “cactiing”

I am aware this is a nonsensical / silly question, but my last question got me thinking about this. Say you have a hypothetical verb ending in -us. Lets pretend this verb is the word "Cactus". Some ...
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2answers
73 views

The prefix “post” can it mean before? [closed]

The posterior is the behind, the postero-dorsal is behind the antero-dorsal. But when we're talking about time, postmodern means "of, relating to, or being an era after a modern one". So are there ...
6
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1answer
141 views

“Remember thou shalt die”: Shall/will

A common translation of the Latin hortative memento mori is "Remember thou shalt die." I am not interested in a discussion of the Latin, nor of what the expression actually means in English. I am ...
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1answer
82 views

What is a word for “having the form of a Brussels sprout”?

Inspired by Dictionary.com's Word of the Day, "botryoidal" (adj. -having the form of a bunch of grapes), and the ongoing naming process of a product at my work which has these features: What is a word ...
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2answers
59 views

Do “empirical” and “imperial” share a common etymology? [closed]

Nothing more to my question, really. I just wonder if the words share an etymological root. Thanks.
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1answer
42 views

Does “pro-” always precede “pre-” in a sequence? Why?

In biological vocabulary, sometimes both pre- and pro- are used as prefixes to indicate something earlier in a sequence. For example, pro-B cells develop into pre-B cells, which eventually develop ...
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4answers
2k views

Latin plurals when talking about fallacies

I have read multiple questions on this site on Latin plurals, and I’ve learned that you can use both English plurals and Latin plurals with words which originate from Latin (e.g. referendum - ...
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0answers
38 views

Is There a Word for “Burning Fungus”?

I'm reading the etymology of the Latin word fomes, it's a fungus. Are there any words to accompany this one by meaning the "burning of a fungus"?
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1answer
539 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: cac-'tee-...
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2answers
1k views

People eighty years and up

Is there a word for people in the 80+ age group? I know octogenarian means 80-to-89-year-olds. Is there a word for people in their 80s, 90s, 100s, etc., inclusive? Supraoctogenarian?
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1answer
71 views

When does a plural end in 'es' instead of 'i'? [duplicate]

Take, for example, 'ignoramuses' instead of 'ignoramae', or 'cacti' over 'cactuses'? In which cases does the plural end in 'es' instead of 'ae'? Can it be either one for any given case? Why?
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1answer
297 views

What is the accurate English translation/meaning of the phrase “In nocte consilium”, the motto of Birkbeck College in London?

Not sure if this is the appropriate place to pose this question, but apparently we don't have a Latin Stackexchange... The motto of Birkbeck College in London is "In nocte consilium". However I have ...
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2answers
387 views

Latin equivalent for “case-by-case” phrase

I would appreciate a reminder of the Latin-phrase equivalent, or alternative suggestions, for "case-by-case," specifically for language to be included in a public-private case-study. Thank you.
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181 views

When should 'viz.' be followed by a comma?

Some Latin abbreviations as 'i.e.' and 'e.g.' are always followed by a comma. For the Latin abbreviation 'viz.', sometimes it is followed by a comma, sometimes it is not. What is the rule for ...
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2answers
3k views

“omni”-prefixed word for “all-hearing”

Is there an adjective that begins with the prefix omni that means all-hearing? I thought that an aural counterpart to omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient must exist, but after a few minutes of ...
3
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2answers
250 views

What is the etymology of 'superstitious'?

Clearly superstitious is of Anglo-Norman origin, used in English since well before Chaucer's time to refer to 'unorthodox religious beliefs'.(OED) But the classical Latin is often written hyphenated ...
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3answers
141 views

Do “mens rea” and “actus reus” need an article?

In criminal cases, there exists two elements: a guilty mind (mens rea) and a guilty act (actus reus). Do these two Latin terms require a preceding article, and which would it be (definite/indefinite)? ...
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3answers
261 views

Why does “stigmata” [often] have penult stress?

I enjoy studying the pronunciation of Greek-derived words in English, and I've found an odd anomaly. There are (at least) two possible pronunciation patterns for words ending in the plural suffix -ata ...
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3answers
725 views

What do you call two consecutive months; a sixth of a year?

Half a year is a semester, i.e. (literally) 6 months. Since it’s often wrongly thought to derive from semi- ‘half’, there’re contradicting definitions of similar terms: Both a trimester and a (rare) ...
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1answer
83 views

What semantic notions inverted the meaning of 'with' (from opposition to association)?

[Wiktionary :] From Middle English with, from Old English wiþ ‎(“against, opposite, toward”), a shortened form of wiþer, from Proto-Germanic *wiþr- ‎(“against”), from Proto-Indo-European *wi-tero- ‎(“...
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1answer
116 views

Use of “ante” to refer to previous pages in an English text

At work I have seen "ante" being used for referring to previous pages of notes written by staff. For instance, when one has to refer to something on previous note, he/she would write, "Refer ...
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4answers
6k views

Pronunciation and usage of “bona fide”

As I am reading books and articles, I come across this bona fide. How do you pronounce this? How do you use it properly? I know the definition is in good faith, like if you are welcomed to someone's ...
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2answers
6k views

What is the history of “nil” in British football /soccer?

In British football if neither team scores a goal, the score is said to be: nil-nil or nil-nil draw. Curiously, the winning team's results are always spoken first. So if Arsenal are playing home the ...
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2answers
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Etymology: predicament

Can anyone explain how predicament from the Latin word family dicere ‘to say’ and praedicare, can develop the meaning precarious situation? Etymonline can't. early 15c., "category, class; one of ...
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2answers
1k views

English, Latin, or Malay pronunciation of betta fish

The genus name of the aquarium fish Betta splendens derives from the Malay word "ikan betah." The common name of the fish is also "betta," which in English we'd pronounce with a soft e. I often hear ...
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1answer
390 views

Quis? Ego! (Child's phrase)

In British private schools children shout "Quis?" and the person to shout "Ego!" in reply first gets whatever was on offer. The Latin derivation is clear but I have two questions. First, when did ...
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1answer
703 views

Why and how did “a sensible boy” become “intelligent and prudent”?

Italians often get confused by sensible and sensitive. If I tell them He's a sensible boy; he studies hard, saves his money, and plans ahead. They are quite bewildered. To them, sensible is ...
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Are there other well-known examples of the type “Illigitimi non carborundum”?

Illegitimi non carborundum, mock-Latin for "don't let the bastards grind you down", dates to early WWII, and later in the war was adopted by Gen."Vinegar" Joe Stillwell as his motto. For more, ...
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2answers
249 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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2answers
2k views

Why isn't “muscle” pronounced “muskle”?

It comes from the Latin musculus (meaning mouse) and Latin has only hard c's. The "c" has somehow become soft or silent during evolution. Why did this happen? Also, if muscle is pronounced mussle, ...
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1answer
2k views

Is the plural of 'prefix' really 'prefixes' rather than 'prefices'?

It looks like the plural of 'prefix' is 'prefixes' - while I would expect it to be 'prefix' => 'prefices' like 'matrix' => 'matrices' or 'index' => 'indices'. Is 'prefix' an exception to the rule? ...
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3answers
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Has there ever been an antonym for “benefit” that includes the latin affix “neg-”?

I understand bene to roughly mean well, good, or rightly so from Latin, while neg- coming from Latin negare to roughly mean deny, negate, or against. The words benefit, beneficial, and benefactor all ...