Questions tagged [latin]

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

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1answer
25 views

Taxonomy - how to describe something as plantlike?

So I'm writing a story that features Chimeras or hybrid creatures, and I'm wondering what I would call a plant based creature. For other things like a spider creature or bird creature I would call it ...
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0answers
21 views

Latin/Greek morpheme meaning 'fundamental'?

Is there a Latin or Greek prefix or suffix out there that can be added to a word to make it mean the fundamental from which everything is derived? Here's an example. You've got linguistics, that is ...
36
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3answers
6k views

Has the verb “to import me” ever been commonly used in English the way “to concern me” is in the phrase “It does not concern me”?

In various Euro­pean lan­guages, most es­pe­cially in the Ro­mance ones, their own re­spec­tive cog­nates for our Latin-de­rived word im­port can be used as a verb in much the way as the verb con­cern ...
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40 views

Numeral prefixes of tidal constituents [closed]

If tidal constituents with frequencies of one, two, three, and four cycles per day (respectively, periods of one, a half, a third, and a fourth of a day) were to be termed systematically based on ...
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0answers
24 views

Use of 'e pluribus' as an adjective and meaning? [closed]

I came across a sentence that uses 'e pluribus' as an adjective. I can't give the exact sentence, but it's something like 'They have many e pluribus quizzes'. Is this commonplace, and what is its ...
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2answers
119 views

Why is the word cervix “relating to the neck”, not anywhere near the neck?

The human cervix is long, like a human neck, but it seems like an overgeneralization to apply the latin root cer to something so geographically far from the neck. Adam Aleksic has an interesting post ...
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1answer
65 views

Latin phrase for “at the moment” or “immediate”, temporal equivalent for in situ?

I know phrases like "in situ" which means in the current place/position, is there another phrase for the temporal equivalent which means "at the moment"?
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2answers
134 views

Do sparse and Spartan have the same root?

So, I had a random realization that sparse and Spartan can mean fairly similar things. E.g a sparse apartment could equally be described as a Spartan apartment. I tried looking into this, but my ...
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2answers
142 views

Etymology of “to trade”?

Concerning "to trade", I saw on Etymonline: https://www.etymonline.com/word/trade late 14c., "path, track, course of action," introduced by the Hanse merchants, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low ...
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3answers
3k views

Origin of the word “delete”

What is the history of the word "delete". It's from Latin "deletus", but I wonder how and why this word was borrowed in English. Usually, words directly borrowed in English are from religious, ...
6
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1answer
209 views

Origin of old English word “offrian”

I know that Latin and old French are implicated, but where does the old English "offrian" come from? I mean: what is the word evolution from the root? Which root exactly: why this "ian" ending? ...
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1answer
82 views

Should I use a hyphen with a latin phrase that modifies an adjective that modifies a noun?

I understand that Latin phrases are not normally hyphenated. I also understand that adjective-modifying adverbs normally do receive a hyphen (despite this parenthetically invoked exception). So, which ...
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2answers
95 views

Is there a latin phrase, used in English, to mean after something was created?

Is there a Latin phrase, used in English, to mean after something was created? Of course, there's the phrase creatio ex nihilo Meaning something was created from nothing. But what about 'after ...
25
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2answers
6k views

Why is “-ber” the suffix of the last four months of the year?

September October November December Presumably something Latin, but my (admittedly brief) search sees only mention of the number-based root words. More specifically, what does "-ber" mean?
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2answers
227 views

Spelling of helium vs beryllium

Why is one of those spelled with a single L and not the other? For the etymology of Beryllium name it's unclear but could be either Greek or Latin, and Helium is named after Helios (so Greek here).
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1answer
95 views

Using argumentum ad verecundiam as a verb

When referring to logical fallacies in code mixed sentences, I typically see them used as nouns: "Of course I'm cool, my mom says I'm cool!" "That appears to be an argumentum ad verecundiam." If ...
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2answers
306 views

The popularity of the word “coeval” has been declining for over 100 years now. Why? [closed]

According to Ngram, anyway. The vast majority of English speakers seem to have no idea what the word means. Now why is that? UPDATE: After reading some of the responses: As a noun.
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1answer
108 views

How to translate FIAT into English?

I am translating a text in Portuguese to English from a Message of Our Lady, and there is this expression on the URGENT APPEALS Message nº 2,797: "O Senhor dirá: Faça-se; e tudo será transformado." ...
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0answers
45 views

First use of capital letters [closed]

The first latin script which consisted of both majuscule and minuscule letters (lowercase and uppercase, or small and capital letters) is Carolingian minuscule. It is a fact. But what is unknown to me ...
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1answer
53 views

How would I construct the phrase “brief set of appendices”?

I'm writing fiction and currently working on appendices for my novel (or possibly alternatively for my website). I'd like to indicate that these are not 'complete' appendices but are sort of a work-in-...
5
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2answers
859 views

In search of the origins of term censor, I hit a dead end stuck with the greek term, to censor, λογοκρίνω

I have been looking in OED for a history that makes sense, yet, I just find crumbs, and I can not piece the history of this term. I am hitting a dead end researching the greek term to censor, named ...
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1answer
83 views

Succinct, shorthand, (possibly) Latin word similar to “ala”

I'm trying to find the world that one would use to denote a connection to a person's idea. I'm writing a sentence where I want to make a simple connection to Jonathan Edwards' "Sinners in the hands ...
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1answer
1k views

Latin words with no plurals in English

Plurals derived from Latin words ending with -us normally have the ending -i. However, the plural of virus is viruses and the plural of bonus is bonuses because these words do not have Latin plurals ...
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3answers
508 views

Pronouncing Dictionary.com's W.O.D “vade mecum” in English

The Word of the Day for April 7th, 2019 on Dictionary.com is vade mecum, coming from the Latin expression vāde mēcum meaning something like "come along with me." Dictionary.com lists the pronunciation ...
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1answer
184 views

Quotes, italics, parentheses, and/or regular for translations [closed]

Okay Stack Exchange, here's the big ask: What do you all recommend? My manager wants to know if this is stylistically appropriate. No specific manual we're looking at here. Just what would you guys ...
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1answer
401 views

Is “et al. [1]” used as a singular or plural subject?

I've checked out a similar question, but to the best of my knowledge, it only tells me that "Name et al." is used as a singular subject since it refers to the authors, but what if the “et al..” part ...
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3answers
336 views

Where does “vice-a-versa” come from? [closed]

I believe the correct term is "vice versa", but occasionally I hear "vice-a-versa" being said. Is there any explanation for that pronunciation?
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2answers
238 views

Not a decade, but a term for a 9 year span

Thanks for the help in advance; first time posting here. I'm curious what the most appropriate single word is to describe a 9 year time span, or a 9 year anniversary. A search on Google didn't turn ...
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2answers
3k views

What is the literal meaning (and the origin) of “v”?

“And that hashtag is wrong. It should always be v not vs. The ‘v’ never stood for versus, it stood for ‘vel’, meaning ‘or’. As in, ‘The gladiator or the lion is coming out of that arena alive.’” #...
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1answer
248 views

Use of 'auto' as vehicle name

The word bus, is derived from the word Omnibus in Latin since it means for everyone. Over the years this probably got shortened down to bus. Similarly, the word car is derived from the word Carrum ...
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2answers
395 views

Should the plural form of “daphnia” be used if there is more than one?

For my science fair, I am confused on if I should write, "daphnia", "daphnias", or "Daphnia" regarding to the species, especially multiple of them. Is there a certain time to use the word in upper ...
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2answers
2k views

Can we use “id est” in lieu of “i.e.” in academic writing?

In an academic, format context, can we write id est instead of its abbreviated form (i.e.)? Compare: ‘a walking boot which is synthetic, id est not leather’ with: ‘a walking boot which is ...
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3answers
361 views

Does the prefix “pre” connote negative meanings? Examples: “Presage” vs “sage”, “pretext” and “preclude”

I came across the word "presage" through the Vocabulary Builder as below presage (v.) presij to indicate something (usually bad) is about to happen. The sudden loss of jobs presaged an ...
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1answer
81 views

Understanding Latin abbreviations in Papers and the Such

Preface: I have begun reading over some of the documents from the Vatican II council to familiarise myself with the material for when I talk with people that I know that are catholic, and I am having ...
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1answer
246 views

Using the Latin phrase 'ante Christum natum' in an English sentence

The phrase ante Christum natum translates to 'before the birth of Christ,' and Wikipedia says it is the (likely outdated) Latin equivalent to BC, in the same way post Christum natum is the equivalent ...
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3answers
141 views

phd with summa cum laude or phd summa cum laude

I am uncertain between the following two sentences: 1) I received my Ph.D. in (subject X) with summa cum laude. 2) I received my Ph.D. in (subject X) summa cum laude. Which one is better? Or maybe ...
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3answers
168 views

Do there exist male names that derive from female names in English?

I've seen a lot of female names that are simply derivatives of male names, mostly of biblical origin: Michaela, Michelle from Michael, Michel Joan, Joanna, Joanne, Jane, Jean from John, Jean ...
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1answer
85 views

What is the word for when something is currently unavailable?

I think it starts with L (also maybe latin origin) For example I'm waiting to get a package but I'm not even sure package has been even sent. So package is in L... (maybe not best example, I'm not ...
6
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1answer
633 views

Is “ no news is good news” of Italian origin?

According to Phrase Finder, the origin of the famous proverb “no news is good news”: The earliest version of this familiar saying was attributed to the English King James I, who wrote in 1616, 'No ...
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2answers
666 views

Traditional vs. classical pronunciation of Latin words in English

Has the traditional pronunciation of Latin fallen completely out of favor in English, or do any prescriptivists still recommend it? Is it any more common in British English than in American? A quick ...
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6answers
4k views

How to use the prepositions “apud” and “chez”?

I couldn't find many examples of apud and chez as prepositions; I just found one description on Wiktionary: apud 1. Used in scholarly works to cite a reference at second hand. Jones apud ...
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2answers
1k views

How did we get both sub- and infra- prefixes?

It seems that both sub- and infra- are prefixes that mean "below", leading to their use in different words to provide a similar meaning. We even have some words that are the same apart from these ...
4
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1answer
691 views

The etymology of 'substance'. Does it mean 'sub'-'stance'?

I am aware of the etymological fallacy and aware that the fallacy itself, also, does not always hold good. In other words, a word's pedigree may, or may not, be the reason it means what it means, ...
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3answers
4k views

Insight into the pronunciation of the word algae?

Can anyone provide some insight into the pronunciation of the word algae? Various dictionaries give either the /g/ version as in gear or the /dʒ/ version as in jeep. For example: https://dictionary....
2
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1answer
139 views

Why is the latin classification of the Armadillo translate into English as “Gorilla”? [closed]

The Latin classification of the Armadillo is Dasypus, which directly translates to gorilla in English. Can someone explain why that is, I am confused.
40
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2answers
9k views

Is the etymology of “salary” a myth?

Since, perhaps forever, I had always ‘known’ that the English word salary was derived from the Latin salarium, to the time when Roman soldiers were paid in salt for their service. Salt was a highly-...
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1answer
1k views

Using 'e.g.' in place of 'for example'

I'm looking at a text that regularly uses "e.g." in place of "for example", such as the following: "This parallel composition can be transparently split between two cores, allowing, e.g., for faster ...
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3answers
3k views

Where are all the Latin words?

It's often said that Latin and French each contribute about 29% of the English lexicon, with Germanic words an additional 26%. Wikipedia has a list of English words derived from Latin, however, a ...
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4answers
4k views

Who changed the way vacumn was spelled 40 years ago?

I noticed Robin Michael, who is on this site, stated she learned to spell vacumn as did I in school around 40 years ago. I always scored the highest in my English class and won spelling bees back then....
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1answer
944 views

Why is “genera” the plural form of “genus”?

I'm not familiar with irregular Latin pluralization, so this may be a simple question with a simple answer. Other Latin words ending in "us" don't pluralize to "era"

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