What are some of your favorite Latin words?

By Delichon, in 'General Latin Chat (English)', May 17, 2007.

  1. Delichon New Member

    Lancaster, England
    Favourite Latin words

    I have many Latin words I really like. In a science lesson once a support teacher asked me where the word "satellite" came from. Extracting the Latin dictionary from my pocket ( she was impressed!) I was amazed by the meaning! What a word.Look it up if you don't know it.
    Similarly, the Fritillary flower gets its name from a Latin word... most appropriate too if you know what they look like.
    If you are interested in gulls, their latin names often seem not to describe them well. Cachinnans, melanocephalus, ridibundus etc..all smashing words.
    Have others got any favourite words and why? Incidentally, did anyone notice that the recent Eurovision disaster-band scooch more or less means dull and useless in Russian?
    Gregorius Textor likes this.
  2. QMF Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Virginia, US
    Honestly from the time in EARLY Latin I when my teacher explained the word "luxuria" (and the subsequent "sequi me pro luxuria" on certain Roman women's sandals) to us it has always been a personal favorite. Unfortunately I have never seen it in print...
  3. Ahmesius New Member

    Re: Favourite Latin words

    :mrgreen: I'm not sure about the word "scooch" itself, but my many friends from the ex USSR taught me that "I'm bored" is "меня скучна" (not sure about the spelling but it is definitely pronounced "minya scoochna").

    As to my favorite Latin word... Perhaps "iudex" (judge). Sounds a bit like a Linux distro. I always liked the many derivatives of this word in English and Latin phrases, like "judicial system", "sub iudice", "res iudicata" et cetera.
  4. deudeditus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    for some reason, i like the word numen. Just the sound. all nasal like. :)
  5. Iynx Consularis

    • Consularis
    I very fond of some of the old chants used to remember grammatical rules. I think my all-time favorite is:

    sicine, hicine, haecine, hocine.
  6. tomensnaben New Member

    I like "ius," due to its two, totally un-related meanings.
    Gregorius Textor likes this.
  7. QMF Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Virginia, US
    Wow, I never knew of the other meaning of ius before. I wonder if that was actually a common usage or if it was kind of a joke against Roman law. (I imagine ius as "law" is older than its other meaning.)
  8. Cato Consularis

    • Consularis
    Chicago, IL
    This double-meaning produces one of the funnier lines in Cicero's orations. In prosecuting Verres, the govenor of Sicily, he calls the justice the man administered there ius verrinum - literally "pig juice/slop", which not only uses the double meaning of ius, but also puns on the govenor's name. (Ver. I.46.121)
    Gregorius Textor likes this.
  9. Andy Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Urbs Panamae
    Haha. Quite the jokester, Cicero. :)
  10. Decimvs Aedilis

    • Aedilis
    I like "quamquam."
  11. amia New Member

    i've always liked the way the word "spelunca" sounds.
  12. sprog New Member

    Chapel Hill, NC
    Mine's kind of simple, and I don't really know why I like it so much, but I enjoy "insidiae." Something about it, I don't know.
    Gregorius Textor likes this.
  13. Decimvs Aedilis

    • Aedilis
    I thought that it would be fun to talk about some words that we find clever, funny, amusing, or for some other reason interesting.

    I like:

    quaererere - the imperfect passive subjunctive second person singular of quaero is quite amusing.

    dominamini - the present passive indicative second person plural of domino - another interesting looking/sounding word.
  14. JaimeB Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    San Francisco, CA
    I like reduplicatives like quisquis, and reduplicative perfects like cecidi, tetigi, momordi, and pependi. They sound like people stuttering. I also like words that begin with qu- in general. Some good ones are quemadmodum, quippe (I love that double p), quiescens, quoque, and so on.

    One-syllable words are also fun: mox, fac, fas, fans, for, fel, arx, nix, ops, hoc, lac, sol, sal, mel and so on.

    Passive forms are also fascinating, especially 1st and 2nd person plurals in -mur and -mini. I like confitemini and audiemur; those two are especially nice.

    Future imperatives in the plural, estote, petitote, etc.

    And any future active participle in -urus; futurus, editurus, crematurus.

    I have a soft spot for many number words, especially strange ordinals and such: semel, bis, ter, quater; bini, terni, quini, and seni are especially charming. I really go nuts over sesquialter, probably because it has a qu- in it!

    My favorite perfect infinitive is meminisse, likely because my favorite line in all of Latin literature is from the Aeneid: Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.
  15. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Cygnea, Gena
    i like all words that are dactyles (eg. tempora -vv), anapests (pepulit vv-), paion 3 (meminisse vv-v) or adonii (eripuisse -vv-v)
  16. Decimvs Aedilis

    • Aedilis
    I agree. I also like quamquam.
  17. Akela dat affluenter

    • Princeps Senatus
    Moneris - you are warned :)

    It also happens to be the name of an interac processor that many stores use here.

    It is kind of funny:
    Pay with your credit card, but remember that you are warned :)
  18. Labienus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    I always liked the word amoenus.

    Most often translated as 'beautiful, 'attractive' and popping up in the literary context of the locus amoenus and what-have-you, literally, it is 'without walls', which I have always liked. And its assonance is a further plus :)
  19. Matthaeus Vemortuicida strenuus

    • Civis Illustris
    Passive verbs ending in -tur.
  20. Imber Ranae Ranunculus Iracundus

    • Civis Illustris
    Then I suppose you'd also like: quoquoversus "in every direction", quotienscumque " as often soever as", ubiquaque "everywhere", nequaquam "not at all", aliquatenus "somewhat/to a certain degree".

    I like the word nudius for some reason (in its semantic rather than phonetic capacity).

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