semantically singular / syntactically plural

Caesariatus

New Member
I've been keeping track of nouns I've come across which are semantically singular but syntactically plural, just because I think it's a cool quirk of the language. These are the ones on my list. Do you know of any others?

castra -orum
cunabula -orum
epulae -arum
fauces -ium
idus -uum
indutiae -arum
insidiae -arum
kalendae -arum
nonae -arum
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
It's debatable whether they really are "semantically singular" (you could make a case regarding some of them, I guess; certainly not all), but here are a few that can, at least, translate to singular English nouns:

aedes, -ium
deliciae, -arum
litterae, -arum (in the sense of "a letter" that you send to someone, or "literature" — both of these things are made up of many letters of the alphabet)
nuptiae, -arum (note this one can translate to a plurale tantum in English too, "nuptials")
tenebrae, -arum
 
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crepundia
nugae

I always wondered what was the makeup of a crepundia. I imagine some dried beans in a some kind of hard skin pouch tied to a little stick or a strap.

Edit: I guess they give 'jokes' for nugae, but in my head it's just tomfoolery.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Well, if we go that way... Pompeii, Syracusae, and many others.
 
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