Latin Quotes, Sayings, Tattoos, Phrases & Mottos

Most texts and materials on this site have to do with the Latin language, including its perception in popular culture: movies, tattoos, inscriptions, engravings, bits of ancient philosophy, online Latin resources and company names. There is also information about learning Latin and Greek: textbooks, dictionaries, DVDs and software that can be used in a homeschooling environment.


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Medical Latin gone awry

 
Monday, June 20, 2011, 12:41 - Bad Latin Quote Alerts
Posted by Administrator


As I was sifting through some modern materials about the Salem witchcraft trials I stumbled upon a curious term which came up in one of the physical examination accounts. Apparently, Elizabeth Procter suffered from a condition described as procedeulia ani." Sounds like a very bad thing to suffer from, especially because, according to my Internet research, she was the only person ever to have this condition! You will find this "procedeulia" mentioned in many a book concerning the Salem trials, and future scholars will undoubtedly attempt to use the term in their books. Why not? Sounds very learned! The problem is, of course, that when in the 19th century all the records pertaining to the Salem Witchcraft trials were transcribed, this particular word fell victim to the transcriber's poor knowledge of Latin. The term used in the original documents must have been procedentia ani (more often seen as procidentia ani), which basically means rectal prolapse. You can look it up, if you will. For now, a fragment of "Examination of a Witch" by Thompkins H. Matteson shall suffice as an illustration of examination practices used by Puritan doctors and ministers. It is certainly my hope that future Salem witchcraft trials researchers will show some curiosity and not merely copy stuff from old books.

See also:
Medical Latin terms and phrases

Triple, Quarduple, Quintuple... What else? Latin numerals in English.

 
Saturday, April 23, 2011, 15:24 - Latin Derivatives, Roots, Word Origins
Posted by Administrator


Fun with numbers and with Latin at the same time? Perhaps...
For everyone's convenience, a list of "uple" derivatives:

The Uple List

Toyota Prius goes plural and goes wrong?

 
Saturday, February 12, 2011, 13:53 - Bad Latin Quote Alerts, Latin Language
Posted by Administrator


Toyota has people voting on the plural form of Prius.

The options include prius, priuses, prii, prium and prien. Sic!, Sic! and Sic!

Oddly, the actual correct Latin masc. and fem. plural for prius - priores is not even in the running!

Shouldn't corporate hijacking of Latin grammar cause some sort of public outrage?

"Spartacus: Blood and Sand" - word of caution regarding the "Fugitivus" tattoo

 
Saturday, January 29, 2011, 12:11 - Latin Language, Popular Latin Phrases, Mottos, Slogans
Posted by Administrator


According to the makers of the Starz series "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" they employ two historical consultants. Perhaps one of them should have noticed that the tattoo gracing the forehead of the gladiator named Kerza is quite anachronistic. "Fugitivus" is indeed a Latin word for "runaway". Sadly though, the distinction between V and U would have seemed very strange to Romans. The two letters that we all know and love were used in Ancient Rome interchangeably and were never distinguished.Using V for a consonant and U for a vowel is a practice that only began in earnest during Renaissance times. (Wikipedia cites 1386 as the first occurrence, in a Gothic alphabet). As a result the correct way of spelling Fugitivus on poor Kerza's bold forehead would have been FVGITIVVS or FUGITIUUS. Folks, be advised as you decide to adorn your own foreheads with this one-word movie quote!

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