Sunday, September 18, 2011

Latin Proverbs: 64 Most Frequent Words

The DR number, Diederich Rank, refers to the highest number in Diederich's frequency listing, which you can see here: Diederich Ranking.

DR 58. Dicunt enim et non faciunt. ~ Note: The words are from the Gospel of Matthew, 23, in reference to the scribes and Pharisees, scribae et pharisaei.

DR 60. Ferendo feram. ~ Note: This is an example of the wonderful Latin gerund, a noun that is formed from the verbal stem and which is most often used in the ablative case, as here: By bearing (i.e. enduring, bearing up under difficulties), I will bear (endure, bear up under difficulties).

DR 60. Omnia fert tempus. ~ Note: This is fert in the sense not just of "carry" but "carry off" or "carry away." Time as it marches on takes all things away with it.

DR 62. Deo Volente ~ Note: This Latin phrase (an ablative absolute!) is often abbreviated: D.V. Compare the Arabic Insha'Allah.

DR 62. Si vis, potes. ~ Note: You can find this saying invoked in Horace, Satire 2.6.

DR 62. Deus dat, cui vult. ~ Note: This was the royal motto of King Eric XIV of Sweden. As often, the antecedent of the relative pronoun is implied but not stated: Deus dat (ei), cui vult.

DR 62. Quod vis videri, esto. ~ Note: The contrast here is between seeming, videri, and being, esse: BE what you want to be, and appearances will take care of themselves!

DR 62. Aliud est velle, aliud posse. ~ Note: This is one of those "aliud…aliud" sayings: "to want is one (thing), and to be able to do it is another (thing)."

DR 62. Si non ut volumus, tamen ut possumus. ~ Note: Note that here the word ut has the basic meaning of "as" or "so," with indicative verbs (no final clause, no subjunctive verbs).

DR 64. Sic dii voluerunt. ~ Note: Note the perfect past form of the verb, voluerunt: "Thus have the gods willed" or "Such was the will of the gods."

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