Latin Language Blog

From Latin to English Posted by on Mar 30, 2009 in Latin Language

I think people take Latin for granted. Most people don’t realize how many English words have roots that derive from Latin words. Take for example the English word verbatim. The English word for verbatim means to quote someone word for word or to copy something word for word. In Latin, verbum means word, while ātim is the adverbial suffix denoting that something is in the form of a noun. See if you can get this corny joke; verbātim is a Latin word that the English language has adopted verbatim.

All jokes aside, there are many Latin words that follow this trend of adding ātim with a noun. Take for example gradātim. To take things gradātim means to take things step by step. The word līterātim means letter by letter. You might see this phrase in a law school textbook; verbātim et līterātim. This literally means word for word and letter by letter. It’s a phrase used when lawyers argue their case ad pedem litterae, or exactly as it is written. Ad pedem litterae literally means to the foot of the letter. It’s close to the English idiom meaning to the letter, which means, to the last detail.

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  1. Robert:

    I don’t know if you answer questions about translations but, what would be the nearest correct latin for “it’s all good”, thanks robert

  2. Jonathon Orsi:

    omne bonum est.

  3. Frances:

    I’m trying to translate: “Precious little nothing” or
    “God’s precious little nothing”, using “precious” as an adjective for describing a person, “little nothing”

    Please help! Having a hard time finding a translation