Thursday, July 15, 2010

Verbum Hodiernum: FLEO

Today's vocabulary word is the verb FLEO. As you can see, it is a second conjugation verb: fleo, flere, flevi, fletum. It means "to weep." The only English word I know from this Latin root is "feeble," from the Latin adjective flebilis, meaning something that is lamentable, something to weep over, although the English word now has a rather different meaning, referring to something weak or frail (English "frail" is from Latin fragilis).

Etymologically, the verb fleo is related to the verb fluo, fluere, meaning to flow (as in the word fluvius, etc.). So, it looks like flere means to let the tears flow.

Here are some examples of today's word in Latin sayings and proverbs; for more information, see the page at the Scala Sapientiae, which contains notes on some of the proverbs cited below:

Cum Deo quisque gaudet et flet.

Tempore gaudebis, mox post tua gaudia flebis.

Ride, cum tibi flendus eris.

Aut ridenda omnia aut flenda sunt.

Tempus flendi et tempus ridendi.

Beati qui nunc fletis, quia ridebitis.

Est quaedam flere voluptas.

Damna fleo rerum, sed plus fleo damna dierum.

Is ridet, qui cras flebit.

Vespere flet crebro, qui risit mane sereno.

Timidi mater non flet.

Mater timidi flere non solet.

Flere licet certe; flendo diffundimus iram.

Parce gaudebis, nam post tua gaudia flebis.

Vae tibi ridenti, nam mox post gaudia flebis!

Necessitatem ferre, non flere, addecet.

Ad novercae tumulum fles.

Ad novercae sepulcrum fles.

Postquam gaudebis, rursum post gaudia flebis.

O homo, si scires, quidnam esses, unde venires, numquam gauderes, sed in omni tempore fleres.

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