Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Verbum Hodiernum: INGENIUM

Today's word is INGENIUM. This is one of those impossible-to-translate words! It basically means something inborn or innate (in-gen-ium). So, in that sense it can mean something like personality or character in English. At the same time, it also can refer more specifically to something more like talents or abilities, and hence the English borrowing "ingenuity." Finally, the word ingenium can refer not to a person or a personal quality, but an actual invention or discovery, something that is the result of talent rather than the talent itself. That is how we end up with the word "engine" in English - the "engine" is an ingenious invention, a very clever thing!

There are quite a few word formed from this root in Latin, such as ingeniosus and ingenuitas. There is even a dismissive diminutive form: ingeniolum.

Here are some Latin phrases and sayings with the word ingenium and its compounds:

Egestas ingeniosa.

Ingeniosa gula est.

Etiam stultis acuit ingenium fames.

Pinguis venter caret ingenium.

Necessitas dat ingenium.

Necessitas largitrix ingenii.

Non vi, sed ingenio et arte.

Alit lectio ingenium.

Aemulatio alit ingenia.

Ingenium industria alitur.

Aerugo animi robigo ingenii.

Ingenium mala saepe movent.

Ingenium superat vires.

Ex tuo ingenio alios iudicas.

Suum quisque noscat ingenium.

Vinum animi speculum, ingenii fontes.

Lupus pilum, non ingenium mutat.

Pilos, non ingenium mutat vulpes.

Immortalis est ingenii memoria.

Vivitur ingenio, cetera mortis erunt.

Praecocia ingenia cito deficiunt.

Summa ingenia in occulto latent.

Sub sordido pallio ingenium saepe latet.

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