Saturday, September 25, 2010

Verbum Hodiernum: ITER

Today's word is ITER, one of those third-declension nouns where the stem is not easy to recognize: itiner-is. The gender is neuter - which is easy to remember if you know the Latin phrase, O durum iter!

The English word "itinerary" can help you to remember the stem of the Latin noun. Other English words from iter include "iterate" and "itinerant."

The most basic meaning of iter is "going" (compare the verb ire, "go") and also "going to a far place, a journey." You can have different kinds of journey: iter terrestre is a journey by land, while iter pedestre is a journey on foot.

The word can also mean the "way" by which you go, in the sense of "a path, a passage," as in the phrase iter ingredi, "to hit the road." The compound adverb obiter means "on the way" or "in passing."

Here are some phrases and sayings that use today's word:

Virtutis iter arduum est.

Virtus, negata via, tentat iter.

Ferro iter aperiendum est.

Iter breve et efficax per exempla.

Aliud alii natura iter ostendit.

Cum pane et vino conficietur iter.

Nullum iter longum est, amico comitante.

Longo in itinere etiam palea oneri est.

Cum improbis viris iter cave ineas.

Iter ad mortem durius quam ipsa mors.

Iter est, quacumque dat prior vestigium.

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