Monday, May 23, 2011

Verbum Hodiernum: ANIMAL

Today's word is ANIMAL, which is a neuter third-declension noun, gen. animalis. It is an i-stem noun, so the genitive plural is animalium.

Latin meaning and usage: The basic idea is that of something that is "animal," or something that is "animate," as opposed to inanimate things, which are not living creatures.

Latin word formation: The word is derived from Latin anima, the "spirit" or "breath of life." You can also sometimes find the word animans (plural animantia) also used to refer to animals as animate being, living creatures.

English cognates and derivatives: First and foremost, the Latin word animal is the origin of our word "animal" in English also.

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:

Homo divinum animal.

Omne animal se ipsum diligit.

Cetera animalia terram spectant, homo solus caelum intuetur.

Libertas natura etiam mutis animalibus data.

Minimum animal pulex, saltu maximum superat elephantem.

Homo animal bipes implume.


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