Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Verbum Hodiernum: SUB

Today's word is the preposition SUB which takes the ablative and also the accusative (to express motion towards). Its basic meaning is that of "under" or "beneath." There are hundreds of English words which involve this Latin element, from submarine to suburb, along with many more.

In compounds, the "b" is often assimilated to the following consonant. The "b" remains unchanged before b, d, j, l, n, s, t, v, but before m and r it is often (but not always) assimilated, and before c, f, g, p, it is usually assimilated, e.g summoveo, surrepo, succedo, suffero, suggero, suppono, suscipio, etc. Sometimes before c, p, t, the "b" becomes "bs" and then just "s," e.g. suscipio, suspicio, sustineo, etc.

In addition to its basic meaning of "under" it can also be used with reference to time. With the ablative, it means something like "during" or "within" in English, e.g. sub eodem tempore, "within the same period of time." With the accusative, it means something like "towards" or "shortly before," e.g. sub noctem, "just before nightfall."

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, as well as additional proverbs:

Nihil sub sole novum.

Sub pace, copia.

Sub sole, sub umbra, crescens.

Sub sole nihil perfectum.

Saepe sub nomine pacis bellum latet.

Bos semper sub iugo.

Vidi sub sole nec velocium esse cursum nec fortium bellum.

Elephantum sub alis celas.

Mane sub aurora res vertitur ad meliora.

Rebus tranquillis, metuas adversa sub illis.

Invenies multos, mores qui pelle sub agni celant luporum.

Sub ovium pellibus lupi.

Sub omni lapide scorpius dormit.

Sub pondere, sursum.

Gallina congregat pullos suos sub alas.

Multae sub tegulis cubant noctuae.

Pelle sub agnina latitat mens saepe lupina.

Lucerna sub modio.

Quos vult, sors ditat; quos non vult, sub pede tritat.

Omnia sub unam Myconum.

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