Monday, August 8, 2011

Verbum Hodiernum: OMNIS

Today's word is OMNIS, which is a third-declension adjective with two endings; the masculine and feminine nominative singular is omnis, while the neuter is omne (genitive for all genders: omnis).

Latin meaning and usage: There are basically two different meanings for omnis. It can mean "all" in the sense of "every" - so the neuter plural, omnia, means "all (things), everything" and the masculine/feminine plural, omnes, means "all (people), everybody." Yet the word omnis can also be used to mean "all" in the sense of "the whole (thing)" - so the saying Omnis echinus asper means "All the hedgehog / the whole hedgehog is prickly."

Latin word formation: There are an enormous number of compounds formed with this word in Latin; here is a long list of them - including omnifarius, omnimodo, omnipotens, omnivagus, omnivorus, and many more.

English cognates and derivatives: Given that the word is extremely productive in Latin, we also have an enormous number of these omni- words in English, too. You can see a list of words starting with omni- in English at (a handy dictionary searching tool), including "omnibus" (which is where we get the word "bus" in English), "omnipotent," "omnipresent," "omniscient," and "omnivorous." One of my favorites is the made-up phrase, "omnium gatherum."

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

Non omnia possumus omnes.

Omnia mea mecum sunt.

Non sibi, sed omnibus.

Dii omnia possunt.

Deus omnia non dat omnibus.

Habent omnia tempora sua.

Omnia tempus habent, omnia tempus habet.

Etiam si omnes, ego non.

Non possunt primi esse omnes omni in tempore.

Omnia fert tempus.

Omnes terra sumus.

Unus vir non omnia videt.

Omnis est rex in domo sua.

Amor omnibus idem.

Omnes filii Dei estis.

Non nobis, sed omnibus.

Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno.

Omnia causa fiunt.

Ne omnibus credas.

Cura omnia potest.

Omnis echinus asper.

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