Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Verbum Hodiernum: HOMO

Today's word is HOMO, which is a third-declension masculine noun, genitive: hominis.

Latin meaning and usage: The basic meaning of the Latin word is a "person," a "man" in the generic sense of a human being (as opposed to vir, a "manly man," as it were, as opposed to a woman, femina or mulier).

Latin word formation: You can see the word homo lurking in the word nemo, which is a contraction of ne+homo (a contraction easier to understand if you think about the "h" as just a breathing in Latin, not an actual consonant).

English cognates and derivatives: You can see the Latin word in our species name: "homo sapiens" - and compare also the adjective "hominid." A "homicide" is the killing (or killer) of another person. Note also the word "bonhomie," via French bonhomme.

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

Non est bonum esse hominem solum.

Qui nihil amat, quid ei homini opus vita est?

Alii homines, alii mores.

Homines sunt eiusdem generis.

In hominum vita nihil est certi.

Fortuna hominibus plus quam consilium valet.

Placeat homini quidquid deo placuit.

Non semper homo talis est, qualis dicitur.

Homo, diu vivendo, multa, quae non vult, videt.

Nihil agendo, homines male agere discunt.

Homo a suo socio cognoscitur.

Nolite fieri servi hominum.

Hominum mentes variae.

Nescit homo finem suum.

Fata regunt homines.

Vires hominis breves sunt.

Brevis hominum vita.

Hoc facias homini quod cupis esse tibi.

Vita hominis cursus est ad mortem.

Mors omnes homines manet, divites et pauperes.

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