Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Verbum Hodiernum: FRATER

Today's word is FRATER, which is a third-declension masculine noun, gen. fratris.

Latin meaning and usage: The basic meaning of the Latin word is "brother," with many of the same metaphorical extensions that we have in English.

Latin word formation: There is the diminutive fraterculus, and the abstract noun fraternitas, along with the adjective fraternus. There is the compound fratricida, and there are also kinship terms, such as fratria, sister-in-law (uxor fratris) and fratruelis, a paternal cousin.

English cognates and derivatives: The English "brother" derives from the same Indo-European root as Latin frater. In English we have "fraternities," of course, and the adjective "fraternal." The word "friar" comes via Old French frere, and "confrere" comes via French from medieval Latin confrater.

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:

Quis amicior quam frater fratri?

Frater est amicus quem nobis dedit Natura.

Omnes vos fratres estis.

Somnus est frater mortis.

Frater est amicus quem donat Natura.

Quid mihi prodest scire agellum in partes dividere, si nescio cum fratre dividere?

Melior est vicinus iuxta, quam frater procul.

Proximus est melior vicinus fratre remoto.

Utilior praesto vicinus fratre remoto.

Tu quid iudicas fratrem tuum?

Qui diligit fratrem, placat Deo patrem.

Num custos fratris mei sum?

Acerba sunt bella fratrum.

Fratrum inter se irae sunt acerbissimae.

Non oderis fratrem tuum in corde tuo.

Fratrum concordia rara.

Iam frater fratrem, natus fraudare parentem nititur, et servus dominum, coniunxque maritum.

Mors dirimit fratres, absentia perdit amicos.

Si videas fratres inter se bella gerentes, neutri confer opem, sed eorum corrige mentes.

Concordes duo sunt in caelo sidera fratres; in terra unanimes vix reor esse duos.

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