Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Verbum Hodiernum: QUICUMQUE
Today's word is QUICUMQUE, one of those compound indefinite pronouns, where the first part declines (qui-, cuius-, quo-, etc.) while the second part stays the same. The -cumque part expresses the idea of "-soever" or "-ever" or "every" - so quicumque means "whosoever, whoever, everyone" quibuscumque means "to whomsoever, to whomever, to everyone" etc. The idea is that it doesn't matter who or which one - any one of them will do just as well as any other!
The word quicumque is more commonly used as an adjective with a noun rather than substantively, e.g. quocumque modo, "any way at all (it doesn't matter which way exactly)" quacumque ratione, "for any reason at all (it doesn't matter which reason exactly)" etc.
You can also find the neuter quodcumque, "whatever" used with a genitive complement, e.g. quodcumque lucri, "all (of) the profit."
What makes this word tricky is that there are other Latin words that have the same sort of meaning in English. In addition to quicumque, there is also quilibet, quivis, and quisquis. The best way to learn the usage of these terms is through reading lots of Latin; we just don't have the same range of pronouns in English that Latin does.
You can also see this same -cumque suffix in other Latin words, such as ubicumque, "wheresoever, wherever (it doesn't matter where, anywhere at all)."
Here are some Latin sayings and proverbs that use today's word:
Deus est quodcumque vides.
Consequor quodcumque peto.
Quodcumque celes, ipse tibi fias timor.
Donum quodcumque probato.
Donum quodcumque dat aliquis, lauda.
Prona est iuventus in quodcumque malum.
Beati quicumque pugnantes pro patria.
Quicumque gladio utitur, gladio peribit.
Farinam fugit quicumque molam vitat.
Haud servus est quicumque mortem despicit.
Hausit opes quicumque suas, alienas vorabit.
Pudor quemcumque non flectit, frangat timor.
Veritas, a quocumque dicitur, a Deo est.
Si possis, recte; si non, quocumque modo.
Si possis, suaviter; si non, quocumque modo.
Florebo quocumque ferar.
Sequentur te quocumque perveneris vitia.
Iter est, quacumque dat prior vestigium.
Ieiunus venter recipit quaecumque libenter.
Aurea ne credas quaecumque nitescere cernis.
Quaecumque ferat, fortuna ferenda est.
Quamcumque viam dederit Fortuna sequamur.