Friday, October 15, 2010

Verbum Hodiernum: VERBUM

Today's word is VERBUM, which is related via Indo-European to the English word "word." In Latin, verbum has a wide range of meanings.

In the singular, verbum can mean word, but also a saying or expression, or even a sentence. It can also mean a proverb, as here in Plautus: verum est verbum, quod memoratur: ubi amici, ibidem opus. As in English, Latin verbum has the grammatical meaning of "verb," as in this explanation by Varro: Aristoteles orationis duas partes esse dicit, vocabula et verba, ut "homo" et "equus" et "legit" et "currit."

In the plural, verba can mean not just words, but also conversation, discourse, or language in general. The phrase verba dare means "to trick somebody, to deceive them."

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:

Acta, non verba.

Quid verba audiam, cum facta videam?

Rebus, non verbis.

Non verbis, sed rebus.

Factis, non verbis.

Non verbis, at factis opus est.

Quid opus est verbis?

Non omni verbo credas.

Non opus est verbis; credite rebus.

Non est credendum omni verbo.

Rem tene; verba sequentur!

Plures sunt res quam verba.

Virtute, non verbis.

Res plus valent quam verba.

Qualia verba viri, talis et ipse vir est.

Verba das in ventos.

Ostende rebus, non verbis.

Verbum laudatur, si factum tale sequatur.

Verba factis probentur.

Verba rebus proba.

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