Friday, February 25, 2011

Verbum Hodiernum: TEMPUS

Today's word is TEMPUS, a Latin word which gives rise to all kinds of English words, too. There are some obvious ones, like "temporary," "contemporary, and "extemporaneous." There are also foreign words that we use in English which come from the Latin root, such as French "contretemps" and Italian "tempo." We also use the Latin phrase pro tempore abbreviated in English as "pro tem."

The Latin word has a basic meaning of "time," the sort of time we measure in hours and minutes and also longer stretches of time like a "season" of the year. By metaphorical extension, it can also mean something like the "right time, the opportune moment." It can also have a general sense of "the times, circumstances, a situation" (compare the English usage, "at a time like this").

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:

Dum loquimur, tempus fugit.

Tempus fugit.

Tempus fugit: utere!

Tempora sic fugiunt pariter, pariterque sequuntur et nova sunt semper.

Tempus fugit velut umbra.

Tempus fugit, nec revertitur.

Fugit irrevocabile tempus.

Fugit irreparabile tempus.

Eheu! dum loquimur fugit irremeabile tempus.

Tempus breve est.

Omnia fert tempus.

Tempori parcendum.

Nosce tempus.

Tempus omnia sanat.

Tu dormis, et tempus ambulat.

Omnia tempus habent.

Tempus animae medicus.

Tempus optima medicina.

O tempora, O mores!

Alia tempora, alii mores.

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