Saturday, March 5, 2011

Verbum Hodiernum: STO

Today's word is the verb STO (stare, steti, status), which has the basic meaning of "stand" or "stay." It can also have the metaphorical meaning of "stand firm," "withstand," etc. The history of this word in the Romance languages is of tremendous importance, as it comes to have the general meaning of "to be," existing side by side with the Latin esse, with subtle differences in meaning, as in Italian sto versus sono, both meaning "I am."

There are all kinds of words in English that are derived from today's word, such as "state," "estate," "station," "status" and "stature," as well as "statue" and "statute," and also "stance" and "stable." There are also words in English that come from Latin compounded forms of today's word, such as "circumstance," "constant," "distant," "instant," "substance," etc. An interesting one is "contrast," which is from contrastare. The English word "stage" comes from Old French estage, from Late Latin staticum.

The subjunctive Latin stet is sometimes used in editorial writing to mean, "let it stand (as written)." We also use the Latin phrase status quo.

Here are some examples of today's word in Latin sayings and proverbs:

Suis stat viribus.

Stat sua cuique dies.

Stat magni nominis umbra.

Stat contra ratio.

Hora fugit, stat ius.

Fata regunt orbem; certa stant omnia lege.

Non segnis stat, remeatve dies.

Caelum stat, terra movetur.

Sol stat, sed terra movetur.

Crux stat, dum volvitur orbis.

In medio stat veritas.

In medio stat virtus.

Deum colenti stat sua merces.

Cum fortuna statque caditque fides.

Summum non stat sine infimo.

Bene qui stat, non moveatur.

Qui stat, videat ne cadat.

Si stas, ne cadas.

Uno nemo potest in pede stare diu.

Non datum est summis imperiis stare diu.

Decet imperatorem stantem mori.

Nec invideamus altius stantibus.

Inter sacrum saxumque sto.

Stet fortuna domus!


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