False Etymologies

fry.jpgWith a little (and really only just a little) too much time on my hands, I recently thought: why not enter terms that are on my mind a lot as search strings into the Packhum Latin database and see what happens.

People as smart as the Romans – surely they must have held their views on important affairs such as Brexit and President-elect Donald Trump…?

Sometimes serendipity strikes (or so it feels).

illos ut caeco recubans in limine sensit
Cerberus, atque omnes capitum suBREXIT hiatus;
saeuus et intranti populo, iam nigra tumebat
colla minax, iam sparsa solo turbauerat ossa,
ni deus horrentem Lethaeo uimine mulcens
ferrea tergemino domuisset lumina somno.

(…) Cerberus saw them, too,
Where he lay on the dark threshold, and reared his
Snarling heads. Fierce to the crowd that passes in,
His black neck was already swelling with menace,
Already he pawed at the bones littering the ground,
But the god soothed his bristling with Lethe’s wand,
And closed his adamantine eyes in triple slumber.

(Statius, Thebaid 2.26-31; transl. from here)

Verso deinde <in> Italiam pectore Alpium Latini iuris Euganeae gentes, quarum oppida XXXIIII enumerat Cato. ex iis TRUMPlini, uenalis cum agris suis populus, dein Camunni conpluresque similes finitimis adtributi municipis.

Then, on the side of the Alps towards Italy, are the Euganean races having the Latin rights, whose towns listed by Cato number 34. Among these are the Trumplini, a people that sold themselves together with their lands, and then the Camunni and a number of similar peoples, assigned to the jurisdiction of the neighbouring municipal towns.

(Pliny, Natural History 3.133-4)

Make of that what you will.

About Peter Kruschwitz

Berliner. Classicist. Scatterbrain.
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6 Responses to False Etymologies

  1. shaunkellett says:

    Found this to be quite an interesting read! Quite funny how these things work out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s what I thought. πŸ™‚


  3. chattykerry says:

    You are so incredibly clever – I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. *blushes* awww, thank you! Always great to hear from you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. chattykerry says:

    Not all Americans are crazy. Almost 50% of us are okay. Some of us even have high IQs!


  6. I have plenty of faith in that! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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