Sunday, October 15, 2006

Need to be Pretentious? Here's some Help

My alter ego, The Sinister Porpoise dug this up. I take no credit for it. Honestly!

For various reasons which have been well covered on the Internet, Latin is the peferct language to be a pretentious snob in. (Although this blog does not show evidence of it, I do have a keen interest in Roman history, specifically the late Republic period. However, there are times when you simply just don't have the right phrase. So, with respect to Henry Beard who wrote the bestselling Latin for Every Occasion and Latin for Even More Occasions, I thought I'd present you with a few handy sayings. (Please note when I say these I use the Classical, not the Catholic pronounciations.)

Useful Phrases

So, you've suddenly found that you need to say a few choice words in Latin. Here are the phrases1, with handy English translations.

Nescio quid dicas I don't know what you're talking about
Nemo hic adest illius nominis There is no one here by that name
Ita erat quando hic adveni. It was that way when I got here
Nihil declarandum I have nothing to declare
Raptus regaliter Royally screwed
Ut si! As if!
Vescere bracis meis Eat my shorts
Re vera, potas bene Say, you sure are drinking a lot
Noli me vocare. Ego te vocabo. Don't call me. I'll call you.
Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione I'm not interested in your dopey religious cult
Canis meus id comedit My dog ate it
Die dulci freure Have a nice day
Fac ut vivas Get a life
Fac me cocleario vomere! Gag me with a spoon!
Recedite, plebes! Gero rem imperialem Stand aside, little people! I am here on official business

Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabris, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam. I have a catapult. Unless you give me all of your money, I will fling an enormous rock at your head.

Utinam barbari spatioum proprium tuum invadant May barbarians invade your personal space
Quo signo nata es? What's your sign?

Romani quidem artem amatoriam invenerunt... You know, the Romans invented the art of love...

Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure. I can't hear you. I have a banana in my ear.

Utinam coniurati te in foro interficiant May conspirators assasinate you in the hall

Magister mundi sum! I am the master of the universe!

Non sum pisces I am not a fish

Radix lecti Couch potato
Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari? How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Unitam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant May faulty logic undermine your entire philosophy

Cogito ergo sum I think, therefore I am

Cogito ergo doleo I think, therefore I am depressed

Senito aliquos togatos contra me conspirare I think some people in togas are plotting against me

Vah! Denuone latine loquebar? Me ineptum. Interdum modo elabitur. Oh! Was I speaking Latin again? Silly me. Sometimes it just sort of slips out.

Nihili est - in vita priore ego imperator romanus fui That's nothing; in a previous life I was a Roman Emperor

Aio, quantitas magna frumentorum est Yes, that is a very large amount of corn

Perscriptio in manibus tabellariorum est The cheque is in the post (mail for Americans.)

Non illigitamus carborundum Don't let the b'stards grind you down

Nonne macescis? Have you lost weight?

Minime senuisti! You haven't aged a bit!

Id tibi praebet speciem lepidissimam! It looks great on you!

Capillamentum? Haudquaquam conieci esse! A wig? I never would have guessed!

Braccae tuae aperiuntur Your fly is open

Subucula tua apparet Your slip is showing

In dentibus anticis frustum magnum spiniciae habes You have a big piece of spinach in your front teeth

Abutebaris modo subjunctivo You've been misusing the subjunctive

Heus, hic nos omnes in agmine sunt! Hey, we're all in line here!

Non, mihi ignosce, credo me insequentem esse No, excuse me, I believe I'm next

Nonne de novo eboraco venis? You're from New York, aren't you?

Bumper Stickers and Vanity Plates

Sona si latine loqueris Honk if you speak Latin
Balaenae nobis conservandae sunt Save the whales
Frena pro feris teneo I brake for animals

Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscripti catapultas habebunt When catapults are outlawed, only outlaws will have catapults

Sic hoc adfixum in obice legere potes, et liberaliter educatus et nimis propinquus ades If you can read this bumper sticker, you are both very well educated, and much too close

Incitatus Speed demon
Vagans Cruising
Litoralis Beach bum
Mannus Mustang
Fractum Jalopy

Advanced Quotations

The following phrases are for those who can speak Latin while at the same time maintaining a cheesy accent. This is harder than you think. Despite all your best intentions to do a perfect rendition of Clint Eastwood from the film Dirty Harry, celebrity Latin accents invariably transform into something more akin to Manuel from Fawlty Towers.
Quid agis, medice? What's up, Doc?

Dic mihi solum facta, domina Just the facts, ma'am

Re vera, cara mea, mea nil refert Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn

Farrago fatigans! Thuffering thuccotash!

Fac ut gaudeam Make my day

Illius me paenitet, dux Sorry about that, chief

Tuis pugis pignore! You bet your bippy!

Diabolus fecit, ut id facerem! The devil made me do it!

Osculare pultem meam! Kiss my grits!

Credidi me felem vidisse! I tought I taw a puddy tat!

Si fallatis officium, quaestor infitias eat se quicquam scire de factis vestris

If you fail, the secretary will disavow all knowledge of your activities

Te capiam, cunicule sceleste! I'll get you, you wascally wabbit!

Conlige suspectos semper habitos Round up the usual suspects

Certe, toto, sentio nos in kansate non iam adesse You know, Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore

Me transmitte sursum, caledoni Beam me up, Scotty

Names and Titles

Translations of the names of some famous bands and television shows.

Cimictus The Beatles
Inlecebrae The Temptations
Lapides provolventes The Rolling Stones
Ille quis The Who
Mortui grati The Grateful Dead
Simitatores The Monkees
Pueri litoris The Beach Boys
Illi silices The Flintstones
Insula gilliganis Gilligan's Island
Zona crepusculi The Twilight Zone
Opus: quod fiere non potest Mission: Impossible
Dies felices Happy Days
Navis amoris The Love Boat
Iuvenes inquietesque The Young and the Restless
Pretium iustum est The Price is Right


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