Thursday, May 3, 2012

Latin and Vocabulary in Framley Parsonage

Playing on sporcle has me thinking in terms of speed quizzes. So here’s my quiz for the day. Numbers 1-10 each represent a word or Latin phrase found in Anthony Trollope’s Framley Parsonage. Match each with a letter a-j that describes the circumstance in which you’d most likely use the word or phrase.

1. Et tu, Brute!
2. et vera incessu patuit Dea
3. sine die
4. duc ad me
5. locus penitentiae
6. appanage
7. tarradiddle
8. besom
9. badinage
10. vaticinations

a. while sweeping a rustic cottage
b. while telling vassals to capture an enemy and bring him to you
c. while being stabbed in the Roman Senate house
d. while listening to a fortune teller or market analyst
e. when adjourning a meeting
f. during a witty conversation with a clever friend
g. while listening to a prententious bag of wind
h. when regretting a missed opportunity to get out of a bad deal
i. upon seeing a graceful woman
j. when a vassal comes to court making a claim on an estate


1. The easiest one! According to Shakespeare, Julius Caesar said “Et tu, Brute!” on the Idea of March, 44 B.C., when he saw Brutus with a knife.

2. “Et vera incessu patuit Dea,” a phrase from Virgil’s Aeneid, means “and the true goddess was revealed by her step.” So use this when a woman walks gracefully.

3. To adjourn a meeting “sine die” means to end one meeting without having set a date for the next.

4. “Duc ad me” seems to be an abridgement of “duc graecum ad me, et deabus gratias agam,” translating to “lead the Greek to me, and I will thank the goddesses.” So say this to your servants when you want them to capture a Greek, or when you ask someone to go to the store for you.

5. A “locus penitentiae” is an opportunity for repentance, a moment when you can back out of a bad deal or step away from a proposed crime.

6. An “appanage” is a legal claim on a royal privilege.

7. A “tarradiddle” is a lie or a bit of pretentious nonsense. Don’t speak taradiddles when you go to court with an appanage.

8. A “besom” is a broom made of a bundle of sticks.

9. “Badinage” refers to playful repartee.

10.  One makes “vaticinations” when predicting the future. I vaticinate that you will use one of today’s phrases in badinage very soon.

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