Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dentes et Lingua

Here is another distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 2.184. In both cases, Owen is wrong about the scientific etymology of the words - but these both make for good folk etymologies:

Dentes et Lingua
Dens quasi dictus edens, lingua a lingendo vocata,
Traxit ab officio nomen uterque suo.

TEETH AND TONGUE
Dens comes from Edens, Eating; Lingua, Tongue,
From Licking; each from what doth t’ it belong.


The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. There is only one word in this poem that is not on the DCC list:

lingo -ere, linxi, linctum - lick

ā, ab, abs: from, by (+abl.)
dēns dentis m.: tooth
dīco dīcere dīxī dictum: say; causam dicere, plead a case; diem dicere, appoint a day
edo edere ēsse: eat
et: and
lingua -ae f.: tongue; language
nōmen -inis n.: name
officium -ī n.: service, duty
quasi: as if
suus -a -um: his own, her own, its own
traho -ere trāxī trāctum: drag, draw
uter-, utra-, utrumque: each of two
voco -āre: call

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