February 11 2018: Latin routes

Such the trepidation with which yesterday’s blog employed the 15-letter word “pulchritudinous” that it was immediately followed by an asterisk, and the suggestion that all might be revealed at the last.

It was. Pulchritudinous meant bonny, we added. It’s from the Latin pulcher, meaning beautiful, though Geordie – ever perverse – supposes it very much in the eye of the beholder.

“By, thoo was in a bonny state last night” probably suggests something else entirely.

Familiar former Northern League manager Ray Gowan is now in South Africa. Either he didn’t notice the asterisk or it had been impounded by the border guards. The word pulchritudinous, he protests, is completely absent from his Oxford Mini Dictionary – even the “new expanded edition” and despite the fact that he will shortly be married to the pulchritudinous Pauline.

In its continuing attempt at further education, today’s blog therefore invites readers to suggest the meaning of 20 (fairly) common English words, all – like millions more – with Latin roots. The answers follow immediately, so no cheating.

19-20 championship form (promotion optional), 15-18 play-offs, 10-14 mid-table mediocrity, 6-10 sack the manager, 3-5 relegation, 0-2 FA inquiry (and we all know what they’re like.)

1. Mellifluous 2. dextrous 3. Culpable 4. Omnipotent 5. Bellicose 5. Arboreal 7. Lucid 8. Bovine 9. Defenestrate 10. Nocturnal 11. Vociferous 12. Verbose 13. Epistolary 14. Umbral 15. Corpulent 16. Commensurate 17. Recumbent 18. Dolorous 19. Saline 20. Dulcet.

Answers: 1. Sweet (Latin mel = honey, fluero = flow. 2. Adroit – dexter, right handed. 3. To blame – culpa, fault. 4. All powerful – omnis all, potens to be able 5. Warlike – bellum, war. 6. relating to trees – arbor, tree. 7. Clear – lux, light. 8. Cow-like – bos, ox. 9. To chuck through the window – fenester, window. 10. Night-time – nox, night.

11. Noisy – vox, voice. 12. talkative – verbum, word. 13. relating to letter writing – epistola, letter. 14. Shady – umbra, shade. 15. Fat – corpus, body. 16. Measuring equally  – mensure, measure. 17. Prone – recumbere, lie down. 18. Sorrowful – dolore, to grieve. 19. Salty – sal, salt. 20. Sweet – dulcis, sweet.

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