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by: A.D. Godley
WHAT is this that roareth thus?
Can it be a Motor Bus?
Yes, the smell and hideous hum
Indicat Motorem Bum!
Implet in the Corn and High
Terror me Motoris Bi:
Bo Motori clamitabo
Ne Motore caedar a Bo--
Dative be or Ablative
So thou only let us live:
Whither shall thy victims flee?
Spare us, spare us, Motor Be!
Thus I sang; and still anigh
Came in hordes Motores Bi,
Et complebat omne forum
Copia Motorum Borum.
How shall wretches live like us
Cincti Bis Motoribus?
Domine, defende nos
Contra hos Motores Bos!
Here's my favourite from his "X-Treme Latin":
"Mater tua tam obesa est ut cum Romae est, urbs habet octo colles!"
i.e. "Yo momma's so fat, when she's in town Rome has EIGHT hills!"
Nothing says "Ancient Rome" like "Yo Momma" jokes :-D
*climbs off Latin soapbox*
"Habes vini sextarium I. Panem: assem I. Pulmentarium: asses II".
"Puellam: asses VIII".
"Et hoc convenit".
"Faenum mulo: asses II".
"Iste mulus me ad factum dabit".
"Innkeeper, let's reckon up."
"You have 1 sextarium of wine. Bread, 1 as. Food, 2 asses."
"Girl, 8 asses."
"That's right too."
"Hay for the mule, 2 asses."
"That mule is going to bankrupt me."
I rather like some of the deliberately bad mock-Latin efforts, like "Non carborundum illegitimi" (Don't let the bastards grind you down). And for those who remember British political scandals of the 1960s, there's Michael Flanders's splendid quip: "There's no smoke without fire: nil combustibus profumo!"
Obile heres ago fortibus es in aro
Caesar adsum jam forte, Pompey aderat.
Caesar sic in omnibus, Pompey sic in at.
urbani, seruate uxores: moechum caluom adducimus.
aurum in Gallia effutuisti, hic sumpsisti mutuum.
According to Suetonius, this is one of the songs Caesar's soldiers were accustomed to sing while marching in his triumphs. I had to look up effutuo, simply because I thought there was no way it could possibly mean what I thought it meant.
"Oh city-folk, guard your wives! We're leading (back) the bald man-slut (to the city).
You fucked away the borrowed gold in Gaul (which) you obtained here."
Doesn't have quite the same ring to it in Engrish, but you get the idea :-D
Yes, and in 15, you've translated it better than
some of the translations I used to see.
Except that I don't think
these Romans (if they suddenly became magically fluent in American English
would call Caesar a "man-slut" (moechu(s)). The word in this context doesn't have to be either an insult or a commendation; it's pretty open-ended. I hadn't previously thought of there
being an omitted relative pronoun ("which") in the phrase "hic sumpsisti mutuum." Probably did happen, but I can't think
of another example of it.
In Latin, insults having anything to do with sex are rare, though there are some in Catullus and Juvenal. "F__ __ K you!" would probably seem like a strange thing to wish for an enemy. They would be more inclined to tell lhim to go and get himself crucified "I in crucem!") Even Catullus and Juvenal were more inclined to the scatological than to
Oh and as for the "missing relative": it just sounded better that way in my head. I usually try to stay as literal as possible with this stuff, but as you know, sometimes you have to play musical chairs with it (even ignoring the editor's punctuation at times, like I did in my version.)
But yeah, I'm sure there are some delightfully circumlocutory translations of this passage from the Victorian era...
Your "Loeb" touchstone is going to a book about Batman. :)
Loeb > "a book about Batman" (by Touchstones no longer surprise me, (and I've seen some that
are even more of a non sequitur than that).
My nodding acquaintance with Computer Science (and it's about of 1990 vintage) leads me to believe that whatever produces the "Batman" link is somewhere in the field. I'm only surprised, Tim, that YOU were surprised (If that was the meaning of your post.)
Addendum: I see now, in Touchstones, that
it's an author named Jeph Loeb that is the link
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