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Latin required....

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Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
Was there a Latin term (Graeco-Latin, I suppose) for the kind of long linen garments Egyptians used to wear? I think I've seen it somewhere, but I can't find it again.
Not sure. When Eul returns she will have the definitive answer.
The most iconic Egyptian men's garment was the kilt-like shendyt; I am not aware of any Greek or Latin for this.
Mid and late Egyptians seemed to frequently wear light linen tunics or blouses with sleeves. I don't know the Egyptian for this, but our word comes from the Latin, tunica (f). The Greek equivalent is χῐτών, khitṓn, similar to the Aramaic, kittōnā, whose origin is flax (from which linen is made). All of these words are extremely broad in meaning. They can almost be translated into English as the generics, "clothing," or "garment" rather than specifying a particular style of garment.
An alternative is the Greek, σινδόνα, sindona, meaning a linen wrap. It is used in Mark 14:51.
 
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Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
Was there a Latin term (Graeco-Latin, I suppose) for the kind of long linen garments Egyptians used to wear? I think I've seen it somewhere, but I can't find it again.
I think the word you want is kalasiris: 'the robes worn by both sexes in Egypt were called kalasiris by Herodotus. Material and cut varied over the centuries, though the cloth of choice was always linen. The kalasiris women wore might cover one or both shoulders or be worn with shoulder straps.' 'The dresses were held up by one or two straps and were worn down to the ankle, while the upper edge could be worn above or below the breasts. The length of the dress denoted the social class of the wearer.' It generally had a fringe, perhaps tassels. I assume the word is Egyptian rather than Greek in origin.
 

twonines

Senator
I think the word you want is kalasiris: 'the robes worn by both sexes in Egypt were called kalasiris by Herodotus. Material and cut varied over the centuries, though the cloth of choice was always linen. The kalasiris women wore might cover one or both shoulders or be worn with shoulder straps.' 'The dresses were held up by one or two straps and were worn down to the ankle, while the upper edge could be worn above or below the breasts. The length of the dress denoted the social class of the wearer.' It generally had a fringe, perhaps tassels. I assume the word is Egyptian rather than Greek in origin.
The extent of your scholarship never ceases to amaze.
 

poem21045

Tribune
That just seems cockeyed:D
Of course it is! Language always seems illogical and even absurd. (We'd like it to be orderly--hence, the establishment of artificial grammar rules. But we as a species are not orderly or logical. And our languages reflect that.) Anglicisation is but one way that languages display our cockeyed-ness. Example: the French word for that pretty yellow-petaled weed is dent-de-lion (literally, "lion's tooth," referring to how the leaves look like lions' teeth). English speakers corrupted this to dandelion. That's anglicisation.
:hollering::hollering::hollering::hollering::hollering::hollering::hollering::hollering::hollering::hollering:
 

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
Ok, so I'm watching the news and they're talking about the Iowa caucuses and I'm wondering, if it's cactus/cacti, bacillus/bacilli, why isn't it caucus/cauci?
Caucus isn't a Latin word, it's a New England coinage of uncertain origin,
the earliest record seems to be John Adams in 1763. An Algonquin word,
'cau-cau-asu' meaning 'advice, counsel' seems likely to be in the background.
I know nothing of plurals in Algonquin, but there's certainly no need
to treat it as Latin.

As to whether to use Latin plurals of Latin-origin words, or adapt to the English -s,
It's a matter of sociolinguistics - how widely and it what contexts the word is used.
If it's a specialised, scientific term it's more likely to keep a Latin plural,
in everyday conversation, it's likely to sound affected -
so we plant crocuses, but a botanist discussing the genus
might refer to Croci ('croak-eye')
(and 'bacilluses' would be likely to shower the company with spit :p)
Consequently, quite a lot of words are either/or -
cacti or cactuses are okay in most UK English contexts,
fungi or funguses? foci or focuses?
Then there's the question of how to pronounce the Latin -
algae is a 'classic' example - classical 'al-guy'? medieval 'al-jee'?
Or something else? algas? I have heard algaes - 'al-jees'!
And it's not just with Latin - cafes throughout Britain sell paninis,
ask for a panino you get a very funny look.
 

windar

Teller of Tales
Caucus isn't a Latin word, it's a New England coinage of uncertain origin,
the earliest record seems to be John Adams in 1763. An Algonquin word,
'cau-cau-asu' meaning 'advice, counsel' seems likely to be in the background.
I know nothing of plurals in Algonquin, but there's certainly no need
to treat it as Latin.
But then other sources say it came from Medieval Latin for drinking cup, borrowed from the Greek kaukos. There was a Caucus Club in Boston in the 1760s, where they discussed the affairs of the day, presumably while indulging in alcohol consumption...
 

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
But then other sources say it came from Medieval Latin for drinking cup, borrowed from the Greek kaukos. There was a Caucus Club in Boston in the 1760s, where they discussed the affairs of the day, presumably while indulging in alcohol consumption...
Oh yes, there was such a word - Jerome and Bede both used it, but it's pretty rare,

I guess some learned New England divine might have known of it,
and linked it with the Algonquin word to invent a term for a political 'party'
in the 18th century sense - a small group of guys drinking and plotting together.
But in the early citations for US English, the plural always seems to have been
'caucuses' from the outset, suggesting it wasn't thought of as a Latin word.

Incidentally, I'm happy to see Καυκίτζα kaukitza, a female, cup-bearing slave!
 
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Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
Oh yes, there was such a word - Jerome and Bede both used it, but it's pretty rare,

I guess some learned New England divine might have known of it,
and linked it with the Algonquin word to invent a term for a political 'party'
in the 18th century sense - a small group of guys drinking and plotting together.
But in the early citations for US English, the plural always seems to have been
'caucuses' from the outset, suggesting it wasn't thought of as a Latin word.

Incidentally, I'm happy to see Καυκίτζα kaukitza, a female, cup-bearing slavegirl!
I'm relieved your weren't thinking of a male cup-bearing slavegirl!
 

Barbaria1

Rebel Leader
Staff member
Now if this discussion doesn’t prove how educational CF can be, I don’t know what does ;)
 
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