[ANSTHRLD] RE: Latin question

C. L. Ward gunnora at vikinganswerlady.com
Tue Jul 8 05:16:01 PDT 2003

Malcolm MacLein asked:
>In researching medieval Latin, I was
>looking for the word ram. I came up
>with 2 different translations, aries
>and laniger. My question is which is
>more appropriate for use in a motto?
>Or is there another translation

Alden replied:
>From what I can find, aries (arietis)
>is defined as a ram; battering ram, a prop,
>beam.  Laniger (masc) is defined as "wool
>bearing", m. subst. ram, f. sheep.  The
>feminine being lanigera and the neuter
>lanigerum.  It would depend on which
>definition you were looking for.  Do
>you want a weapon or an animal?

Aries also occurs in Latin as the Zodiacal sign of the ram, and there it's
the animal, but as a common noun it refers to a battering ram.

Laniger is the male sheep.

Capreolus (caprioli) is the male roebuck or chamois goat. (Related to

Hircus (hirci) is a male goat.

Oryx (origis) is a male wild goat or gazelle.

Pecus (pecudis) is a single domestic animal, usually a male sheep but
sometimes also a cow.

As to what is best, we can't advise on that if we don't know the context.
Nuance depends both on context and language choices.  What phrase are you
trying to translate?


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