Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving in Latin

Young and the Restless actor and Francophone Christian Le Blanc just tweeted:
I'm fascinated to learn here that French has preserved from Latin the idiomatic pairing of the verb ago, agere, egi, actum (noun derivative actio, actionis) with the noun gratia, gratiae (French descendent grĂ¢ce) to arrive at the phrase "to give thanks." (gratias ago, I give thanks, gratiarum actio, Thanksgiving,

As a Latin teacher, the verb agere is an endless pain to explain to students. They reasonably just want to know what a Latin word means. And in the case of this verb, I have to tell them that agere is translated quite differently depending on the object it takes.

If you agere a chariot, it's "driving a chariot." If you agere thanks, it's "give thanks." If you agere business, it's "do business."


Another fun one is the verb
gero, gerere, where you either "wear clothing" or "wage war."

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

AddThis