Monday, January 18, 2016

Latin Worth Knowing About: sunt pueri pueri. pueri puerilia tractant

sunt pueri pueri. pueri puerilia tractant.

This is a Medieval maxim of uncertain provenance.

The first part of this is a tautology. "Boys are boys." But we, of course, understand what this actually means. We have our own similar tautology: "Boys will be boys," i.e., boys will behave like boys--loud, rude, hyperactive, even violent. I can say this. I used to be a boy.

The second part, pueri puerilia tractant, essentially unpacks the tautology--"Boys carry out childish things."

Another Medieval variant reads:

sunt pueri pueri. vivunt iuveniliter illi.
"Boys are boys. They live youthfully."

While we're on the subject, enjoy another late Medieval celebration of youth, Gaudeamus Igitur!

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